You are the Placebo Dr. Joe Dispenza takes an incredible look at the power of our minds over our bodies.

I love to take the books I read and pull out 5-7 of my favorite key ideas/insights and actions steps that I personally have taken and applied to better my life and the lives of those around me. This also gives you a great overview of the book to know if you would like to dive deeper into it or not.

Dr. Joe Despenza is an incredible scientist and researcher that pioneering the science of change, healing, and miracles. He teaches on the power of our mind to change our life, heal our body, and live supernaturally. His books ‘You are the Placebo’ and ‘Breaking the Habit of being yourself (which I have also read) are both about how to get from where you are now, to where you want to be, and experiencing a life beyond your imagination. His teachings are based off his years of research in brain mapping and the workshops he hosts all of the world where radical changes take place. 

About the Placebo Effect

You are the Placebo Dr. Joe Dispenza takes a deep look around the science of the placebo effect.

Ground breaking research in recent decades has shown that the human mind has a powerful capacity to heal the body.

Scientists unintentionally stumbled upon this fact when they were testing pharmaceutical drugs against placebos. A placebo is typically a sugar pill or saline solution that is used in medical trials to test against the effectiveness of a ‘real’ drug.

Scientists began to become amazed when the placebo drug (that had no healing effects) would suddenly produce spontaneous healing in their patients.

When individuals believed they were taking the ‘real’ medicine—consistently again and again, in trial after trail- individuals healed.

Consider the following examples of mind healing body

  •  Several studies have shown that placebo surgeries—where the patient is cut open but no surgery is performed—are as effective as real surgeries. This has been observed in conditions ranging from angina to arthritis in the knees.
  • In one trial, researchers told patients they were injecting them with a powerful Parkinson’s drug called apomorphine, but instead injected them with saline. Brain scans showed that the saline injections had effects that were indistinguishable from the real drug.
  • Valium, which is widely prescribed for anxiety disorders, has no effect unless patients know that they are taking it.

All of this suggests that the effects of an intervention—whether it is pharmaceutical, herbal, dietary, or something else—depend in large part on our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about that intervention.

Insights From You are the Placebo Dr. Joe Despenza

1. Create Your New Reality

If we want to change and become the best, healthiest version of ourselves, we need to create it. In the book, Dr. Despenza talks about how “Your personality creates your personal reality”. Your personality is simply made up of the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel, and the actions you choose- hence all in your control. If you want a new personal reality, you need to change your personality to fit what you are looking for.

The life you are currently experiencing is based upon your past thoughts and choices. Obviously, to change, you need to make new thoughts and choices. This is uncomfortable at the beginning. When you start to think and act in new ways, it feels weird because you are creating new pathways in your brain instead of just using the same pathways you have been using your whole life. If you keep with it though, you can create a new YOU which leads to a new body, health, and endless opportunities.

Dr. Despenza calls this process “crossing the river of change.” There is who are you now on one side, and who you want to be on the other, and you need to make it through the river to have lasting change. In other words, you need to die to be reborn.

2. Thoughts Change the Body

Dr. Joe Despenza talks about the new science of epigenetics. Meaning, we can change our DNA based on our thoughts and environment. Every thought we think is signaling our genes to express in a certain way. Toxic thinking leads to toxic expression and problems in the body- Positive thinking leads to positive gene expression and health.

He emphasizes the point that if we want to heal from something, we need to signal new genes in new ways to create new results.

He makes the point that most people do not heal and deal with the same problems over and over because they are simply just signaling the same genes day in and day out by thinking the same thoughts and doing the same routine everyday.

You need to figure out which thoughts and behaviors you are engaging in that are signaling the genes to give you the problems you are dealing with now.

Things to examine that might need to change:

  • Your thoughts about something in your life.( are you negative, insecure, anxious, fearful, angry) Living in these hormones of stress will not allow the body to heal or stay healthy.
  • Your beliefs about your body and life (what are you believing about your health, body, and life?)
  • The food you are eating
  • Are you negative and gossiping?
  • Being critical (about yourself, your life, the world)

To Change Your Genes, you need to change the signals you give them:

Think about the person you want to be, and identify the habits and thoughts that person would have, and start practicing! What would a healthy, joyful, and successful person think, believe, and do?

The more you practice this new way of thinking- the faster your body will follow.

3. Mental Rehearsal

To signal new genes in new ways, and to have your genes be expressed to the best of their ability, mental rehearsal is the most powerful way to do that. Athletes have known this for years. When you mental rehearse and picture how you want to act, how you want to feel, and how you want to look- you are literally changing your brain and creating new neural pathways to match those exact thoughts. When you imagine something and feel the emotion as if it already happened- your brain does not know the difference between what is actually happening or what is imagined.

