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Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAS SEEN ON NATIONAL PUBLIC TELEVISION      We’ve 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 o A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAS SEEN ON NATIONAL PUBLIC TELEVISION      We’ve 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 with the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself for over 50 years.     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.     In the final section of the book, you’ll be introduced to a radical new wellness model based on Dr. Rankin’s scientific findings. Her unique six-step program will help you uncover where things might be out of whack in your life—spiritually, creatively, environmentally, nutritionally, and in your professional and personal relationships—so that you can create a customized treatment plan aimed at bolstering these health-promoting pieces of your life. You’ll learn how to listen to your body’s “whispers” before they turn to life-threatening “screams” that can be prevented with proper self-care, and you’ll learn how to trust your inner guidance when making decisions about your health and your life.     By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles. 


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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAS SEEN ON NATIONAL PUBLIC TELEVISION      We’ve 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 o A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAS SEEN ON NATIONAL PUBLIC TELEVISION      We’ve 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 with the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself for over 50 years.     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.     In the final section of the book, you’ll be introduced to a radical new wellness model based on Dr. Rankin’s scientific findings. Her unique six-step program will help you uncover where things might be out of whack in your life—spiritually, creatively, environmentally, nutritionally, and in your professional and personal relationships—so that you can create a customized treatment plan aimed at bolstering these health-promoting pieces of your life. You’ll learn how to listen to your body’s “whispers” before they turn to life-threatening “screams” that can be prevented with proper self-care, and you’ll learn how to trust your inner guidance when making decisions about your health and your life.     By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles. 

