You Are The Placebo - Dr Joe Dispenza

You Are The Placebo - Dr Joe Dispenza

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes

You Are The Placebo

“The incredible results I’ve seen in the advanced workshops I offer and all the scientific data that has come out of that have led me to the idea of the placebo: how people can take a sugar pill or get a saline injection and then their belief in something outside of themselves makes them get better."

"I began to ask myself, ‘What if people begin to believe in themselves instead of something outside of themselves? What if they believe that they can change something inside of them and move themselves to the same state of being as someone who’s taking a placebo?"

"Isn’t that what our workshop participant’s  have been doing in order to get better? 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 really works?"

"And that’s really what this book is about: empowering you to realize that you have all the biological and neurological machinery to do exactly that. My goal is to demystify these concepts within the new science of the way things really are so that it is within the reach of more people to change their internal states in order to create positive changes in their health and in their external world."

"If that sounds be true too amazing to be true, then as I’ve said, toward the end of the book you’ll see some of the research compiled from our workshops to show you exactly how it’s possible.”


  • The Placebo is a proven scientific fact!
  • When you give someone a sugar pill they believe will help them heal their ails it sometimes actually works..  
  • Very interesting fact..   What does it mean?

"As Cousins said of placebos back in 1979 the process works not because of any magic in the tablet, but because the human body is its own best apothecary and because the most successful prescriptions are filled by the body itself." 

The most successful prescriptions are filled by the body itself!


  • I really liked this book because of all the tangible evidence..  
  • Quite often with books talking about the brain and the subconscious mind you kind of have to 'take it as gospel' because there isn't much evidence!
  • But Dr. Joe has given workshops for quite some time now and shares quite a few pieces of extraordinary evidence in the book!


Personal Reality

“If this is your personality then your personality creates your personal reality. It’s that simple."

"And your personality is made up of how you think, how you act, and how you feel. So the present personality who is reading this page has created the present reality called your life; and that also means that if you want to create a new personal reality—a new life—then you have to begin to examine or think about the thoughts you’ve been thinking and change them."

"You must become conscious of the unconscious behaviors you’ve been choosing to demonstrate that have led to the same experiences, and then you must make new choices, take new actions, and create new experiences.”


Made of up how you think, act and feel.

Personality creates personal reality through those actions.

  • Thinking
  • Feeling
  • Acting 

So it's obvious then that if you want to change your reality or your external experience of reality.. You need to change your personality!  

  • “When you learn new things and begin to think in new ways, you are making your brain fire in different sequences, patterns and combinations." 
  • "That is, you are activating many diverse networks of neurons in different ways. And whenever you make your brain work differently, you’re changing your mind."
  • "As you begin to think outside the box, new thoughts should lead to new choices, new behaviors, new experiences and new emotions. Now your identity is also changing.”

Conscious of The Unconscious 

How aware are you of your thoughts?

How aware are you of your emotions?

How aware are you of your actions?

Becoming aware of these things is the first steps in the change process..  First you have to be aware of what you're doing and why!  (We'll talk more about that later)

The Unknown

“Crossing the river of change requires that you leave the same familiar predictable self— connected to the same thoughts, same choices, same behaviors, and same feelings—and step into a void of the unknown."

"The gap between the old self and the new self is the biological death of your old personality."

"If the old self must die, then you have to create a new self with new thoughts, new choices, new behaviors, and new emotions."

"Entering this river is stepping toward a new unpredictable, unfamiliar self."

"The unknown is the only place where you can create—you cannot create anything new from the known.”

Fear of The Unknown

The unknown is uncomfortable..  

When we're trying to create a new identity we're moving into the unknown!  

It doesn't feel normal because it isn't normal..  We aren't being our selves.

Joe uses the analogy of crossing the river

Crossing The River

This is what we'll need to cross when we're attempting the create a new personality..

  • Remember your personality leads to your personal reality
  • Creating a new personality is the first step to change

“Some people call this experience the dark night of the soul. It’s the phoenix igniting itself and burning to ashes. The old self has to die for a new one to be reborn. Of course that feels uncomfortable!”

Most people feel the discomfort of change..  And immediately go back to their old ways!

  • But if we don't get comfortable crossing the river how can we make real change?
  • Very interesting the analogy of the phoenix because it really is kind of like a death..

• The death of your old thoughts

• The death of your old actions

• The death of your old emotions


“The word epigenetics literally means “above the genes.” It refers to the control of genes not from within the DNA itself but from messages coming from outside the cell—in other words, from the environment..."

"Epigenetics teaches that we, indeed, are not doomed by our genes and that a change in human consciousness can produce physical changes, both in structure and function, in the human body."

"We can modify our genetic destiny by turning on the genes we want and turning off the ones we don’t want through working with the various factors in the environment that program our genes."

"Some of those signals come from within the body, such as feelings and thoughts, while others come from the body’s response to the external environment, such as pollution or sunlight..."

"Epigenetics suggests that even though our DNA code never changes, thousands of combinations, sequences, and patterned variations in a single gene are possible (just as thousands of combinations, sequences, and patterns of neural networks are possible in the brain).”

Changing Your Genes

Epigenetics is the ability for our DNA to change as a response to our environment..  

  • Think about twins..
  • Do they look the same at 50 as they do at 5? 
  • That's the power of Epigenetics

Before reading this book I didn't realize that our thoughts, emotions and actions are part of that environment!

