Placebo & Nocebo effects. And how to use them

The placebo effect is the positive response to an inert substance or treatment due to the patient’s belief in its efficacy, while the nocebo effect is the negative response to a harmless substance or treatment resulting from the patient’s expectation of harm.

Both the placebo and nocebo effects are well-documented phenomena supported by research in psychology, medicine, and neuroscience. But they are still a total mystery. Researchers continue to explore the underlying mechanisms and the conditions under which these effects are likely to occur.

What is obvious, is that a person can heal (or kill) himself if he believes in something very strong. Sometimes we need to create this “placebo effect” for ourselves, by feeding the brain positive thoughts, motivation, image boards, goal setting, etc.

It has nothing to do with lying to yourself or being delusional. You are consciously feeding your brain, you are working on yourself. And it is you, who is choosing your inputs. You are constantly bombarded by news and social medias anyway. So what’s your alternative? To take the responsibility and choose your daily frequencies.

Work on yourself daily: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

PARI Framework

  • Pact. Commit to regularly spending time working towards your goal. Your pact needs to be as flexible as possible. Do not get into the nitty-gritty.
  • Act. Just do the thing. The only thing you could do wrong is to do nothing. There is no small contribution towards your goal.
  • React. Create, publish, and share your own content based on what you learned. Use whatever format you feel most comfortable with (a blog post, a short video, a podcast). Try to teach someone something to become a pro in it.
  • Impact. Work on a longer-term, bigger impact project. To sustain your motivation, choose a project you feel passionate or highly curious about.


  • Pact: I committed to write daily one message, or one thought, or one lesson to my students. It can be a short piece, or a long piece, doesn’t matter.
  • Act: every morning I sit down, open my notes app, and write. No matter what. Many times I don’t know what I will write about.
  • React: I share those lessons with a small group of my students, just 10-15 people.
  • Impact: when I finish the #50days50lessons challenge, I might have a good foundation for a book about capoeira and life in general.

Further reading