The Cure Within: A History of Mind-body Medicine

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Health & Fitness - 336 pages
People suffering from serious illnesses improve their survival chances by adopting a positive attitude and refusing to believe in the worst. Stress is the great killer of modern life. Ancient Eastern mind-body techniques can bring us balance and healing. We've all heard claims like these, and many find them plausible. When it comes to disease and healing, we believe we must look beyond doctors and drugs; we must look within ourselves. Faith, relationships, and attitude matter. But why do we believe such things? From psychoanalysis to the placebo effect to meditation, this vibrant history describes our commitments to mind-body healing as rooted in a patchwork of stories that have allowed people to make new sense of their suffering, express discontent with existing care, and rationalize new treatments and lifestyles. These stories are sometimes supported by science, sometimes quarrel with science, but are all ultimately about much more than just science.

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User Review  - gratefulyoga - LibraryThing

Like any human endeavor, mind-body medicine has a history which can help us make sense of the present. The author highlights 6 different narratives that have shaped our understanding (and even our ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kerowackie - LibraryThing

Harrington is chair of the History of Science Dept. at Harvard and this is a necessary, often skeptical look at what is currently called complimentary medicine. The chapter on meditation and the so ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
9
STORIES SCIENCE AND CULTURE UNDER THE SKIN
15
THE POWER OF SUGGESTION
31
THE BODY THAT SPEAKS
67
THE POWER OE POSITIVE THINKING
103
BROKEN BY MODERN LIFE
139
HEALING TIES
175
EASTWARD JOURNEYS
205
MAKING SENSE OF MINDBODY MEDICINE
243
Notes
257
Select Bibliography
299
Index
323
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About the author (2008)

Anne Harrington, professor and chair of the History of Science Department at Harvard University, is the author of Reenchanted Science and the editor of The Placebo Effect and The Dalai Lama at MIT. She lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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