Book Reviews

You Are the Placebo

Joe Dispenza, D.C.

Self Improvement, Psychology, Health & Healing, Alternative Health, Meditation


In You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson's disease by b... More

Oct 31, 2014 Jeanieber
Mind over matter as the old saying goes, right about sums this book up in a simplistic way. You absolutely can change your thoughts, and you absolutely you can change your outcome, and if you need help, this is the source for you. Personally, I have seen time and time again, people who truly want to change the circumstances of health, finances, relationships have done it successfully.. too add to the mix, I am one of them. Then get a hold of your attitudes, beliefs and perceptions and align them with what you want and need. Sound easy? Well for some it is not so easy and they need some guidance. Some need a whole lot more than that! This book is appropriate for all and if taking the very first baby step your journey will be a little slower at first until you GET IT! Once you do, and are on a roll, then look out, the universe is truly yours. I highly recommend this book for anyone who just doesn’t want or can’t lie down and take it anymore and wants or needs to be in a different space and path in life. It IS possible, and it IS yours for the taking. YOU can do it! I received this book from Hay House and the opinions are my own. Jeanie Beresford NTP
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Sep 02, 2014 Seeker
Books describing the power of thoughts and intentions are a dime a dozen on today's crowded self-help shelves. But for those of us who are "left-brained," "skeptical," or "analytical" by nature, all this talk of intentions and their power to change lives often seems like wishful thinking, no matter how much we wish to believe. That's what makes Dr. Joe Dispenza's latest book, "You Are the Placebo," so special.

Beginning with the well-documented placebo effect, which even the most hardened mainstream scientist must admit is irrefutable evidence of the power of the mind over the body, Dispenza describes in exquisite detail the physiological processes underlying the transformation of intentions into physical changes. Relying on the latest discoveries in neuroplasticity, neurochemistry, epigenetics, and quantum physics to break down what is happening at a biological and even cellular level every step of the way, Dispenza connects the dots in describing precisely how intentions become reality, resulting in a sometimes dense but deeply satisfying read. As a left-brained, analytic type, this is precisely the kind of scientific support my mind has sought for years as I have tried to harness and use the power of intention, not only for self-healing, but for creating new realities in multiple facets of my life. As such, "You Are the Placebo" vaults to a prominent position in my personal library, a remarkable work that I am sure to return to again and again.

Note: I received a free copy of this title from Hay House in return for my honest review. I received no financial compensation, and the views expressed are entirely my own.
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Aug 28, 2014 PattiFoy
This is an excellent book!

And please don’t be misled by the title term “placebo”. This book is much more broad than how we often think of a placebo, i.e. in a medical/health-related context.

It addresses any and all situations you may encounter. Yes, anything! The book’s clever subtitle “Making Your Mind Matter” might even be a better title, as it’s all about consciousness as your mind being made into matter.

Corresponding to the division of its 2 sections, it’s both informative and transformative, with impressive substance on both counts.

>>> Information

The first section (including the author’s own story, which is just amazing) contains in-depth yet very well written (i.e. interesting and easy to understand) explanations of his concepts; both what they are and why they work.

It’s extremely well researched, includes helpful diagrams, and is one of the best books I’ve seen on the subject of working at the most subtle levels of consciousness to powerfully effect change in the physical world.

I especially liked his chapter “The Quantum Mind”. So often this type of information gets garbled or too complex upon explanation, but he does a beautiful job of describing the concepts, especially the ones that are relevant to his simple yet concentrated suggestion for applying the ideas.

He also does an excellent job of presenting all his ideas and experiences in a factual, believable manner. I so appreciate that it’s not presented as some fringe or New Age idea that many would disregard even before investigating, but rather as the proven yet leading edge idea that it actually is. I’m personally eager for mainstream to get with it, and I think this book will be a great help toward that end.

>>> Application

The 2nd section is how to apply it.

It’s a concise but powerful part of what he offers, in that it first prepares you for a guided “meditation” process which he then proceeds to provide word for word. I so appreciate that!

From the verbatim text he gives you, you can read it or record your own audio and immediately begin to practice it yourself. (You can purchase audio CDs of the meditations, but I went to his website and instantly downloaded an MP3 version. So much easier than creating it myself and well worth the reasonable price.)

