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Showing 1-10 of 634 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 710 reviews
on May 25, 2014
Dr. Joe Dispenza’s most recent work, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter, is the perfect follow-on to his earlier work, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. Those who have studied the rationale and practiced the procedures discussed in Breaking the Habit (as I have done) will find this latest volume offers even more clarity about how to “fine tune” meditative sessions, so that practitioners can change themselves in significant and lasting ways.

You Are the Placebo recounts compelling stories of people who have healed themselves – and remained healthy, by following a mindset focused on possibilities, rather than obstacles and problems. They didn’t allow the opinion of others – “professional” or otherwise – to short-circuit the beliefs they held and in many cases, felt intuitively about healing.

Dr. Joe’s process in part involves “open focus” – closing one’s eyes, taking attention from the outer world and placing it on the space around us in a way that removes considerations about the material world, allowing us to…not think. Transport yourself to the present moment, moving your intention and thus your energy to a place beyond time and thought. Allow your brain, the central nervous system, and the rest of your body to begin working together, becoming more balanced and integrated.

Instead of a linear, material world of limited potential (mostly because we keep responding to new events in the same conditioned, often unproductive ways), it is possible to enter the “quantum field” of unlimited possibility existing beyond space and time. In breaking the habit of being our old selves, we can begin to shape a new and more productive physical and emotional reality.

In current brain research, the evolving science of neuroplasticity confirms that our brains are capable of change and improvement to an advanced age, via the construction of new neural pathways or synapses. It is becoming increasingly evident that the quality of how and what we think can go a long ways toward keeping us healthy – or making us sick.

So often in life, those who are adept at helping others heal have had to go through their own baptism of fire first. In the first section of You Are The Placebo, Dr. Joe discusses what many would call – at the very least - a miraculous recovery, after he suffered severe spinal injuries when struck by an SUV while cycling in a triathlon. How he fashioned – from the inside out – the philosophy and practice that led him, against the odds to a place of optimum health, presents a powerful and informative read.

Fifteen months ago, for over six weeks, a ruptured disc placed me in the most excruciating, unremitting pain I’ve ever experienced. A specialist told me “The only option for you is spinal fusion”. A prescribed medicinal pain patch – dialed down in potency by 75% at the pharmacy before it was filled – still literally almost killed me. The healing chiropractic work Dr. Joe performed at his clinic, along with my own meditation, following the very practices described in this book, enabled me to achieve a full recovery without surgery –in the process leaving behind a number of my old self’s limiting habits.

I have also come to feel the incredible power and serenity that the simple act of expressing gratitude on a daily basis has brought into my life. We’ve all heard about the importance of expressing it after something helpful has happened. Before meeting Dr. Joe, I had never heard anyone recommend being grateful beforehand. Try it and see what you think.

One very powerful aspect of his work involves the recognition that all of our behaviors begin first as thoughts. You think about a previous experience involving sadness, fear or anger. Soon your brain begins to respond by interpreting that emotion from the record of your past, leading to physical changes. With the body fully involved, you act out that emotion, which through time can become a temperament, even a personality. With your emotions driving your thoughts, you simply create more of your past. The result is a predictable, repetitive linear path, not unlike scenes from the movie Groundhog Day.

Dr. Joe teaches you how to turn off this destructive thinking before the body can begin to act upon it. Eventually it can be left behind altogether, as a brighter future is brought into being with the help of new responses fashioned by and for yourself.

If our thoughts truly create our reality – or at the very least have a major impact on its formation, then an understanding and practice of the techniques fully discussed in this book can provide actionable advice leading to profound levels of personal transformation. As Dr. Joe says, in his Introduction about examples of the self-healing he later discusses, “…you don’t have to be a monk or nun, a scholar, or a spiritual leader to accomplish similar feats.”

My own experience in studying and practicing what Dr. Joe discusses in You Are The Placebo leads me without hesitation to recommend his work to anyone who desires to bring about systemic change in their lives, and who is willing to spend a bit of time and self-discipline to do so. Break the habit of being yourself –by yourself - and my guess is you’ll conclude that continuing to invoke the old ways of responding to things no longer deserves to play a role in your present – or your future.
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on May 1, 2014
I have both the author's prior books and his "Breaking the Habit" book is one of my all-time favorite books. (This is from someone with well over 700 books on my bedroom shelves and many others on my kindle.) Having said that, initially I wasn't all that interested in this book. I was familiar with the premise, but I thought it would be geared to people with serious illnesses or health problems, and I'm mostly healthy. I've been working with his meditations though, so I decided I might as well order the book on kindle and see what it was like. I'm so glad I did! I'm going to have to add it to my short list of favorite books.

