We have been led to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics. Or it’s just bad luck - and doctors alone hold the keys to optimal health. For years, Lissa Rankin, M.D., believed the same. But when her own health started to suffer and she turned to Western medical treatments, she found that they not only failed to help - they made her worse. So she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Through her research, Dr. Rankin discovered that the health care she had been taught to practice was missing something crucial: a recognition of the body’s innate ability to self-repair and an appreciation for how we can control these self-healing mechanisms using the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that, for the past 50 years, the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself.
Using extraordinary cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out the scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, depression, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, sex, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.
By the time you finish listening to Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own diagnosis, written your own prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help make your body ripe for miracles.
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Blue Zones Meets The Placebo Effect
This book is worth buying, especially if you are new to this area of study. I'm giving it five stars and not knocking it for its content. That said, if you aren't new to this topic, it's still a good book, but there probably isn't anything earth shatteringly new that hasn't been written somewhere else.
The book is very much a combination of a few books. Dan Buettner's "Blue Zones" and "Thrive" come to mind, mixed in with some studies on the placebo effect.
* Would be an excellent book to give to a medical doctor as a gift.
* Author is a real medical doctor.
* Well written and professional.
* Relies heavily on the placebo effect.
* Somewhat contradictory in places.
The health plans include a heavy emphasis on happiness and include the standard Blue Zone formulas of becoming more spiritual, close family, etc. Frustratingly, while "deeper spirituality" is mentioned frequently, in one section the author states that any healing is just the body at work and not "woo-woo metaphysics."
While the placebo effect and spontaneous remission are valid explanations, woo-woo metaphysics could also be a valid explanation. This topic was just barely touched upon. It would have been nice to show some valid, scientific studies on this subject. For example, a Columbia study reported that: "prayer appeared to increase the rate of pregnancy in Korean women with infertility problems. The researchers, surprised by their own positive findings, noted that the women were completely unaware that people in three different countries were praying for them." How would the placebo effect be possible if the women were "completely unaware?"
Another good example is found in the The Global Consciousness Project (Princeton University). This large study found that people could influence random number generators in an unexplainable way (read The Field, by Lynne Mctaggart).
The bottom line is, when you are dealing with medical doctors and scientist, you have to pretend that the unexplainable doesn't exist (even when real scientist have studies showing unexplainable things working!). No, it is all just biology and chemistry.
It's time to move to a more results-oriented paradigm in medicine. Keep in mind that people took aspirin for over 100 years and didn't know how it worked, only that it produced good results. If acupuncture is producing good results, then it needs to be used, regardless if it is a placebo effect or "woo-woo metaphysics." (And there are valid scientific studies that show there is more to acupuncture than just the placebo effect. This was mentioned in "Mind Over Medicine," but only in passing, however).
Interestingly, while listening to the audiobook of "Mind Over Medicine," with its heavy emphasis on placebo effects and spontaneous remission, I heard a song on the radio by Nicki Minaj with the lyrics, "I'm not lucky I'm blessed." With the book's struggle between "deeper spirituality" and simply the body's "biology and chemistry" at work, the Minaj lyrics seemed to tip the scale for me: though not scientifically explainable, "woo-woo metaphysics" is a valid explanation. I'm not lucky, I'm blessed.
Starts evidence based, then gets a bit "out there"