For anyone familiar with what I call “Quantum Consciousness” technology (for lack of a standard term), this book will add a lot to both your understanding and practice. There are many ways to effectively practice QC, and this book adds elements that I hadn’t thought of as integral to the practice. However, I’ve been using his meditation for several weeks now and find that although these elements may not be absolutely necessary, they do make it much more reliably powerful. I’m fully on-board with his suggestions for the time being.

One concept of QC that he repeatedly emphasizes is that your future doesn’t need to be your past, so when your old patterns shift, you’re beginning anew. You’re not even having to heal anything, you’re just letting that past go and literally beginning anew in the moment. He expertly guides you to explicitly let it go and open to a brand new future.

His guided meditation is also very useful in helping you maneuver more deliberately and skillfully between pure consciousness and what you would like to manifest. I’m not sure this exact aspect is intentional but I find it fascinating and surely worth noticing.

My only quibble is that he sometimes uses the word “thought” for consciousness, and I think this can be confusing if not downright misleading. My experience is that the two are very different. (Are you familiar with Eckhart Tolle?!) Still, his explanations supersede this confusion, so I don’t consider this a big problem.

My own ongoing sense with QC (including the method presented here) is that you are not so much fixing something, but actually replacing an old pattern of disease or disharmony with a new, more desirable pattern.

>>> It Works!

Last but not least, I want to report that I already have first-hand experience that what he teaches here works.

And it will amaze you.

I’ve used it successfully with a few different situations in my life; most recently with a back injury. After my first session with the back injury, I was stunned that it was significantly improved (like 80% better?), just in that one session! It was as if it had healed many days’ worth in just that one hour. I felt like a new person, and as you’ll learn, I actually was in many ways!

If I’m stunned after effectively practicing QC since 2007, you will be too. It was nothing short of phenomenal.

My husband has started using the meditation along with me for a chronic health issue he’s had, and even without reading the book he’s also noticed significant improvement.

>>> Highly Recommended!

Get this book. Practice the suggestions he so thoughtfully packaged for you as a meditation at the end, and watch your life situation(s) improve. Spread the word and help humanity move forward. It’s time we all embrace what’s truly possible.

Many many thanks to you, Dr. Joe Dispenza. Your book is a priceless gift.

And thank you to Hay House for publishing this and offering it to me for review. I may not have even noticed this treasure otherwise.

Note: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes and this review reflects my honest evaluation.
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Aug 27, 2014 cmwaugh
Mind over matter research – You are the placebo!

His mantra is “change from the inside out” and he loves quantum physics.

Dr. Joe Dispenza is the author of a new book that I recently reviewed which says it all, You Are The Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter.

Dispenza is a neuroscientist, chiropractor and an expert in brain chemistry.

He has firsthand experience of his own healing work after injuring his spine in a bicycle/car accident that back up his claims for his mind over matter research that has led to his progressive transformational workshops.

I viewed a recent interview he gave about this book to help me absorb the huge body of research and experiments he refers to that validates how we can rewire our brain to heal ourselves or break old habits.

It’s a book about a journey through scientific research Dispenza used, with the assistance of Jeffrey Fannin, Ph.D. and Executive Director of the Center for Cognitive Enhancement, and many others.

His colleagues helped him actually measure brain activity from workshop participants during healing sessions using his advanced meditation program.

The scientists were interested in seeing what was going on in the inner world of the participant’s brain during Dispenza’s special meditation that led him to create the progressive program for personal healing and transformation.

The book is deep, not an easy read and it’s filled with tons of true stories of healing and transformation if that’s what you need to get a reality check of his work.

Reading about EEGs, QEEGs, HRVs, GDVs and everything else that measures the field of energy around our bodies made me wonder what he would see around me – hmmmm, is there a doctor in the house?

(I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. )
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Aug 07, 2014 misslaconti

At first I thought this book would be too scientific to understand, however, it ended up just the opposite. The mix between spirituality and science were very well blended and put into easy to understand terms.

I really enjoyed the success stories that were told in this book. I have read about healings in other books, however, these stories were by far some of the most incredible recoveries I’ve heard of. So after reading about meditation and your state of mind, I decided to give it a try. I had some pain while reading the book so I pretended I took some medication to relieve the pain and it worked. I do not take medicine anymore but my body still knew how to react.

