Santiago was diagnosed with a very rare cancer. Hear his story from Dr. Joe’s Advanced Workshop in Denver Colorado in July 2013
Like most of his fans, I look forward to Joe Dispenza’s provocative ideas with relish. Combining solid scientific evidence with stimulating insights, Joe stretches the horizons of the possible by extending the boundaries of the known. He takes science more seriously than most scientists, and in this fascinating book, he ex- trapolates the most recent discoveries in epigenetics, neural plasticity, and psychoneuroimmunology to their logical conclusion.
That conclusion is an exciting one: You, and every other human being, are shaping your brain and body by the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel, the intentions you hold, and the transcendental states you experience. You Are the Placebo invites you to harness this knowledge to create a new body and new life for yourself.
This isn’t a metaphysical proposition. Joe explains each link in the chain of causality that starts with a thought and ends with a biological fact, such as an increase in the number of stem cells or immunity-conferring protein molecules circulating in your bloodstream.
The book starts with Joe’s account of an accident that shat- tered six of the vertebrae of his spine. Suddenly, in extremis, he was confronted with the necessity of putting into practice what he believed in theory: that our bodies possess an innate intelligence that includes miraculous healing power. The discipline he brought to the process of visualizing his spinal column rebuilding itself is a story of inspiration and determination.
We’re all inspired by such stories of spontaneous remission and “miraculous” healing, yet what Joe shows us in this book is that we are all capable of experiencing such healing miracles. Re- newal is built into the very fabric of our bodies, and degeneration and disease are the exception, not the norm.
Once we understand how our bodies renew themselves, we can start to harness these physiological processes intentionally, directing the hormones our cells synthesize, the proteins they build, the neurotransmitters they produce, and the neural path- ways through which they send signals. Rather than possessing a static anatomy, our bodies are seething with change, moment by moment. Our brains are on the boil, teeming with the creation and destruction of neural connections in every second. Joe teach- es us that we can steer this process with intention, assuming the powerful position of driver of the vehicle, rather than the passive role of passenger.
The discovery that the number of connections in a neural bundle can double with repeat stimulation revolutionized biology in the 1990s. It earned its discoverer, the neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel, a Nobel Prize. Kandel later found that if we don’t use neu- ral connections, they begin to shrink in just three weeks. In this way, we can reshape our brains via the signals we pass through our neural network.
In the same decade that Kandel and others measured neuro- plasticity, other scientists discovered that few of our genes are stat- ic. The majority of genes (estimates range from 75 to 85 percent) are turned off and on by signals from our environment, including the environment of thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that we cul- tivate in our brains. One class of these genes, the immediate early genes (IEGs), takes only three seconds to reach peak expression. IEGs are often regulatory genes, controlling the expression of hun- dreds of other genes and thousands of other proteins at remote sites in our bodies. That kind of pervasive and rapid change is a plausible explanation for some of the radical healings you’ll read about in these pages.
Joe is one of the few science writers to fully grasp the role of emotion in transformation. Negative emotion may literally be an addiction to high levels of our own stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. Both these stress hormones and relaxation hor- mones like DHEA and oxytocin have set points, which explains why we feel uncomfortable in our skin when we think thoughts or countenance beliefs that drive our hormonal balance outside of that comfort zone. This idea is at the very frontier of the scientific understanding of addictions and cravings.
By changing your internal state, you can change your exter- nal reality. Joe masterfully explains the chain of events that starts with intentions originating in the frontal lobe of your brain and then translating into chemical messengers, called neuropeptides, that send signals throughout your body, turning genetic switches on or off. Some of these chemicals, like oxytocin, the “cuddle hor- mone” that’s stimulated by touch, are associated with feelings of love and trust. With practice, you can learn to quickly adjust your set points for stress hormones and healing hormones.
The notion that you can heal yourself by simply translating thought into emotion might sound astounding at first. Not even Joe expected the results he began to observe in participants at- tending his workshops when they fully applied these ideas: spon- taneous remission of tumors, wheelchair-bound patients walking, and migraines disappearing. With the openhearted delight and open-minded experimentation of a child at play, Joe began to push the envelope, wondering just how fast radical healing might occur if people applied the body’s placebo effect with complete conviction. Hence, the title You Are the Placebo reflects the fact that it’s your own thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that are generating chains of physiological events in your body.
At times, you will feel uncomfortable reading this book. But read on. That discomfort is just your old self, protesting the inevi- tability of transformative change, and your hormonal set points being disturbed. Joe reassures us that those feelings of discomfort may simply be the biological sensation of the dissolution of the old self.