30 review for Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    I devoured this book and it is now on my Required Reading list. Lissa Rankin has done an extensive amount of research that shows, without a doubt, what we think, believe, and feel can either heal or harm our bodies. This isn't the usual woo-woo "think positive and visualize what you want" and everything will be roses and rainbows kind of book. Lissa Rankin is the real deal. Because she's a doctor with a scientific mind, she understands the value of backing up everything she says with real peer-r I devoured this book and it is now on my Required Reading list. Lissa Rankin has done an extensive amount of research that shows, without a doubt, what we think, believe, and feel can either heal or harm our bodies. This isn't the usual woo-woo "think positive and visualize what you want" and everything will be roses and rainbows kind of book. Lissa Rankin is the real deal. Because she's a doctor with a scientific mind, she understands the value of backing up everything she says with real peer-reviewed scientific research listed in the Endnotes section, which is nearly 20 pages long. As a former healthcare professional myself, I have already reviewed many of the scientific studies Lissa references in Mind Over Medicine, so I can attest that these studies are real, they are published in highly-esteemed, peer-reviewed journals, and they are readily available to anyone who wishes to review the studies themselves. The evidence is clear: the mind is a powerful component of our health. Being truly healthy and well requires more than regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good nutrition. Our bodies cannot heal when we are stressed out. If we want to be truly healthy, we absolutely must reduce our stress. Mind Over Medicine explains how what's going on in your mind translates into sickness or health, and what to do to heal yourself.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    3.5 Since I believe completely in the mind-body connection, Dr. Rankin was pretty much preaching to the converted here, but it is interesting to get the details about how stress and its opposite, “the relaxation response,” cause specific physiological changes in the body that can cause /contribute to or help heal illness. The doctor cautions against thinking that already-entrenched serious disease can be cured through the techniques she illustrates, and makes the distinction between “curing” and 3.5 Since I believe completely in the mind-body connection, Dr. Rankin was pretty much preaching to the converted here, but it is interesting to get the details about how stress and its opposite, “the relaxation response,” cause specific physiological changes in the body that can cause /contribute to or help heal illness. The doctor cautions against thinking that already-entrenched serious disease can be cured through the techniques she illustrates, and makes the distinction between “curing” and “healing.” She addresses the book to 1) those who are already ill and wanting to take a proactive part in their own healing as much as possible (working in concert with a supportive, enlightened physician), 2) those who aren’t diagnosed with an illness, but know they aren’t that well, either, and want to improve their health, 3) those interested in preventive methods to maintain good health. The basic argument: the body has a strong natural healing mechanism, but that mechanism only works if it can maintain its “natural state of physiological rest.” Dr. Rankin cites studies that led her to believe this is true, including studies on the placebo effect, the importance of optimism, and the efficacy of nurturing care (opposed to just clinical care). The mind can heal the body, she claims, but not as “some New Age metaphysical thing. It’s simple physiology.” On page 77-78 she explains in detail how negative emotions, which include fear, anxiety, resentment, loneliness , depression and anger, trigger “the HPA axis" [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal] in the brain, leading your mind to believe you are in danger (whether you actually are or not), setting in motion a cascade of physical events. The hypothalamus activates and releases certain hormones, stimulating the adrenal gland and the release of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These in turn create many immediate metabolic changes such as constriction and dilation of blood vessels in various organs and body parts, liberation of glucose into the bloodstream, an increase in stomach acid and suppression of the immune system, all in an attempt to ready the body to concentrate its resources for an anticipated fight or flight. These “stress reactions” were designed to be triggered only rarely, such as “Oh, look there’s a bear! —and it’s coming this way!” But the conditions of modern life can keep us in a constant uproar that swamps our emotions and, by extension, our physical systems. Repeated stress reactions exhaust these systems and also prevent the body from being able to relax, which it must do to repair damage that might be occurring from toxins, mutating cells, infections, and the like. Pages 135-136 explain the “physiology of happiness” in much the same terms: the hormones and neurotransmitters involved in positive feelings and how they affect things like blood flow and the immune system. In addition to helping us understand the details of the mind-body connection, Dr. Rankin lays out techniques for counteracting the stress response and “writing your own prescription” for pinpointing emotional issues that may need to be resolved, taking action to address them (often very difficult tasks, she admits), and finding ways to balance your life in important areas such as work, relationships, spirituality, sexuality, and creativity, for optimum happiness, relaxation, and health. Whether these ideas work for everyone or not, I liked this book for its attempt to counteract the learned helplessness that can afflict those who are unwell and its emphasis on encouraging people to approach their health with a sense of control in a positive, proactive way. Dr. Rankin makes it clear that miracles cannot be counted upon, but presents credible evidence that diligent efforts to be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy can often translate into much better physical health as well. The doctor shares her own story and extensive and detailed prescription. A few items I will borrow, a few I already do. Under “Physical Health” – Hike or practice yoga 1 hour a day (OK, how about 45 minutes several times a week) - Sleep 7 hours a night (have to anyway to avoid zombie-like behavior) Under “Environment” - De-clutter my life (working on this--slowly) Under “Creativity” - Write more (creatively, for me, not business writing for clients) Under “Mental Health” - Keep a gratitude journal (a great idea). – Dance. Often. To loud music. (I can do that)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Okay, so I'm lying. I didn't finish this book. The concept is fantastic and incredibly intriguing. And many of the early examples of the mind triumphing over serious disease are mind-boggling. I just felt like the same concepts were written about over and over again and that many chapters could have been a lot shorter. Basically, I got incredibly bored with this book and skimmed through the latter portion. I'm glad I got it though, and expect I will refer back to it from time to time. Ultimately th Okay, so I'm lying. I didn't finish this book. The concept is fantastic and incredibly intriguing. And many of the early examples of the mind triumphing over serious disease are mind-boggling. I just felt like the same concepts were written about over and over again and that many chapters could have been a lot shorter. Basically, I got incredibly bored with this book and skimmed through the latter portion. I'm glad I got it though, and expect I will refer back to it from time to time. Ultimately though, I didn't get much more out of the book than I did her TED talk.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    FANTASTIC. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! My coach recommended this to me, and as I've had a chronic condition aggravated by stress (Lissa Rankin would probably say using the term "chronic condition" is not helpful to healing) for 16 years, I'm always trying to figure out how to heal myself with a minimum of drugs and Western medicine. But it's a struggle, because I'm in and out of remission, which can be a lonely, frustrating, isolating, scary situation. But Rankin gave me a ton of FANTASTIC. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! My coach recommended this to me, and as I've had a chronic condition aggravated by stress (Lissa Rankin would probably say using the term "chronic condition" is not helpful to healing) for 16 years, I'm always trying to figure out how to heal myself with a minimum of drugs and Western medicine. But it's a struggle, because I'm in and out of remission, which can be a lonely, frustrating, isolating, scary situation. But Rankin gave me a ton of hope (which in and of itself is a huge health benefit.) I know there are other MDs that probably cover similar holistic material (Andrew Weil is one who immediately comes to mind), but I think because Rankin suffered from her own serious stressors and weird diagnoses, she understood where disease stems from. The book is exhaustively researched, making it different from books like Bernie Siegel's Love, Medicine and Miracles (which I loved, but didn't offer much in the way of science). Rankin shows study after study about how optimistic people have been chances of surviving disease, how if you believe you'll get healthier (or if you believe the opposite), you're more likely to actually get healthier (or again, sicker if that's what you believe), the characteristics of people who had spontaneous cancer remissions, how stress affects the body, why Western docs are so screwed up (and how she was one of them for a long while before she just threw up her hands and got out of the game)--there's a ton of great stuff. This might sound like woo woo metaphysical weirdness, but Rankin proves it repeatedly that it's not, just like the title says. The one thing I haven't done yet is the WORK that she assigns at the end of the book, the diagnosis and prescription for health. This questionnaire ain't no joke. But that's the beginning of healing myself, so it will get done! I'm a little scared to find out what my answers will be... Here's a fascinating (and worthwhile) interview with Lissa Rankin on the Good Life Project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ8MaL... . It's what made me pick up the book in the first place, and I'm so glad I did!! 5+ stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anwaar