I’m not a big fan of animal testing and in this book there was a lot of that happening. I understand that it serves its purpose to prove that the placebo works as well as how our body can restore itself or hurt itself.

I would recommend this book to someone who it looking to learn and little bit of the science aspect of the placebo. It’s also great to see the spiritual side blend.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Jul 29, 2014 Debbie Woodbury
Mastering the Mind/Body Connection

No one likes to hear, "It's all in your mind." But, what if we have the "biological and neurological machinery" to make ourselves better?

You Are the Placebo, by Dr. Joe Dispenza, isn't about positive thinking or the law of attraction. It's also definitely not about patient blaming.

What it's about is looking at the scientific evidence and exploring the possibility of taking the placebo effect a step further. As Dr. Dispenza asks, What if, instead of believing in a fake pill or treatment to experience a real health benefit, we believed in ourselves?

The book is divided into two parts. Part I (Information) takes you through the science you need to understand the placebo effect and how it works via the mind-body connection to create real, measurable physical changes. I thought I might find this information dense, especially for summer reading. Instead, Dr. Dispenza's gift for explaining complicated concepts made the material interesting and easily understandable.

I was also fascinated by the numerous case studies evidencing the placebo and nocebo effects (when a fake medication or treatment creates negative effects.) Dr. Dispenza relates numerous stories of serious illness and even death resulting from belief in voodoo curses, hexes and misdiagnosis of fatal diseases. Men in their 70's and 80's, who spent five days pretending they were 22 years younger, put down their canes, danced and played football. They even showed measurable, physical improvements, such better eyesight, hearing, and memory, and increased height and finger lengthening as arthritis diminished.

In fact, it was Dr. Dispenza's own story that brought him to this work. After an horrific accident in which he was run over by an SUV, Dr. Dispenza was advised to have surgery (resulting in disability and lifelong pain) or risk paralysis. He chose to forgo surgery and instead accomplished full recovery through the power of his mind.

Part II (Transformation) sets forth the meditation techniques Dr. Dispenza used to heal himself. The first chapter sets forth simple preparation steps and techniques, while the second chapter takes the reader through guided meditations.

You Are the Placebo is the ultimate guidebook to the human experience and how we choose to perceive it. Reading this book convinced me that I can refocus my thoughts, emotions and beliefs to create a new reality. As Dr. Dispenza says, "the ultimate belief is the belief in yourself and in the field of infinite possibilities ... And when wholeness, self-satisfaction, and self-love truly come from within, because you've ventured beyond what you believed was possible and you overcame your own self-imposed limitations, that's when the uncommon occurs."

Don't miss reading this book. If you're willing to open your mind and do the work, it has the ability to change your life.
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Jul 13, 2014 timlarison

You no doubt have heard stories of people being healed from illness by taking miracle drugs, only to find out later the drugs were “placebos” – or harmless sugar pills. How, then, were these people healed? Dr Joe Dispenza explores this phenomenon in his new book, “You Are the Placebo: making your mind matter”.

Dispenza knows what you tell yourself can heal physical maladies. He did it himself! Having experienced a horrific biking accident at age 23 while competing in a triathlon, Dispenza’s prognosis was not good. With six broken vertebrae it was doubtful he would ever walk again. “I decided against the medical model and the expert recommendations,” Dispenza recalls in the first pages of the book. “I believe that there’s an intelligence, an invisible consciousness, within each of us that’s the giver of life. It supports, maintains, protects, and heals us every moment.” The author goes on to explain how he tapped into that intelligence to heal his back, without surgery.

Similar to his first book I read, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dispenza is vulnerable in telling his own story, sharing his doubts and struggles along the way. Dispenza gives accounts of others, too, who healed themselves with positive mental attitude shifts. Is his approach mere pie in the sky optimism? Not a chance, says Dispenza. “None of the methods you’ll read about here involve denying whatever health condition you may presently have,” he writes. “Instead of being about rejecting reality, You Are the Placebo is about projecting what’s possible when you step into a new reality.” Reading Dizpenza’s stories opened my eyes to the power of the mind in healing the body.

As in his first book, Dispenza emphasizes a daily meditation practice to get in touch with the healing intelligence within. He devotes several pages to a meditation technique. I found this part hard to follow. I think it’s difficult to learn how to meditate from a book. In person instruction is much better. But Dispenza’s words did remind me of the value of meditation and encouraged me to continue my practice.

