–This blog post is taken from a talk given by Dr Paul Lindsey DC —

“The placebo effect is scientific proof that we have the ability to heal ourselves. Our thoughts are powerful enough to bring things into existence. When will we begin to absorb this?”

The Minds Journal


Today we are talking about placebo. I really don’t like the term placebo because of the negative connotations associated with it. Maybe chiropractic school infused this in me as I went to a very medical Chiropractic school.

In fact Merriam’s dictionary describes placebo as

  1. a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.
  2. “his Aunt Beatrice had been kept alive on sympathy and placebos for thirty years”
    • a substance that has no therapeutic effect, used as a control in testing new drugs.
    • a measure designed merely to calm or please someone.

That really doesn’t cover the whole gamut of placebo research now does it? because people talk about Chiropractic being a placebo or the placebo effect. But in it’s own definition and example we see something to take note off. The fictitious Aunt Beatrice was kept alive for 30 years on sympathy and placebo’s.

Why was this put into the dictionary? because it’s common place. So if someone is kept alive or made to feel better by a placebo then how can it have no therapeutic effect?

Many scientists put placebos to run at 30% of the treatments effectiveness. This is higher than some over the counter or prescribed medications effectiveness. Which ironically means that if Doctors just gave the patient a brightly coloured large pill (large pills are shown to enhance the placebo effect), then they would perform better than the prescription medicine. Therefore the prescription medicine must be negatively affecting the patient as it performs worse than using just a placebo (or sugar pill).

I remember a great Chiropractor (Liam Mulvanny) told me why his mother was such a great Chiropractor. It was because she would give each patient a large arnica pill after each treatment.

She was very effective probably because she enhanced placebo or the mental effect of our thoughts and expectations on our physiology to accelerate or start the healing process.

“placebo or the mental effect of our thoughts and expectations on our physiology to accelerate or start the healing process”

I think that quote at the beginning  shows where I am at and reframes our minds to see a different aspect

Let’s read it again

“The placebo effect is scientific proof that we have the ability to heal ourselves. Our thoughts are powerful enough to bring things into existence. When will we begin to absorb this?”

Isn’t this what chiropractors have always thought and taught but maybe not always believed. We have the ability to heal ourselves which is called in Chiropractic “innate intelligence”.

I don’t mind talking about innate intelligence, I feel it’s a valid topic, but in this instance I think it may harm the goal of this post. To reframe what Placebo is by combining its effects with innate we enter an area where some of us will wholeheartedly agree and others will shut off. They are both OK view points but we want to reexamine placebo, so let’s remove innate all together from the conversation and re-examine placebo.

When I first read the quote at the start of the post I immediately thought of Joe Dispenza.

Joe Dispenza is awesome! I was a very medically trained and minded Chiropractor and I’d been in practice for about 4 years and I ended up at a conference that had Joe Dispenza as a speaker.

It changed my career and my life. I went full circle with my practice and changed many ways I looked at life.


So what’s Joes Story?

Please Joe, if you are reading this post forgive my paraphrasing and any errors.

Joe was a Triathlete and had an accident in a race which broke numerous vertebrate and left him in grave danger of not walking again and he was faced with the only option, which was harrington rods inserted to stabilise the spine.

He made the choice not to do it, but spend his time picturing the perfect spine and his body healing itself in the model of the perfect spine. All the time thinking “the power that made the body can heal the body”.

It worked, and he then went to research many topics related to how the mind controls the body and can cause things like spontaneous remission etc.

His neurologically based ways for inducing change mentally and physically are amazing.

He has numerous books and if you ever get chance to go to a seminar or speaking event with Joe then go. You will be transformed. I’m very serious about this, you will be transformed. You can even do his courses online now and he has a monthly class “Dr Joe Live” where he instructs for an hour each month for just $10 per month. Awesome Value!

Now I know that sounds like an infomercial but he’s that good. I don’t get any kickbacks or affiliate money from Joe Dispenza and I’m like 100% sure he doesn’t have any idea who I am. so it’s a 100% genuine opinion of mine that he will change you life and practice.

