Placebo IV

My foot had been hurting for weeks. What on earth could be wrong with it? I remembered feeling something similar when suffering from phlebitis many years ago. A homeopathic remedy called Lachesis had cured the problem back then. “Dear body,” I said, “please check whether Lachesis would help. If you think it would, please behave as if you had taken it.” Was that the right thing to say? A momentary shiver ran over my skin, which I decided must be my subconscious responding to the idea. The symptoms vanished overnight and did not return. (28.3.2023)

The story “Placebo IV” uses the technique of focusing the body’s self-healing capacities on a region of the body in cases of inflammation. The body is addressed very directly and reminded of what was useful in an earlier situation. Imagining a medicine prompts the body to behave in the way that it would normally behave in response to that medicine. The body is told to do “more of the same” if this behaviour is helpful.

(From: Stefan Hammel: Handbook of Therapeutic Storytelling. Sories and Metaphors in Psychotherapy, Child and Family Therapy, Medical Treatment, Coaching and Supervision, Routledge 2019)

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