“You Are the Placebo” is a good read if you are going through a health crisis of your own. Perhaps, through a change in attitude, your condition will improve, like the healing stories of those described in the book. Dispenza concludes with a noble goal. “Imagine a world inhabited by billions of people, just like a school of fish, living as one—where everyone is embracing similar uplifting thoughts connected to unlimited possibility,” he writes. You Are the Placebo inspired me to monitor my self talk more carefully, so I too can recognize the “unlimited possibilities” not only in health, but in all areas of my life.

I received a complementary copy of this book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Jul 04, 2014 mindyperkins
You never know what you'll get when one of your favorite author's writes a new book. Will it be the same information, repackaged? Will it divert onto a tangent that fails to hold your interest? Dr. Joe Dispenza's new book, You Are the Placebo , doesn't do either of these or anything else annoying. It takes his theories and messages, reviews them and darts into uncharted territory, lending more depth and creativity and passion to his original foundation. That's not to say that everything in his book was wildly new. The scientific basis remains the same however, I find a review of the scientific information reaffirms it in my brain. So, even within this book, I read those chapters over and over. That being said, I did find myself skimming over most of the introductory chapters and as well as the case studies that are dotted throughout the book. Honestly, I don't find it helpful or entertaining to read about other people's dramas or successes, but I understand why they are included in the book.

And then, about chapter 12, he delivered the most surprising and exciting part: the meditation. Which is a 3 part exercise. The first time I sat down to go through the meditations I have to admit, I wasn't very serious about it. My history with meditation is long and varied. So I plopped down in a chair in the yard and read my way through the exercises. Eyes open...letting the words wash over me like a good fiction book. And by the time I reached the end of the second phase, I had reached a deeper state of meditation than I had in a long time. Entering the realm of all-possibility in the way described in the book is easy and effective. So, I'm quite interested to see what happens when I actually get around to recording the meditations and entering into a proper session.

On the whole, the book is informative, easy to understand and it includes both scholastic study and practical exercises to offer us all the ability to direct and focus the fact that we Are the Placebo.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Jun 10, 2014 KariF
I received You Are The Placebo by Joe Dispenza for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes, and I am so GRATEFUL that I did. The placebo effect is something that I talk about a lot (and think about a lot) because I have seen it work in my life as well as the lives of friends and family.

It took me a long time to read this book even though I was super excited about. I talked about it almost a month ago in a post about our powerful minds. It wasn’t for lack of interest though – it was for lack of time!

This book is one of those books that has the power to change your life. Whether you are suffering from a medical issue or just want to be happier and more fulfilled in your life, You Are The Placebo, I believe, is a book that can help you do that.

The Author Has Been There And Done That

Joe Dispenza has used the placebo effect to heal himself after being run over during a triathlon. (He refers to it as a privilege, and I would say that because it led him into this fascinating career – it was a privilege!) Given a choice to have surgery or face paralysis, Dispenza opted out of the surgery (something that nobody else had done) and essentially used the placebo effect to signal new genes and reorganize cells in his body and, essentially, get stronger and better.

Needless to say paralysis didn’t happen, and he was walking within months after the accident.

Insight After Insight Is In Your Are The Placebo

The insights in this book are continuous. I love a good book that helps me understand things on a deeper level. I was constantly reading various parts to my husband and having discussions with him about the new things I was learning.

You will no longer be able to say, ‘that’s just the way my body is’ after reading this. You will have a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection.

You will learn what the placebo effect really is and how the placebo effect operates in your brain and body.
You will read some amazing stories that demonstrate the power of the placebo effect – both in a positive and negative way.
You will learn how your thoughts affect everything else in your life and have the power to keep you stuck, or, change your life. (This took positive thinking and positive affirmations to a new level for me.)
You will learn what genes are and how they are signaled in the body.
You will learn about the ‘river of change’ which is an insight that helped me get on track to becoming healthier and move past the thoughts that kept me stuck in an unhealthy place. (I actually wrote on my calendar: June – The River Of Change Month!)
You will learn why your attitudes and perceptions affect your personal reality.
You will learn why meditation is so important to changing and creating the life you want.
And so much more.

