by Dr Joe Dispenza

Is it possible to heal by thought alone—without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect. In You Are the Placebo, best-selling author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo.

Similarly, Dr. Joe tells of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse—or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use double- and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs.

Here we share 8 top areas that are discussed in You Are the Placebo:

1. How we can control our genetics:

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, who had the power she sought all along but didn’t know it, we also possess a power that we may not have previously realized was ours—the keys that can set you free of the limitations of your own genetic expression.

2. Why you should believe in a healthier you:

The placebo effect suggests that the more you believe in the cause, the better the effect. So if you believe that a particular substance, procedure, or surgery will work because you’ve been educated about its benefits, the better your chances of responding to the thought of improving your health and getting better because you assign more meaning to it.

3. Why change is difficult for us:

You think somewhere between 60,000-70,000 thoughts in one day, and 90% of those thoughts are exactly the same ones we had the day before. As a result of this conscious or unconscious process, your biology stays the same. Neither your brain nor your body changes because you’re thinking the same thoughts, performing the same actions, and living by the same emotions—even if you secretly hope your life will change. You can’t change your life until you change your thoughts.

4. If we pretend we are younger, we can actually become younger:

The new science of epigenetics has taught us that the mind can instruct new genes to behave in new ways, so when we act younger than we are, we can actually start to feel and look younger too, and there’s even scientific experiments to prove it.

5. Our answer to Nature vs. Nurture:

Recent studies have shown that approximately 90% of our genes are affected by our experiences. This means that your genes are affected by your interactions with your family, friends, co-workers, and spiritual practices, as well as your sexual habits, exercise levels, and more. And if our experience is what activates a good number of our genes, then our nature is influenced by nurturing.

6. What happens to our brain when we meditate:

Like hypnosis, meditation is a way to bypass the critical mind and move into the subconscious. The whole purpose of meditation is to take your attention off your outer world, your body, and time—and to pay attention to your inner world of thoughts and feelings. In terms of the placebo effect, it takes a similar high degree of suggestibility to be greater than the body and greater than the environment for an extended period of time—that is, to accept, believe, and surrender to the idea of your inner world being more real than your outer world.

7. A striking new study that’s a real game changer:

It shows that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients were able to dramatically improve their symptoms by taking placebos— even though they knew full well that the medication they were given was a placebo, not an active drug. Our brains and bodies are our own biological pharmacy that can mimic the drugs we take on a daily basis. There’s evidence to prove it.

8. How our attitudes, beliefs, & perceptions can heal or hurt our bodies:

We have the power to create a new reality by shifting our attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions. So when people heal themselves using the placebo effect, they don’t accept the finality of their diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment. Nor do they believe in the most probable outcome or future destiny that their doctors outlined. And finally, they don’t surrender to the diagnosis, prognosis, or suggested treatment. Because they had a different attitude from those who did accept, believe, and surrender, they were in a different state of being.