5 Fascinating Books on the Placebo Effect
Can the Placebo Effect Really Work on You?
It plays a role in all our lives. It can work for you or against you, depending on your awareness. It's completely fascinating.
These books on the placebo effect all illustrate the idea that your brain can convince your body that a pseudo treatment is actually real and as a result, stimulate healing.
Here are some books we've read and loved (#3 and #5 are our favorites) and some we haven't read, but are rated highly. The compilation (including brief summaries from Amazon) provides some interesting variety to choose from:
(1) Placebo Effects: Understanding the Mechanisms in Health and Disease (2nd Edition) by Fabrizio Benedetti (2014)
This one's a textbook, for those scholarly types who like to see the scientific studies.
"We know that this is an active psychobiological phenomenon which takes place in the patient's brain and that is capable of influencing both the course of a disease and the response to a therapy."
(2) The Placebo Response: How You Can Release the Body's Inner Pharmacy for Better Health by Howard Brody and Daralyn Brody (2000)
"Could a tiny sugar pill actually hold the secret to a miracle cure? Brody asserts that while placebos themselves have no medical value, time and again real illnesses and pain have been diminished by their use."
(3) You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza (2014)
Dr. Dispenza gained widespread attention after his appearance in the movie, What the BLEEP do We Know!? (2004) and offers a guided healing meditation near the end of this book.
"Is it possible to heal by thought alone—without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect... Dr. Joe Dispenza shares... documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo."
You Are the Placebo is one of our favorites because of the practical knowledge it provides to your own life - it offers a way to manipulate your own mind in a beneficial way - so you can heal.
He has since come out with a related new book called Becoming Supernatural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon.
(4) Placebo: Mind over Matter in Modern Medicine by Dylan Evans (2004)
This book provides an explanation on how our natural healing mechanisms work and how we can trigger them using the placebo effect.
"...Placebos only work if you believe they work, so the medical confidence in the power of the placebo effect has provided scientific legitimacy to popular claims about the healing powers of the mind."
So give this book a skim and see if you can cure yourself with thought alone. 😊
(5) Suggestible You by Erik Vance (2016)
Amazon reviewers liked this one - and a colleague here is half way through the Audible version, and loves it:
"This riveting narrative explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. Could the secrets to personal health lie within our own brains? Journalist Erik Vance explores the surprising ways our expectations and beliefs influence our bodily responses to pain, disease, and everyday events."
If the placebo effect is real, you know your mind can be a powerful healing tool as part of your overall strategy against illness.
BONUS UPDATE 8/29/18 FOR INSOMNIACS
A study recently released shows you how the placebo effect can determine how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you stay asleep, and the quality of your sleep. In other words, what you believe about your sleep can help regulate your sleep! Here is the sleep placebo study for those who want to gain restorative sleep for brain health and mental well-being.