Despenza talks about the many functional brain scans you performs on people who sit down to meditate and visualize their body changing. Their brain is physically different before and after the meditation.

He thinks that one of the most important things you do to change your life is to decide who you want to be, and sit down and meditate on that every morning until you feel like a different person. You are literally wiring your brain in new ways to make that a reality.

We need to emotionally embrace an outcome and think about it enough times to where it beings to signal new genes in new ways BEFORE we have evidence of it every happening. When we do this, our bodies are no longer a memory of the past but rather a MAP to our future that makes that even occur.

Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” -John 20:29

This is what creates change within our bodies. Our beliefs about what is possible, and truly believing it and thinking about it enough that your brain literal looks like that even has already occurred.

You have to recondition the body to be ahead of time. You have to not rely on the environment to make you feel a certain way. Not rely on your senses to tell you what is and is not happening. You condition your mind with persistance, and your body follows.

Visualizing with emotion + intensity + frequency changes your brain and begins to bring your future reality into your present reality.

You do this my waking up every morning and reminding yourself of who you want to be and who you no longer want to be to create an entirely new YOU!

4. Generate Emotions

It is incredibly important to bring emotion to our thoughts. The most powerful emotion in the human body is gratitude. Having gratitude for your perceived future now and be grateful for what you want to happen NOW creates powerful changes in the brain and body.

It is not just the thought alone that changes the body and brain, it is the EMOTION that goes with it.

This is where most people get it wrong. They try to begin thinking positive- but they are still FEELING worry, fear, anxiety, shame, etc. This causes CHAOS within the body because mind and emotions are not in line.

THE KEY TO KNOW: True healing and change in the body begin to happen when emotions align with your positive thoughts. This is where coherence comes in.

Coherence is when thoughts + emotions align. When this happens, amazing things begin to happen in your body! For example, when thinking about something you are grateful for, and you truly feel gratitude- your body is in a peak healing and performing state.

Most scientists and researchers today are fascinated with a body state called coherence.  All the research shows that the more you can experience coherence, the more your body heals, repairs, and changes for the better.

5. Meditation

To change our life:

We need to change our thinking and emotions -> which changes our beliefs -> which changes our habits -> changes our life. To change beliefs, we need to access our sub-conscience mind.

To access your sub-conscience mind, you need to get into a low brain wave state. When we are in a high brain wave state, our analytical mind is running and running with thoughts, worries, planning, and disbelief. When you slow your mind down, you can get past those running thoughts and connect with your sub-conscience mind.

Brain states:

Beta State: Where we function for most of the day, Beta State is associated with the “working” or “thinking mind”: analytical, planning, assessing and categorizing.

Alpha State: Brain waves start to slow down out of thinking mind. We feel more calm, peaceful and grounded. We often find ourselves in an “alpha state” a bath,  a walk in the woods, or during any activity that helps relax the body and mind.

Theta State:  Where meditation begins. This is the point where the verbal/thinking mind transitions to the meditative/visual mind. We begin to move from the planning mind to a deeper state of awareness (often felt as drowsy), with stronger intuition, more capacity for wholeness and complicated problem-solving. The Theta state is associated with visualization.

Theta is the state your mind is most open to create new beliefs and thoughts. You are constantly in beta mode if you are constantly checking email, social media, texts, and multitasking, you are going to have a hard time changing your brain, thoughts, and beliefs.  This is why it is so important to slow down, take time for silence and deep thinking and reflection throughout the day.

Dr. Joe Reccomends starting each day meditating, visualizing, and creating a new self. Thinking about who you want to be, who you no longer are, and what you desire to happen. In this state, your brain and body begin to change.


  1. Look at a symptom in your life (physical or emotional). Think about what thoughts or habits you have that may be contributing to that problem. Remember anxiety, stress, worry, anger, envy, ect. all put your body into a state where it cannot heal.
  2. Look at where you are now, and think about who you want to be.
  3. How would that person act? What habits would that person have? What would the do? What would they say?
  4. Take time each morning feeling like that person. Feeling gratitude for your healing and your new life. Visualize what it would be like, and what it would feel like.

That is how you can create your own placebo effect in your own body!

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  • Darrelle Good

    LOVE this meg!! So awesome!

    • Renewing All Things

      I just say this! Thank you so much girl! I love how you love this stuff with me:)