    you can safely divide this book into two parts: the first part is where Lisa lays out her theory and strengthens it with various studies and her medical background, starting with a bunch of stories about spontaneous remission, going through the placebo effect, the Nocebo effect, the physiology of our thoughts and feelings and finishing with talking about doctors_oh my, doctors_ I believe the first part of this book should be studied in med schools, and practiced in hospitals (and she showed a ver you can safely divide this book into two parts: the first part is where Lisa lays out her theory and strengthens it with various studies and her medical background, starting with a bunch of stories about spontaneous remission, going through the placebo effect, the Nocebo effect, the physiology of our thoughts and feelings and finishing with talking about doctors_oh my, doctors_ I believe the first part of this book should be studied in med schools, and practiced in hospitals (and she showed a very good example of how to do that) practicing medicine is a bit more than a bunch of chemicals and a scapula, in fact I think that's is the smallest part in it. giving that we are stuck in a corner where we are just dealing with the symptoms of a lot of modern day sicknesses, helpless when it comes to eliminating the causes, helpless when it comes to knowing the causes then you should really suspect something is a bit wrong. no need to say that I loved that part of the book, the second part though, irritated me to no end. the second part is mostly why the book is a best seller, after agreeing that chronic stress is one of the major problems health wise, activating the fight or flight response, she then starts talking about how to lose your stress, how to be _ guess what?_ happy! and instead of raving about this for a long time as I planned to do , I'll just note that along her excited efforts to help, she forgot that until we figure out a way to get all human beings to be born under the same conditions, and with the same abilities mentalities fears and desires, defining happiness, narrowing it, nothing has caused more stress and despair than that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andy Nieradko

    The intriguing title Mind Over Medicine scared me a little at first. I'm a big believer in taking responsibility for one's health, but I worried that the book would take a blaming pointing finger approach. I stopped worrying after visiting the website mindovermedicinebook.com and read more about Lissa Rankin, M.D. This book is fantastic, she takes the reader along on her personal journey as a medical doctor who came to understand deeply the link between our emotions and our health. She does a wo The intriguing title Mind Over Medicine scared me a little at first. I'm a big believer in taking responsibility for one's health, but I worried that the book would take a blaming pointing finger approach. I stopped worrying after visiting the website mindovermedicinebook.com and read more about Lissa Rankin, M.D. This book is fantastic, she takes the reader along on her personal journey as a medical doctor who came to understand deeply the link between our emotions and our health. She does a wonderful job of clearly proving that "we store our issues in our tissues" isn't just new age woo-woo, but a physiological fact. There are case studies presented that will inspire, as well as some that will just plain tear your heart out. The minds important role in healing is thoroughly explained, and many different recovery options are explored. This book is full of valuable information about the dangers of the stress response and the necessity of the relaxation response, as it relates to a long, healthy life. The ideas presented by Dr. Rankin are profound, empowering, and could very well change the way medicine is practiced. Let's hope so. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Happyreader

    I’m not really sure who this book is for. People who do not believe that stress and mental health impacts their physical health? For those people, the first half of the book makes a compelling case that belief systems and stress management are just as important as other self-care practices. But for the rest of us who need little convincing that there is a mind-body connection, there’s not much insight to be gained. An inventory of what could possibly be stressing you out or leaving you unfulfill I’m not really sure who this book is for. People who do not believe that stress and mental health impacts their physical health? For those people, the first half of the book makes a compelling case that belief systems and stress management are just as important as other self-care practices. But for the rest of us who need little convincing that there is a mind-body connection, there’s not much insight to be gained. An inventory of what could possibly be stressing you out or leaving you unfulfilled is a good idea but did it really take ten chapters to set up such a basic exercise? More fluff than substance.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Ibrahim ♥