Yes, I think this book can be very beneficial for people with serious health concerns, but I think it can be equally beneficial for people without them. Basically, this book is for anyone who wants to change some aspect of their life. Does that apply to anyone you know?

This is a practical book. It discusses things in easy-to-understand language and gives exercises and tools that people can easily use. It is backed by science -- both as a combination of research and empirical evidence. Neuroscience is certainly heady stuff, but Dr. Joe breaks it down in very clear explanations with the clever use of analogies that help you understand how these complex biological mechanisms work. Once you understand better why or how it works, it opens the door for you to believe it can work, and all the many examples in this book show the amazing things that happen once you believe it's possible.

This isn't a self improvement or self help book. Saying that just doesn't adequately capture it. This book is about transforming your life. I've been doing some of Dr. Joe's prior work, and I just picked up the new Meditation 1 that goes with this book. I can definitely say that even in the short time (about 3 weeks) that I've renewed my daily meditation practice, I can see a noticeable improvement in my life. I am happier, calmer, and generally more positive. I can't wait to wake up in the mornings, so I can do my meditation. And if I can see that amount of change in 3 weeks, I'm excited about what continued practice can bring.
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on March 13, 2016
This book has some good, some bad, and some really hard self advertising that I find suspect. This is the LONGEST review I've ever written because of it..
1. He uses a lot of studies to point out his hypothesis that we can re-make our very DNA by turning on good DNA genes and turning OFF the bad genes. He states that people got well BECAUSE they turned on the god-good-genes, not only because they just believed a (placebo) would make them well. Most of the book revolves around this hypothesis.
2. The book is filled with stories of those who got well against all odds. Also supporting his hypothesis.
3. The stories influence you to imagine/think/believe that whatever you have can be changed, healed and rectified just by turning on the genes that HEAL and make whatever proteins etc are needed by the body to do that. Of course, the ones doing the 'damage' need to turn off.

1. He misquotes a lot of studies to squeeze HIS hypothesis into them and prove himself right. NOT very scientific.
2. He imagines himself to be a scientist, epigeneticist etc but has only read other studies and shows absolutely NO understanding of the SCIENCE itself nor what epigenetics etc TRULY is--outside of the 'new age' blather that so many try to MAKE it mean.
3. He flagrantly self aggrandizes HIMSELF to the point where I nearly RETCH. EVERY healed person of course took all his ADVANCED workshops ($$$$$).
*****I found the diagnosis of these patients suspect since the woman who had polyostic dysplasia was not diagnosed until ADULTHOOD when this is a genetic disease diagnosed in CHILDHOOD--esp. poly type (more than one bone). Someone with this would not ave been a runner/weightlifter etc PRIOR--it would not suddenly manifest. Her 'pee in a cup' was ? as this disease is monitored by BLOOD and bone tests. "Bonnie' lost 2L blood/mo" w/menses--hey, we have 5 L=nearly HALF her blood each month and she never got a transfusion??? Right!!@#The BRAIN MAPPING guy, Jeffry Fannin Phd? He is NOT licensed as a brain mapper, "foremost in his field"--he was reprimanded by Arizona Board as NOT being a licensed psychologist (his Phd) :"Board members’ asked Dr. Fannin if he is currently certified to practice brain mapping. Dr. Fannin responded stating that he is no longer certified and stated that his website is not up to date regarding his certification status. Board members questioned Dr. Fannin as to whether he provides diagnoses. Dr. Fannin responded stating that he provides information regarding brainmapping and neurofeedback only."-taken from minutes of the Board meeting in 2012. The 'ecstasy' EEG's are filled with movement (eye, body, muscle...) (artifact=false spikes).
4. HE TOTALLY EXAGGERATES NOT ONLY HIS 'EXPERTS' BUT ALSO HIS WORKSHOP ILLNESS RECOVERIES. The woman with MS who walked again? Well--relapsing-remitting MS does this as many MS patients will tell you! Hashimotos thyroiditis etc labs waver UP and Down normally! what he quotes is ridiculous and has nothing to do w'cured'. NO doc would declare someone cured by lab values!
5. The CURED take ALL HIS MANY WORKSHOPS of course. This the ultimate egotistical way to take a 'new age' warp on true emerging SCIENCE, twist it into something really gullible people would PAY HIM FOR--then publish lots of books that mention al his other books, workshops etc and GET RICH.
6.The term epigenetics: A consensus definition of the concept of epigenetic trait as "stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence" was formulated in 2008. He takes this into fu-fu land when he says that our minds can turn on/off genes in us, using these studies to 'prove' it. MIND IS POWERFUL, YES. But, He goes too far when he twists words and studies to fit his hypothesis.
***I am a cancer survivor--and I dug DEEP to clean out, inner work/outer work, changed diet, mind etc and BELIEVE IN MIND-BODY MEDICINE. I do NOT--however--believe in those who CASH IN on people by telling them that those who got well were THEIR DOING, placing themselves above all others as THE Teacher to help you heal yourself. I'm also a medical doc (retired) so could READ and understand the studies he used as 'proof'.
I FIND THIS EXAGGERATION of facts, blatant throughout the book--OVER THE LINE.
I find self aggrandizement unethical and a sign of POOR character--not a spiritually ADVANCED Teacher.

