--An educational & exhaustive look at how the Placebo Effect can transform our lives--
In Dr. Dispenza’s newest book, "You are the Placebo" we are provided with the life-affirming knowledge that our thoughts and expectations can transform our lives by helping us overcome illness, disease, and numerous other afflictions that limit our ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
I do not read medical journals, so I can’t make this statement with certainty; however, I would suggest that this book is likely one of the most up-to-date and exhaustive works on the Placebo Effect available today. Furthermore, for those that do not enjoy overly technical books, I would say that in spite of the fact that the nature of this book requires medical and scientific terminology to be used, this is still a very readable book.
In my own words, in very simple terms, I see the essence of the placebo effect as: mind over matter. Our minds have the power to overcome disease, depression and a vast number of negative situations that manifest in our body. Our thoughts, combined with expectation, can remedy heart disease & cancer, reduce pain, and even simulate the benefits of an actual operation. Perhaps it sounds too good to be true; however, the placebo effect has been rigorously studied throughout history and continues to fascinate/confound scientists to this day.
In order to better acquaint the reader with the workings of the Placebo Effect, Dr. Dispenza uses the first part of the book to recount numerous scientific studies that illustrate how our minds can physically change our bodies, simply through what we think and what we expect. A doctor using saline water as a replacement for morphine in the late stages of the war, people suffering from depression feeling uplifted by simple sugar pills, even patients who underwent simulated knee surgery feeling less pain and being able to walk properly again – all the result of the a placebo being used.
There is also the negative side of the placebo, referred to as the nocebo, wherein a person believes that they are ill, will die, or that they are suffering from the ill intentions of another person. For example, in some cultures where people believe in the ability for a person to be “cursed” by a witch doctor, there is the potential for negative beliefs and expectations to due substantial harm. The “curse” thought is implanted in the mind of the individual who then believes in the “curse”, which then eventually manifests in physical form. People have been admitted to hospital and, even under medical supervision, with no detectible illness, have died because of their negative expectations and beliefs.
After the initial discussion and the sharing of the scientific research on the placebo effect, Dr. Dispenza goes on to the most important part of the book: how we can make use of the placebo in our personal lives.
By providing actual, coloured, brain scans and EEG scans Dr. Dispenza illustrates that by altering our thoughts and beliefs we actually alter our physical bodies. This part of the book is very detailed and a cursory discussion would not do it justice, but I think this quote from the book will emphasize the essence of what is being said, “…we direct the formation of new neural pathways and the destruction of old ones through the quality of the experiences we cultivate…The goal here is to change our beliefs and perceptions about your life at a biological level so that you are, in essence, loving a new future into concrete material existence.”
This then leads into the final portion of the book wherein Dr. Dispenza provides information on a meditation that will assist us in making use of the placebo effect.
With over 300 pages in this book, there is certainly a lot of detail and information for anyone simply interested in learning more about the placebo effect. More importantly though, if one truly grasps the essence of what is being shared, that our thoughts and beliefs have a vast potential to heal or harm us, then a person becomes empowered and they can then more consciously create a life in line with their desires. In a very real, physical sense, the placebo effect proves that we can change our reality with our thoughts and expectations: what information could be more empowering than that?
** While this book can be read independently of Dr. Dispenza’s previous book, "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" I would suggest that reading it prior to, "You are the Placebo" would be worthwhile.**