    Dr Rankin, You went through a severe crisis time in your life and you turned your back on medicine? How can you do that? I am shocked by what you did. Yes, I believe in mind over medicine, but I am appalled by what you did to your own medical career. You could have continued in spite of it all… but, instead, you say: I started waking up from the deep anesthesia my medical education and years of practice had induced, in my groggy haze, I began to see the light. What light?! Light of practicing "m Dr Rankin, You went through a severe crisis time in your life and you turned your back on medicine? How can you do that? I am shocked by what you did. Yes, I believe in mind over medicine, but I am appalled by what you did to your own medical career. You could have continued in spite of it all… but, instead, you say: I started waking up from the deep anesthesia my medical education and years of practice had induced, in my groggy haze, I began to see the light. What light?! Light of practicing "mind over medicine" instead of practicing medicine itself? You got burnt out, I understand and sympathize but you quite the job and throw it in the towel? I can't accept that from you.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Luc Therrien

    I was looking for this book for a long time. I'm into spirituality and metaphysics, the woo-woo stuff she alludes to in her book. I work with people who want to improve their life and I was looking for ways to merge the materialistic scientific paradigm with the more esoteric worldview of spirituality as I believe they complement each other. I found this in these pages. Thank you Lissa for birthing this one! I was looking for this book for a long time. I'm into spirituality and metaphysics, the woo-woo stuff she alludes to in her book. I work with people who want to improve their life and I was looking for ways to merge the materialistic scientific paradigm with the more esoteric worldview of spirituality as I believe they complement each other. I found this in these pages. Thank you Lissa for birthing this one!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cloris Kylie

    In Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Dr. Lissa Rankin, taking care of ourselves takes on a whole new meaning. I chose to read this book because I listened to Lissa speak at the I Can Do It Conference, and was awestruck at the stories of spontaneous remission that she shared with the audience. In her book, Lissa relates many more examples of self-healing, including an HIV-positive patient who became HIV-negative, a woman whose metastatic cancer resolved spontaneous In Mind Over Medicine, Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Dr. Lissa Rankin, taking care of ourselves takes on a whole new meaning. I chose to read this book because I listened to Lissa speak at the I Can Do It Conference, and was awestruck at the stories of spontaneous remission that she shared with the audience. In her book, Lissa relates many more examples of self-healing, including an HIV-positive patient who became HIV-negative, a woman whose metastatic cancer resolved spontaneously, a man whose brain aneurysm disappeared, and a man with a gunshot wound in the brain who recovered without treatment. Many of us know about Anita Moojani’s miraculous recovery from end-stage lymphoma weeks after having a near-death experience. Incredible but true. It’s not all about our power to heal ourselves, however. We can also make ourselves sick by thinking sick. This is something I have experienced firsthand, and the reason I stopped reading the side effects when I am prescribed a medication! Making ourselves sick goes beyond reading about side effects or overdoing it on Dr. Oz shows. If our spirits are hurting, our health will also hurt. If we are driven by our egos, we are likely to experience perpetual stress-responses, and if we’re always preparing to fly or fight, our bodies won’t have time to repair themselves. This goes back to the fact that negative energies weaken us (as Dr.David Hawkins proved through kinesiology tests.) If we are overtaken by anger, sadness, and fear, our bodies will respond in angry, sad, and fearful ways. So, what do we do? Connecting with Spirit is one of the answers. If we nullify the negative energies by replacing damaging thoughts with healing thoughts, we will already be on our way to perfect health. Is this enough? According to Lissa, there is one more component to self-healing: Nurturing care. As Lissa expresses, “When you find your tribe, feel loved, and surround yourself with people who know your heart and accept you just the way you are, you optimize the body’s capacity for self-repair and make your body ripe for miracles.” Lissa talks about her own awakening, when she ignored the whispers of her body until the whispers became screams for help. She stepped away from her medical practice in San Diego and moved to a small town so she could reclaim her True Self. Now, she has started a health revolution that is likely to change the way many of us view healing and medicine. Mind Over Medicine is a call for doctors to modify their approach to healing, and a call for us to reclaim our innate power to heal ourselves. The message is clear: We can tap into a state of pure wellness now. For more information, check my blogspot blog: selfactualizedlife.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Book: Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. As soon as I glimpsed this book's title, I was interested in reading it. I've always been a believer that the power of the mind can make it possible to self heal. And it was with no surprise that I found this book actually reinforces my beliefs that we can, with the right mind set and the right environment, be a catalyst in developing our own good health. This book brings in scientific studies to prove we hold the key to improve our health; at the sa Book: Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D. As soon as I glimpsed this book's title, I was interested in reading it. I've always been a believer that the power of the mind can make it possible to self heal. And it was with no surprise that I found this book actually reinforces my beliefs that we can, with the right mind set and the right environment, be a catalyst in developing our own good health. This book brings in scientific studies to prove we hold the key to improve our health; at the same token, we can make ourselves sick by believing in sickness and nurturing hopelessness. By no means Lissa Rankin suggests for us to ditch the doctors and just think healthy thoughts, but together with positive thinking, the right therapy (alternative or otherwise) and the right environment, cure is possible. Even the wrong medical provider can sabotage a good cure. It actually happened to me. In two separate occasions, when I didn't like the doctor I was seeing (not enough caring, no good rapport), my treatment didn't yield good results. When I had to seek for a second opinion and actually had a great interaction with the new doctor, the treatment was totally successful because I believed the doctor was capable enough to cure me, and I knew it was going to be alright. Lissa highlights several similar situations in her book, and also tells her own story. Positive thinking can improve your health, and several factors in your life are also important for your health to thrive. Great examples of health nuts whose health was not OK because they were involved in bad relationships, or unsatisfying and stressful jobs, or something else that aggravated their health no matter what they did externally, illustrates the chapters. If, internally, you're not in peace with yourself and your world, you won't reap all the benefits you could from exercise, diet, etc. Doctors, teachers and parents should read this book and apply the advice given here. It should be mandatory reading! FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zaher Alhaj