So, summary?
I got some insights into mind/body medicine from this and have read many of the studies used in his bibliography to see what they REALLY said. Many are old studies too. So-kindle version was worth the $ but I'd not pay 17.00 for this. I bought a used book and read the kindle from the library.( The kindle has some study links for the bibliography)
**side note update: I also find all the 5 star glowing reviews that go on and on about HIM exactly what happens when someone starts a 'path' and places themselves atop dat mountain folks! Amazon is FLOODED with 5-star reviews for him and we who do not fall at the feet--get long diatribe 'comments' that prove my point as well. TAKE THE GOOD, LEAVE THE HYPE!
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on July 17, 2014
You are The Placebo
Dr. Joe Dispenza
A funny thing happened on the way to a deterministic model of biology. It was to be derailed by an ambitious international endeavor called the Human Genome Project, launched in 1990 and funded by the United States government. The Human Genome Project was based on the assumption that genes determine our destiny. Its mission was to map the entire human genome. Since genes construct proteins, and there are about 140, 000 proteins, it was reasoned, that there should also be about 140,000 genes as counterparts. Thirteen years later the project ended in a whimper. As it turned out, the project discovered about 23,000 genes, the same number as the lowly round worm. It took biologist more than 100 years to recognize what physicist had discovered with the advent of quantum theory at the beginning of the twentieth century--nature is indeterminate. No one to one correspondence exists between genes and their expression. We are not the sum of our parts. The Human Genome Project effectively ended the era of genetic determinism and the philosophy of genocentrism.

The decade of the 1990s opened up the fields of epigenetics and neuroplasticity as serious disciplines of study for neuroscientists, while at the same time, the concept of self-directed neuroplasticity (SDN) has democratized these disciplines, giving everyone the power to select their own gene expressions from a vast pool of possibilities. Not only has it been shown that we can change the architecture of the brain with our minds, but it now appears that our entire physical make-up, our gene expression, is subject to moment-by-moment feedback from the environment. Eric Kandel's Nobel prizing winning work demonstrated that seventy-five to eighty-five percent of our genes are not static, but are responsive to the environment, and many of these regulatory genes, which control hundreds of other genes, can be turned on and off by our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs in just minutes, thereby, explaining many miraculous examples of healings in the literature.

About one-third of the population responds to placebos in whatever form they manifest, from sugar pills, to voodoo, to sham surgeries, or injections of saline solutions. Joe Dispenza asked the obvious question. If placebos are inert substances or practices having no causal effect, what is curing these people of disease? The answer had to be that these curative effects were coming from the patient's own thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. If this is in fact the case, the next question is how can we change our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to live a healthy life? Our task, Dispenza says, is to make our inner thoughts more real than our outer environment. If we are able to do this repetitively, it is possible to change our body by activating new genes to produce epigenetic changes. Dispenza states:

"In our minds, we are picking a different future potential and hoping, anticipating, and expecting that we'll get that different result. If we emotionally accept and then embrace that new outcome we've selected and the intensity of our emotions is great enough, our brains and our bodies won't know the difference between imagining that we've changed our state of being to being pain-free and the actual event that cause the change to a new state of being. To the brain and the body, they are all the same."

If enough emotion accompanies our imagined new state of being, the brain fires the same circuitry as if the event happens in reality. In cases in which a patient receives a placebo rather than a proven efficacious drug, the patient will often get the same benefits from the internal pharmacy of the body, as if she/he had taken the pharmaceutical.

