You are the Placebo –Dr Joe Dispenza
This is a review of the book ‘You are the placebo’ by Dr Joe Dispenza. I will talk you through the various sections and chapters, giving you an idea of the types of subjects that are discussed and will finish off with some information on how I came across it and how it’s helped me.
I would like to point out here that this book is incredibly detailed and very heavy with science including some quantum physics. The detail it goes into is exceptional, but it can also make hard reading, especially if you have a chronic health condition that impacts on your ability to focus and read. I personally have read the book twice as it took me so long to read, that when I finished it I had to read it again to get my head around it all! (I am starting it a third time as it still hasn’t sunk in!) Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing book and loved reading it, but there is SO much information that it can really be confusing if you are not feeling 100% and are trying to read!
As the book is so detailed and complex I have tried to keep the review as simple as possible and have avoided going into any science stuff! If the review leaves you feeling like it’s too complex then I would suggest not giving not giving the book a read for now as the book is so heavy with details!
If you are unsure then I recommend going onto amazon and downloading a sample of the book so that you can have a read of the first chapter or so and see what you think. You don’t have to have a kindle to read books from the amazon site; you can download the kindle app (onto your tablet, phone or computer) and read it via the app. The sample doesn’t cost – it’s normally a chapter or two and it’s enough to give you an idea of whether you like the book or not.
The book is split into two sections; Part one is ‘Information’ and part two is ‘Transformation’. The information part teaches you all about how the placebo effect works, a bit of history about the subject, how the brain can be tricked into thinking something that’s not actual, how attitudes, beliefs and perceptions can impact on how we behave and see things; it discusses quantum physics and how it relates to the mind. It tells you three success stories and gives you the base information of how to prepare for the transformation.
The transformation part explains about mediation, how it works, how to do it and what happens with your brain when you do meditation. It also has a chapter that walks you through an actual mediation – you can download a copy of this audio meditation from Dr Joe Dispenza’s website (It does cost but it’s not very expensive) or you can record yourself (or someone else) reading the script of the meditation and use that to listen to instead.
It has a total of twelve chapters and at the end there is information about the author and details for the studies and research that is cited/ referred to within the book.
Chapter By Chapter
Preface / Introduction
Before the book begins its chapters, in the preface you are told the story of how Dr Joe Dispenza came to be the man he is today. It explains how a serious car accident was what led him to energy work, meditation, science, and quantum physics and of course – writing this book. The introduction gives you an outline of what the book is about, how to use it and what the book ISN’T about!
(Chapters 1 – 10)
Chapter One; This chapter is one of the most exciting first chapters I have ever read in a book, because it’s full of information about placebo studies. It tells the story of a man who overdosed on placebo drugs – displaying all the symptoms of an overdose, except the tablets he took were merely sugar pills!!! It tells of heart surgery that never happened (where the patients STILL showed a 67% improvement!) and a story of a man incredibly sick from a voodoo curse was cured by the doctor preforming a ‘un-doing voodoo!’ All the research and studies that are mentioned in this book are cited at the end so you can source and read the full articles if you want to.
Chapter Two ; This chapter looks at the history of the placebo and the various types of ‘placebo’, such as hypnotism magnetism and the ‘Nocebo’. It tells of how research over the years has adapted original theories, how theories have changed, the meeting of Western and Eastern medicine and how neurobiology comes into play with the placebo.
Chapter Three is where things really start to get thick with science as it begins to look at the placebo effect in the brain. It talks about conditioning, how our brain works (and how thoughts are made), and the definition of thoughts and feelings.
Chapter Four looks at how the placebo effect impacts on the body; it also explains about DNA, genes and epigenetics and how stress and negative emotions affect the body and impact on DNA/ genes.
Chapter Five is about how thoughts change the brain and the body. It gives examples of how people have used the power of their mind (thinking, imagining) in order to physically achieve things that they desire – this is called mental rehearsal. It also touches on how the brain does this, what happens when this happens and how intention and emotions can turbo charge this process.
Chapter Six discusses suggestibility – when something is suggested to a person and whether they take it up. One of the most common types of suggestibility would be hypnosis. This chapter looks at suggestibility and how it works. It’s another very technical chapter and it looks at how acceptance, belief and surrender all impact on a person’s suggestibility. It also looks in great detail at the subconscious mind and how to access it.
Chapter Seven – This section looks at attitudes, beliefs and perceptions – where they come from and how they affect us. It also looks at how the environment and your perception can impact on them.
Chapter Eight is titled the quantum mind as is where your mind will likely be blown (if it hasn’t already!). It gives a little bit of background on the subject and where ‘reality’ and ideas about what it means originally came from and where it stands today. It looks at energy and how it is defined in quantum terms and how being ill (with disease) impacts on the type of energy that you receive.
Chapter Nine tells three stories of people who have put energy work (like what Dr Dispenza teaches) into practice and as a result have been able to completely change their life!
This is where it starts to give you the information you need in order to start the transformation. Everything you have read up until this point will have been giving you the knowledge and understanding to put into practice techniques that will enable you to be the placebo and change your health/ life.
– (Chapters 11 – 12)
Chapter Eleven;This is the ‘transformation’ section, where you learn in depth about meditation, how to do it effectively, for how long, at what time and what happens to the body.
Chapter Twelve is changing beliefs and perceptions: Meditation. This is the final chapter of the book where you are talked though a guided meditation. If you have purchased the audio download or CD with this on, this is when you would listen to it. I personally didn’t read through the meditation – I listened to it as I found it easier.
Afterword; the book finishes with some final words from Dr Joe Dispenza wihc is then followed by an appendix which has the script for the guided meditation. It’s followed by end notes where you can find the referencing for all of the studies, research and information cited throughout the book.
My Personal Experience
I bought this book after it was recommended to me by my friend Emily who I originally met via a Facebook health group. I can honestly say that it’s one of the most fascinating and amazing books that I have ever read and I was blown away by it. I struggled a little with getting into it at times and understanding it, especially on days when I wasn’t feeling fully alert. I thought it was really well written and I loved how it was backed by lots of research – I think that’s the nerdy Psychologist within me (I did my BSc Honours in Psychology!!). I think the only down side with it is that some people might find it too ‘deep’ and a bit heavy to read. It does ease into the sciencey stuff and it gives lots of examples which help to give you a better understanding. The one down side that I found a tad annoying was that the audio Meditation that accompanies this book is paid for separately, meaning in order to follow the meditation you had to buy a copy. It does give the script so that you can record yourself reading it out, but really – who has time to do that?!. I also hate to say it, but I found Dr Joe Dispenza’s voice grated on me a bit and I found it hard to get into the meditation. It might not be a problem for some people but I often find if a person’s voice grates on me, I can’t listen to the audio. I have however found other guided meditation audios that I can listen to so It’s not such a big deal.
I was going to give this book 4 out of 5 but then I decided that nope, its definitely worth a whole 5 stars! You see I was going to deduct a star for the fact that some people might find it hard to read as it is so science based, but I have since discovered that you can buy the book on audio download and have it read to you! Yay! I wish I had known this before – I may even go and buy the audio book because I am in the process of trying to read this book a third time (as its still not quite sunk in!).
Other Useful Books
If you liked this book review, you may be interested in my other book reviews on similar books, such as You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, How To Heal Your Life When No One Else Can by Amy B. Scher.