Most of us won’t have the time or inclination to understand these complex biological processes. Here’s where this book pro- vides a great service. Joe digs deep into the science behind these changes to present them in an understandable and digestible way. He does the heavy lifting behind the scenes in order to present el- egant and simple explanations. Using analogies and case histories, he demonstrates exactly how we can apply these discoveries in our daily lives and illustrates the dramatic breakthroughs in health experienced by those who take them seriously.
A new generation of researchers has coined a term for the practice Joe outlines: self-directed neuroplasticity (or SDN). The idea behind the term is that we direct the formation of new neural pathways and the destruction of old ones through the quality of the experiences we cultivate. I believe that SDN will become one of the most potent concepts in personal transformation and neu- robiology for the coming generation, and this book will be at the forefront of that movement.
In the meditation exercises in Part II of this book, metaphysics moves into concrete manifestation. You can do these meditations yourself easily, experiencing firsthand the expanded possibilities of being your own placebo. The goal here is to change your beliefs and perceptions about your life at a biological level so that you are, in essence, loving a new future into concrete material existence.
So embark on this enchanted journey that will expand your horizons of the possible and challenge you to embrace a radically higher level of healing and functioning. You have nothing to lose by throwing yourself enthusiastically into the process and dump- ing the thoughts, feelings, and biological set points that have limited your past. Believe in your ability to realize your highest potential and take inspired action, and you will become the pla- cebo that creates a happy and healthy future for yourself and for our planet.
— Dawson Church, Ph.D. Author of The Genie in Your Genes
When I left the Level 2 workshop in Seattle on Sunday (June 5th) I knew that I had definitely shifted. What has occurred since then has blown me away by the sheer magnitude and speed of its manifestation.
I was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS in September 2008. This was after 9 years of staying away from doctors, 14 years of on and off again symptoms, a near fatal illness at the beginning of 2008, etc. etc. By this time I was rapidly progressive, losing mobility and mental capacity very quickly. My brain and spinal column from top to bottom were riddled with demyelination according to the MRI’s. When I became bedridden in January 2009 I decided that I wanted to be able to stand, walk, and maintain my independence and so I set the intention to slow down progression with my goal being to stop it. By early 2010 I had slowed down progression. By early 2011 I had stopped it. Now my goal was to reverse the damage I had done to my body.
My own knowledge of neuroscience, and neuro-plasticity specifically, told me that it is possible to change the brain. I also knew that neurologists generally believe that although the brain is neuro-plastic, the spinal column is not. I disagree and know that if all other cells can change in the body, why not the spinal column! I just didn’t know how and held the vision in my mind, knowing the ‘how’ would unfold.
I knew of Dr. Joe from What the Bleep and had bought the seminar DVD Evolve Your Brain, from which I knew he presented in the Pacific Northwest.
Enter Dr. Joe and Level 1 in Vancouver. Level 1 gave me what I felt was the key. I followed the guided meditation. Time was often at a premium so I incorporated a shortened version where I took myself through the process after yoga instead of my usual meditation. I have played in the quantum field, but never ‘used’ it in this way.
Change was happening. Signs were many, and all incredible to contemplate from the logical, thinking brain.
On the Wednesday before we left for Seattle, my mobility scooter, which I have been dependent on for over 2 years to get around when I don’t have someone’s arm to hold, or when I can’t walk at all, gets a flat tire while I am out. I am feeling stressed and frustrated because I have things to do on Thursday before we leave town and I know I can’t get it fixed before I leave. How am I going to get around? My thought’ how can this be a sign that ‘you’ are here with me, walking this path of change’ HUGE change’ a place of risk and vulnerability?! How?! I let it go resolving to deal with it when I get back, and in the meantime get people to help me’
Enter Level 2 in Seattle. The shift starts immediately, Friday night’ shift. Saturday’ more shift. Sunday’ oh yeah, this is changing’ the meditation’ profound!!! I get up to collect my heart, leaving my cane (and someone’s arm for support) behind. The words ‘you can’t get up as the same person’ firmly etched in my auditory cortex. I knew I wasn’t. Interestingly, I got back to our hotel room and realize that I don’t have my heart with me. A quick return to the workshop room’ it’s not there either. I guess I don’t need it.