I do recommend catching him at a Chiropractic Seminar as that is where he is most focussed on treating your patients and things for your practice whereas online he is more focussed on the general public and on people (us included) changing themselves.

For all things Joe dispenza go to



My personal story about illness and the power of the mind, kind of mirrors the quote from socrates

“There is no illness in the body apart from the mind”

Before and for upto a year after seeing Joe I was very ill. I had severe fatigue, low testosterone and my liver enzymes were off the charts. I would have to lie down and I mean HAVE to every lunch time and sleep.

Sometimes i couldn’t finish the day at work. Bearing in mind that I don’t drink, do drugs or smoke this was a great concern. I look for environmental factors like mould or sick building syndrome but nothing helped.

During this time my practice was very successful but I was stuck on an old model of Chiropractic.

  • 1 room
  • No real systems
  • Giving too much of self and resources
  • Associates on 50% self employed contracts
  • Long treatment times
  • Working beyond my hours


I was feeling torn between my young family and work. I would give so much at work that I’d never see the kids and when I did I’d used all my positive energy at the office so I’d be frustrated at myself for not having the energy or mood to play with the kids. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

It was just so horrible. The associate situation was terrible and I was working for everyone else but hadn’t thought what I was trying to achieve besides success (whatever that meant to me at the time), probably lots of money and patients ( so by that definition I was successful).

But after Joes workshop I started to re-evaluate a whole lot of my life.

What was I working for?

What was success?

Surely my family and my needs need to be addressed?


So I took on an associate for 3 months and took 3 months off and just stopped and slept and started to become human again.

That was the genesis of the core of your clinic system which I coach people through.

A way to work less,  get paid more and have more time for those real success, experiences and family time.

But as soon as I started to change my symptoms disappeared. Within 2 weeks I was feeling healthy again, after years of problems.


So our minds do control our body and we all know this but we usually only think of it in the reductionist sense of stress causing illness. We don’t think “positive emotions create positive hormones which creates an accelerated healing environment.”


We see this all the time in medical journal case studies, where a patient with a terminal illness visits a witch doctor, goes on a healing journey to the mexican desert or just spontaneously remisses and is free of the incurable disease.

So what things can affect placebo or what i like to phrase as mind accelerated healing.

Our words are one of the major factors. Our words are shaped by our beliefs and we can see this in the unsure new graduate. When talking to a patient they will say things like

  • We will try and achieve this
  • Or it could work well
  • Or I think it might work
  • Maybe we may see some improvement in the next week or so


As opposed to a seasoned practitioner who’ll say things like:


  • We will do this to get there
  • This works well for people with your condition
  • This works great
  • We expect to see improvement towards the end of next week

Words are so powerful that there is even evidence it can kill you. And we are not talking about the curse of the witch doctors which does seem very powerful to those that believe, but we are talking about something very similar.

The curse of the medical doctor.

The evidence suggests that if a medical Doctor tells a patient they have 6 months to live the patient usually obliges. If they say they have 8 months to live the same is true. Same for a year. So what a doctor tells you can literally cut your life in half.

Because most people have faith in their doctor like native tribes have in their witch doctor it operates the same.

So if words can kill you surely they can heal you.

That’s why I recommend to all people I coach that they avoid specific words and include specific words. We want to avoid words like:

  • Try
  • Could do
  • Maybe

And include words like:

  • Expect
  • In vast majority of cases
  • Let’s get you better


So there’s a whole bunch of things that can increase the mental effect that stimulates the body’s responses to heal better from the simple smilinging and getting the patient to smile (which increases nearly all the feel good hormones which affects healing) to placement of your desk and the heaviness of your door handle to your clinic.

Maybe we will go into those ones in more depth in different conversation or if you are a coaching client they are in the course in various areas and i can send you the direct links just give me a call or email.

But the biggest thing for healthcare practitioners is language and that’s something we have control over and that you can use this week to get your patients better faster which leads to more referrals and less stress and a better life for you.


Paul Lindsey DC

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