The examples that Dispenza uses in this book are memorable, to say the least. People all over the world are changing their body, for better or worse, simply through the placebo effect.

Making Science Easy To Understand

I’ve worked at a few different hospitals, and I can attest to people beliefs helping them get better or making them sicker. I’ve seen people get better simply because they had a certain food available to them and I’ve seen people get sick simply because they were told that they were going to get sick. While I knew it was the placebo effect at work, I couldn’t really explain the ‘why’ of it – besides saying things like, “Your mind is powerful!” Dispenza talks about the ‘why’ in great detail, and he does it in a way that is not boring or hard to understand. He has a knack for explaining things clearly.

For instance, he talks about the quantum mind and the quantum field. I assumed that it would be dry and hard to understand, but it’s not. It is fascinating and thought-provoking, and it makes you excited to start opening up to the life that you can have when you move past the physical self and material world.

Dispenza says, “…if you can imagine a particular future event that you want to experience in your life, that reality already exists as a possibility somewhere in the quantum field – beyond this space and time – just waiting for you to observe it.” Because he does such a good job at explaining things from a quantum perspective, and you start to understand that all possibilities exist in this moment, this statement becomes very, very exciting.

The Placebo Effect Ties Into Other Positive Practices

For me, this book tied into the law of attraction (even though that is not specifically what it is about.) It helped me understand why positive affirmations and visualization is so important to attracting or creating the life you want. THAT is exciting for me.

It also tied into the Silva Method that I have been using for a while now. I learned more about the Alpha, Theta, and Delta states of mind, and I really made the connection as to why our states of mind determine our health, ability to heal, and ability to manifest the life we want.

The book ends with a meditation that will help you use the placebo effect to its full advantage. He does write out the meditation for you to read and record for yourself, but if you want the actual meditation from him, you have to buy it from his site. It cost about $10 for the hour long meditation, which isn’t bad, but I personally believe that anyone who buys the book should get the meditation for free – considering it is a meditation that is a companion to You Are The Placebo.

Looking at You Are The Placebo on Amazon, it is clear to see that this book is striking a positive cord with people. The reviews are outstanding, and lives are being touched. I can only hope that everyone starts to read and apply the messages in this book, because everyone’s life (and our world) would be a better place for it.
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Jun 02, 2014 artlovelight
‘The Secret’ For Pragmatists

For everyone who thought The Secret wasn’t scientific - You are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza is your ‘secret’! Exploring medical miracles – and the science behind them, this tome shows you how your own mental state can impact your health and recovery.

How to Create a ‘Medical Miracle’
It’s incredibly dense, packed with readable and interesting studies and scientific explanations. And it definitely falls on the side of science: this is a contemporary healing book of facts! Dr. Dispenza doesn’t believe in medical miracles – what he shows us is how our beliefs can create apparent miracles – and how these ‘miracles’ follow the laws of the universe, science, and physics. There’s no such thing as magic!

The Placebo Effect is All In Your Head
I was just reading 4 things you didn’t know about Seasonal Allergies on, and this stood out to me: “Placebos work really well for allergies,” Mitchell Grayson said. “The placebo effect is around 20-to-40 percent.” This book explores how to achieve that placebo success for yourself.

One of the things I really respected about You are the Placebo is that Dr. Dispenza doesn’t talk about the ethics of tricking someone into believing they are taking medicine – this is all about your own self, your own suggestibility and programming.

Meditation and The Cutting Edge of Thought
Most of us are not on the cutting edge of medicine and thought. And so we don’t see how practical spiritual practices such as medicine fundamentally impact our bodies – instead, it all seems a little woo. This solid, substantial book marries what adepts know about the power of the mind, with what science knows about the human brain’s plasticity. Dispenza includes a meditation that you can record for yourself, and you can also purchase the pre-recorded guided meditations as well.

This is an invaluable book for deep thinkers!
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Jun 02, 2014 Eleven11
This was a fascinating and excellent read on the power of the mind.
The author first provides tons of mind blowing real cases that prove beyond the shadow of any doubt (at least for me, it did) the power that our thoughts and our beliefs carry and how they affect our bodies.
The author then gives the reader exercises and tools to begin to use this information on purpose.
As a man believes in his heart, so is he. This book proves it. A fascinating read and time richly spent.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book free from HayHouse in exchange for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.
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