When we have thoughts, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and acetylcholine are produced in the brain. At the synapse they exist in a quantum superposition of states of fire/no fire. When a critical potential is reached the neurotransmitters cross the synaptic gap, creating an electrical discharge of information. Neurons that fire together wire together, and as a result, our brains architecture creates physical evidence of what has been learned. Thinking the same thoughts or repetitiously practicing athletic skills, for example, enhance the number of connections making the pathways automatic. When large bundles of neurons fire together, a protein within the nerve cell is created that travels to the nucleus of the nerve cell where it interacts with the DNA. This protein switches on genes that, in turn, create proteins that construct new branching connections between the neurons. As a result, repetition not only strengthens connects but generates new connections.

In addition to the neurotransmitters produced when thoughts occur, protein neuropeptides are produced and interpreted by our brain and body as emotions. When the brain senses the chemicals of the emotion, it generates similar thoughts that produce more of the neuropeptide in a complementary loop. This further hardwires the subconscious brain making it difficult to break out of the loop. The neurotransmitters and the neuropeptide chemicals of emotion latch on to specific receptor sites on the cell wall throughout the body and the electromagnetic code of the messenger molecule is read creating or altering a new protein that travels to the nucleus of the cell and activates the DNA. The DNA is unzipped and transcribed by the RNA, which then travels outside of the nucleus to the Ribosome, where a new protein, such as a hormone, is produced and released into the body. Dispenza writes:

"You can think positively all you want, but that 5 percent of your mind that's conscious will feel as if it's swimming upstream against the current of the other 95 percent of your mind--your unconscious body chemistry that has been remembering and memorizing whatever negativity you've been harboring for the past 35 years; that's mind and body working in opposition. No wonder you don't get very far when you try to fight that current!"

Yet, somehow taking a placebo is able to change all of this in a moment. The key, of course, is not the placebo but the three key components of conditioning, expectation, and meaning in addition to the emotional qualities of acceptance, belief, and surrender.

Ernest Rossi, Ph.D. writes in The Psychobiology of Gene Expression: "...While the process of genetic evolution can take thousands of years, a gene can successfully alter its expression through a behavior change or a novel experience within minutes, and then it may be passed on to the next generation." (qtd. in Dispenza, 86)

If you practice focused attention your physical brain will change by creating new pathways and connections and as a result will produce the chemical signals that can change your body. Research has shown that focusing attention on skills such as playing piano or shooting basketballs have nearly the same positive results as physically practicing these skills. The more you rehearse a desire or an outcome of a future event, the more changes take place in the brain wiring and the neural chemicals. Your thoughts become the placebo.

"If you bring up the emotion of gratitude before the actual event, your body and the unconscious mind will begin to believe that the future event has already happened--or is happening to you in the present moment. Gratitude, therefore, is the ultimate state of receivership."

This quote precisely mirrors aspects of the Buddhists' idea of gratitude. If one has gratitude, it is as if the end result has already happened. It doesn't matter how it will happen, only that it will. Trying to analyze how it will happen, incorporates the analytical mind, which is the faster and shorter Beta wave state of the brain, in effect, collapsing the wave function and destroying the many possibilities involved in meaning. If we can calm ourselves and drop down into the Alpha brain wave state, in which we become unplugged from the body, environment, and time, we become more suggestible, and at the same time, it lowers the volume of the brain circuitry, especially the analytical mind. The slower brain wave states of alpha and theta gets us closer to timelessness and maintains the integrity of the experiment from the beginning to end, thereby conserving meaning. So, the important thing is to envision what you are trying to achieve without forcing the situation. Having gratitude is to surrender your ego and to simply believe, and allow, that your autonomic nervous system is in control in all of its wisdom.

To summarize Dispenza's wonderful book, our genes are mutable. They are subject to change by our thoughts and emotions on a moment-by-moment basis. To change our situation, it is not necessary in most cases to take a drug or for that matter a placebo, because we, our thoughts and our emotions, are the placebo. By eliciting the placebo response we are opening the door to our bodies own pharmaceutical warehouse. Our genes do not determine our destiny; rather, through SDN, self-directed neuroplasticity, we are in control, not by forcing an outcome, but by simply envisioning an outcome, silencing our egos, expressing the emotions of gratitude, and allowing our autonomic system to create our new destiny.

Dispenza's book, "You Are The Placebo" is top on my list of recommendations and has contributed considerably to my understanding of the nature of reality.

This book review by David Kreiter, author of "Confronting the Quantum Enigma: Albert, Niels, and John. (Amazon)
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on June 26, 2015
 Dr. Joe Dispenza's question: What if we didn't need something *outside* of ourselves to trigger the benefits of the placebo effect?

This book is his answer to that question. Quite simply, you don't need something outside yourself--just a firm belief in the possibilities matched with an equally strong resolve to do the work to create the conditions for change.