  • Literally thinking a thought can change your genetic code!
  • That genetic code is responsible for everything that is 'you'..

Change in an Instant

The example of the twins shows us what might happen over decades and decades of different choices..  

But what if you could change in an instant?

Joe talks about one of his workshops where they taught meditation for four days..  

  • Then the people went home and meditated for 5 of 7 days of the week..  
  • A month later they came back and measured their telomere length..
  • Those people had up to 10% increase in telomere length!

*Not exactly an instant..  But for 10% increase in lifespan it sure isn't a big investment!


“This is possible through mental rehearsal. This technique is basically closing your eyes and repeatedly imagining performing an action, and mentally reviewing the future you want, all the while reminding yourself of who you no longer want to be (the old self) and who you do want to be."

"This process involves thinking about your future actions, mentally planning your choices, and focusing your mind on the new experience..."

"By keeping your focus on this future event and not letting any other thoughts distract you, in a matter of moments, you turn down the volume on the neural circuits connected to the old self, which begins to turn off the old genes, and you fire and wire new neural circuits, which initiates the right signals to activate new genes in new ways."

"Thanks to the neuroplasticity discussed previously, the circuits in your brain begin to reorganize themselves to reflect what you’re mentally rehearsing."

"And as you keep coupling your new thoughts and mental images with that strong, positive emotion, then your mind and body are working together—and you’re now in a new state of being."

"At this point, your brain and body are no longer a record of the past; they are a map to the future—a future that you’ve created in your mind. Your thoughts have become your experience, and you just became the placebo.”


One of the ways to get more comfortable when crossing the river is mental rehearsal of practice..

This level of practice will help you in any changes you're looking to make..  

  • Ask yourself
  • How will I react in this situation?
  • What emotions will I feel?
  • What thoughts am I going to be thinking?


This is something I use in my self coaching course..  

First we think about what you're compelling future will look like!  

Then we go through visualization exercises to help you cement this through what Dr. Joe calls 'mental rehearsal'..

After that we connect the vision to the thoughts, actions and emotions you will need to have and be comfortable with in order to make that vision a reality!


“On the other hand, emotions like gratitude and appreciation open your heart and lift the energy in your body to a new place—out of the lower hormonal centers."

"Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions for increasing your level of suggestibility. It teaches your body emotionally that the event you’re grateful for has already happened, because we usually give thanks after a desirable event has occurred."

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

Gratefulness For The Future

A lot of books and research back up how important gratitude is..  But most of them talk about gratefulness for the past or present..  

  • Things we have
  • Things we experienced
  • People we're with

But I love Joe's concept of using gratefulness during your 'self talk' to make it feel like things have already happened..  

  • We've talked a lot about self talk on this channel from Dr. Shad Helmstetter..  
  • What's more powerful?

• I wish I was healthy and fit

• I am healthy and fit

• I am so happy and grateful for my amazing healthy body and my level of fitness.

Gratitude and The Logical Mind

I have been trying to get out of my 'logical mind' mode during my meditations..  

For me this looks like ruminating on thoughts and continually trying to solve problems!

Great..  But only in certain situations!  Otherwise it's extremely mentally taxing..

  • Most people (me included) are in our logical brains 24/7
  • Just by using this one technique I was able to get out of it for a few minutes during meditation..  
  • Instantly I felt a rush of energy!  Lasting and real energy. 

How to:

  • When you notice your brain trying to solve a problem practice gratitude towards it..  "Thanks logical brain I appreciate you trying to help me out"..  
  • But let it know that you've decided to use your Higher Brain in this moment..  "But I've decided to connect with my higher brain right now"..  
  • Then reassure yourself..  "Everything will be fine I know you are important and I'll use you again soon..  But right now we need to rest".
  • *This sounds crazy..  I realize that!  But just give it a try.

Subconscious Mind

“If meditation is about entering the autonomic system so that we can become more suggestible and overcome the challenges just mentioned, then we need to know how to get there. "

"The short answer is that we get there on a brain wave."

"The brain state we happen to be in at any given time has a huge effect on how suggestible we are at that moment.”

Brain States

If we want to access our subconscious mind and do some serious reprogramming and changing to our personality we need to get into a deeper brain state..  

  • Go from beta
  • to alpha
  • then to theta

This is accomplished mostly through meditation.. 

  • Many different types of meditation will work..  
  • But I suggest you try the one I outlined above!

The biggest barrier to changing our personality is being bombarded by stimuli..  From our own mind!

  • During the beta state our minds are going to be looking for and solving problems..  Even imaginary ones
  • During alpha we are much calmer and more open to suggestion and change
  • During theta we can make massive changes in a short period of time


“There are no schools of ancient spiritual wisdom sitting high on mountaintops in the Himalayas waiting to initiate us into becoming mystics and saints."

"Our lives are our initiation into greatness"

"Maybe you and I should see life as an opportunity to reach great and greater levels of self os that we can overcome our own limitations with more expanded levels of consciousness."

"That's how a pragmatist, instead of a victim sees it." 

"To abandon the familiar ways in which we've grown accustomed to thinking about life in order to embrace new paradigms will feel unnatural at the beginning."

"Frankly it takes effort and it's uncomfortable.  Why? Because when we change we no longer feel like ourselves."

"My definition of genius then is to be uncomfortable and to be okay with being uncomfortable."

Couldn't Say it Better

No schools will teach you this way of being..  

Our lives are the path on our journey towards greatness

This won't be an easy journey..  But it will be worth it!

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