Monday, I walk with my husband (who was also at Level 2 in Seattle). I notice that I have less dependence on my cane. I walk for part of a block on my own’ unexpected’ ‘just happened’ ‘ something I haven’t done for 3+ years. I feel an incredible ‘buzz’. Wow, I think. Thank you.
Tuesday, I go to the pool with my daughter. The lift into the pool isn’t working so I decide that I can walk down the stairs (stairs have been a hurdle, at times a full blown barrier). As I go down the stairs I notice that I can feel the coolness of the water on my ankles and below the knee. I have had virtually no sensation below the knee, my feet particularly since 1998. The ‘buzz’ continues. WOW. Thank you.
I ‘get’ that maybe my flat tire is a sign that I won’t need my mobility scooter for much longer. Later that day I walk up a flight of stairs, both legs lifting to do so. Until this time, I have had to rely on and assist my right leg on higher risers, and drag my left leg up behind’ not Tuesday! I feel like it is my birthday. I have been receiving gifts all day both in my body and from others. WOW!
Wednesday, doing yoga I notice I am lifting my legs without using my hand to assist so I decide ‘ Let’s see if’ and I start lifting my legs, moving my feet, wiggling my toes. I am doing things that I haven’t been able to do for years. There is stiffness in the joints’ to be expected after not being moved for so long’ Wow, they still work! I even did ‘tree’ pose with my foot off the ground! I am filled with awe, with joy, with gratitude. As I continue my practice, tears come in waves. I have an overwhelming feeling of power, of possibility, that I CAN do anything’. that ANYTHING is possible. I call my husband to share and as I speak, words fail me. I am so deeply humbled.
As the day continued I walk with noone’s assistance, I climb onto boxes, I try out my new body. It is awesome! WOW. THANK YOU!
MS has empowered me, bringing me to a complete stop, slowing me down, challenging me to be more than I ever thought I could be, do more than I ever thought I could do, to live in the now! I always joked that although I intended to pursue a career, and didn’t, in neurology and neuroscience, which is my passion, I never expected to be a study in neurology. To see the brain from inside my own body, experience its power, is incredible.
What happened in Seattle? I changed my mind ‘ literally and figuratively! I am on a journey to live in the highest manifestation of self, living my greatness, whole, complete, worthy ‘ and my body is back on this ride with me.
I knew that this would happen I just didn’t expect it to be so quick!
Feeling that I am in another dimension and ‘need’ to ground I have closed my eyes and felt immense joy, love, and gratitude several times a day, however I haven’t actually done any of the guided meditations since Sunday. One weekend ‘ powerful ‘ daily, weekly, even monthly ‘ quantum powered’ the possibilities endless! And, yes ‘ the hardest part is making the time, committing to yourself, and meaning what you say with every cell of your body!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for revealing me to me, for showing me where to find the key. I am so worth it! And, I say that with awe, humility, absolutely inspired by creation.
In deepest love, joy, and gratitude
Leslie P. – Canada
Dr. Joe Dispenza’s new book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, is the ultimate guide to uncovering your deepest subconscious beliefs. Many previous books have offered to help you do the same and during the last forty years, I have read most of them. However, Dr. Dispenza also provides clear and easy steps to reprogram the subconscious and rid the body of old patterns forever! I kid you not.
I have personally been working with his program, through the use of the suggestions in his book, for the last four weeks with extraordinary results. One small example; I have had erratic and mysterious food sensitivities for about 15 years causing everything from IBS and acid reflux to horrendous abdominal bloating. All symptoms are gone. I have been eating wheat, dairy, eggs, pizza, and everything else for three weeks! Just imagine, if you can affect the response and function of your internal organs with thought, how might you be able to affect your genes?
Thinking to grow young is easier than ever! I love it
Zia W ‘ San Francisco Fountain of Youth Examiner
Porter is determined that he will walk again, and is supported by his own mental attitude, his family, friends and energy healer Jill Runnion. Already Porter now has the use of the upper part of his body and arms, so he is presently a paraplegic (not quadriplegic). Through a combination of tremendous will, openness to exploring alternative techniques and his dedication to understanding the brain, neuroscience and how he can heal his body, Porter shared this video of him standing for the first time, in August 2010. Porter is a student of Dr. Joe Dispenza, and has completed the Level 1 and Level 2 workshops ‘ Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and has been actively applying the knowledge and techniques he has learned in his life, and is seeing tremendous results. Click Here to View
Porter Update April 2014
Porter has continued to make great progress on his road to complete recovery. We thought that you would love to see some recent home movies taken of Porter now.
Congratulations Porter – You are an inspiration to us all!