One of my favorite quotes from the book: "A new personality ultimately creates a new personal reality." ~ Dr. Joe Dispenza

5 Big Ideas from the book:

1. The New You - It's time to say, "Hi!"
2. The River of Change - Let's cross it.
3. Epigenetic Engineer - That's you!
4. Mental Rehearsal - Is a key practice.
5. Gratitude - For things to come.

In short: You are the placebo

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on July 24, 2014
This book came to me serendipitously and I've learned to listen to those moments, which is what I did when I went ahead and purchased this book. I've been doing a lot of research and soul searching on the topic of health and the mind-body connection, so, when I saw this book, I was anxious to read what Mr. Dispenza had to say.

First of all, it does have a lot of really great information and Mr. Dispenza is very knowledgeable on this subject. The stories of individuals who overcame some of the most debilitating health issues by the power of their mind are very inspiring. Many stories are told about studies where placebos were given instead of the medication and the placebos worked just as well or better than the medications. So, how do we get into a mindset to where we can use that placebo effect without actually taking a placebo?

As I said, the stories were great and I could follow along easily. Where the book lost me was in the technical/scientific/medical explanations. They were way over my head of comprehension; therefore, I ended up speed reading through most of it, which is a good part of the book. It's good information if you're able to understand it. Overall, what I took from it is that our thoughts and feelings do affect the brain.

The process he uses includes meditation, which is a huge part of his process. He recommends meditating with his suggested words for 45 minutes to an hour a day. If you are not a meditator or are not interested in meditating, then you might miss out on the the full impact of this book. You'll be left feeling disappointed because you had expected something a little easier.

Again, this book is filled with great information and in hindsight, I'm glad I read it. I don't think I would pay the price for it again, though, for what I got out of it. If you're able to understand the technical explanations, and you want to meditate, or if you plan on attending any of his seminars, then this is a great book to read. If not, it may be a disappointment.
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on May 12, 2014
Dr Joe does a good job of explaining the science behind the placebo effect and why we are the placebo. I followed up on some of his research and found others have mapped changes in the brain and biology with the same basic results. Dr Fabrizio Benedetti has very interesting research in what he calls placebo effects. He has found more than one. Dr Joe 's book talks about both the conscious and unconscious as well. Another neuroscientist Dr Sirini Pillay maps the brain functions to the LOA. Science and woo-woo are merging.
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on March 11, 2017
This book really makes you look at things in a very different way. How much control do we really have? I believe it is much more than we think and/or are led to believe. I have had some interesting experiences during and after reading this book, and I really feel there is a lot of merit to this concept, if one chooses to believe it. We all make choices about our beliefs every single day. I now choose a different paradigm, and I feel better for it. Highly recommend reading this book, then choose for yourself. One can always take the pieces that work for them and leave the rest. I don't believe everything is all or nothing.
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on May 17, 2014
You Are the Placebo is one of those books you wish every one you know— actually, everyone who can read, would. Even if every reader isn't immediately inspired to take the next step for themselves, the just the knowledge seeds planted will help grow positive potential. Yet, we must begin with ourselves regardless of everyone else.

Initially, it may seem like this book is targeting people who suffer from serious medical pathologies. Yet once you immerse yourself in what Joe is really explaining, and other subject examples in the second half of the book, this book is about every one of us. We all have limiting beliefs running our physiology that no longer serve our highest potential.

The floodgates are now open to the science and realtime human experience regarding epigenetics, neuroplasticity, and quantum theory. Cutting-edge scientists and practitioners like Joe Dispenza, Bruce Lipton, Deepak Chopra, and many others are translating this information in language the "average" person can grasp, offering life-changing practices anyone can implement for the cost of a book. This book is a perfect example.

As an experienced holistic movement and life guide, You Are the Placebo offers more inspiration and tools to continue evolving both my vocation, and my Self. Thank you Dr. Joe!
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on September 5, 2015
Dr. Joe Dispenza found himself wondering "Do people really need a pill or injection to change their state of being? Can we teach people to accomplish the same thing by teaching them how the placebo works?
In the earlier chapters we find some incredible stories demonstrating the amazing power of the human mind. In a nutshell he has discovered that the moment someone starts getting a clear intention of a new future, such as wanting to live without pain or disease, and then combining the thought with heightened emotion, such as excitement, hope, and anticipation of actually living without pain or disease, is the moment the body is no longer in the past. The body is living in that new future because the body doesn't know the difference between an emotion created by an actual experience and one created by th ought alone. So that heightened state of emotion in response to the new thought is a vital component of this process. Challenging
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