EFT – interchangeable with placebo and nocebo effects?


Ranjana Appoo asks whether we can enhance the placebo effect with EFT and use EFT for the nocebo effect.

by Ranjana Appoo

Occasionally, a health professional asks me whether EFT has any real benefit or is merely a placebo. I answer honestly I do not know ... the truth is that most of my clients do benefit and most do feel freer, lighter, relaxed, and sometimes even peaceful and pain-free after a LiberatingTouch-EFT session.

Is it because all my clients are already predisposed to the placebo effect or because energy medicine serves them regardless of any placebo effect and creates a sense of well being? My question to the health professional is, isn’t the placebo effect of real benefit anyway? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone was susceptible to placebos and doctors knew how to trigger this effect in their patients? The implications are mind-boggling.

I have often pondered the placebo effect and why only a certain percentage of people benefit from it. Why not more? And why do some experience a ‘nocebo’ effect. What if we could tap into the benefits of the placebo effect with any therapy, treatment or nutrition? We know now how EFT can be used to help change our behaviour and shift our perceptions. Why not also program our thought processes to believe that everything we do is healing (helping) us?

I once led an entire mentoring session on the placebo effect. The discussion we had was fascinating; most did not want to see themselves as being susceptible to the placebo effect, did not want to believe that they could be swayed by a loving voice. It was also intriguing because many did not like the idea of a placebo effect: somehow it was not hard science, but the great unknown (oh no!!). It was an insightful, fun day. Once the class got over their resistance to the placebo effect we had a lot of fun, a few of the setups and sequences we played with are below.

For example:

  • Even though I have this ailment, I am open to the possibility that the water that I drink is healing me
  • Even though I can’t believe healing can be so easy I give permission to my mind, body and spirit to work in unison for my health and happiness
  • Even though I am going through a procedure, I am open to enjoying my life with renewed vitality...

And then in relation to the nocebo effect:

  • Even though I believe I am being poisoned I am open to the possibility that my body and mind know how to counteract this.

As with most EFT mentoring sessions everyone was feeling good at the end. Did it make a difference in the long run? I have no idea. I was not collecting any data. Enhancing the placebo effect with Energy Medicine is something that I continue to play with.

There is a great deal of information available on the placebo and nocebo effects.

I also recommend the books by Dr David Hamilton, who discusses the research on the placebo effect at length, and the Shards of Consciousness site.

I believe that this is worth investigating, especially if this understanding can be used to help and heal, to transform and empower. What I find very interesting is that the more the placebo effect is studied, the more scientists are convinced that it is not just psychological. It may be about being loved and cared for. Perhaps it is something that can be affected by working directly with the energy field – for example, EFT?

I find this area fascinating; the research on placebo indicates that our health and well being is definitely in our hands.

Do let me know what you think!

Ranjana Appoo
Co- Creator of LiberatingTouch-EFT

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