So I am making placebos. Anyone can make a placebo, right? Some say, “Placebos are sugar pills.” A sugar pill can be a placebo. Just take a Tic Tac.
I don’t agree. But Tic Tac is a useful example for exploring what makes a good placebo. Tic Tac come in pill-shape reminding us of taking-medicine. And Tic Tac have a strong, meaning-conveying brand. It’s just that the brand message is about pleasure – and not so much about reducing pain (or other bothersome symptoms). Yes, I might take a Tic Tac to distract myself. But I would not expect the Take-a-Tic-Tac-Experience to trigger my body to release powerful endorphines that relief pain. And Tic Tac taste sweet. Real placebos don’t taste sweet, right?
Turns out expectations matter when it comes to placebos. What you might not have expected – until right now, is that placebos can work even when we knowingly take a placebo. Well, now you know. The human mind is amazing. Once it knows something (like, placebos can have real effect) it will start working with that knowledge.
So I let the subconscious mind do its work. Here is a thought that just came to mind. Love. I know it’s “only in your mind”. Yet love makes your brain release oxytocin, a hormone with real – life changing – impact. May be taking a placebo is a declaration of love? In form of the placebo I ingest a powerful message directed to my future Self. The Self precisely 3 minutes from now… Before I get carried away with great expectations, here is what I did:
We made Zeebo Relief – the Honest Placebo pill that has all the features of a great placebo.
Originally published on February 5, 2015 as “Everything is Possible. Just Do It” @ www.habitsguru.com