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Tonight I watched a brilliant programme on SBS on the new, ongoing research into the effect of a placebo and it reminded me of this blog I wrote a year ago on the Art of Conversation. In the SBS programme one of the research experiments compared the same placebo effect of acupuncture (both were sham applications of acupuncture) with the operator just going about the business of applying the acupuncture with minimal interaction with the patient versus the operator interacting in a meaningful way, teasing the story and history from the patient and taking time to ask the patient what they were hoping for from this intervention. The results were significant – in the group with increased empathy and interaction there was a better outcome with respect to pain. Read this blog and start to understand the importance of the Art of Conversation.