    This book is a remarkable step towards healing our modern flawed health-care system. I really fed up with how the physicians are treating us as "a bunch of cells" or "Merely Flesh", not as whole-human being who has: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. No Mind-related, Heart-related, nor spirit-related questions..just pure physiological questions, as if they are fixing out a damaged machine,, To get the maximum of this book try to integrate the practices of this book with a Mindfulness program, a lot of This book is a remarkable step towards healing our modern flawed health-care system. I really fed up with how the physicians are treating us as "a bunch of cells" or "Merely Flesh", not as whole-human being who has: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. No Mind-related, Heart-related, nor spirit-related questions..just pure physiological questions, as if they are fixing out a damaged machine,, To get the maximum of this book try to integrate the practices of this book with a Mindfulness program, a lot of wonderful resources out there, like: Mark Williams's "Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World", or the works of the modern mindfulness founding father Jon Kabat-Zinn In as nutshell (IMHO), trying to heal yourself without being mindful and not embracing the present moment is totally futile! Enjoy the journey my dear empowered patient fellow :) Zaher,

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Carr

    This was a really interesting book, which brought up a number of concepts and ideas regarding the body, healing, and stress that I hadn't thought about on a deep level before but that really rung true for me. The first 2/3s of the book were a little heavy on the examples, and I would have enjoyed more 'meat' sooner BUT I am definitely glad I read this book and have already started implementing many of the suggestions to improve my life and heal myself. It's a scary thought and process, the idea o This was a really interesting book, which brought up a number of concepts and ideas regarding the body, healing, and stress that I hadn't thought about on a deep level before but that really rung true for me. The first 2/3s of the book were a little heavy on the examples, and I would have enjoyed more 'meat' sooner BUT I am definitely glad I read this book and have already started implementing many of the suggestions to improve my life and heal myself. It's a scary thought and process, the idea of my body being able to heal itself, with what I do and don't do influencing that possibility and brings up feelings of fear and guilt, which can go against the whole premise of the book of letting go of stress and worry (and in turn the responses they create in our body) but I felt the author addressed this fairly well in the book as well. Worth a read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kailey (Luminous Libro)

    This book is such a powerful tool for reexamining your life and your health, and how your mental health and stress responses will affect your health. I love that it is full of scientific facts, and medical studies, but is easy to read. There are simple, actionable plans for bettering your life, empowering your immune system, and find real ways to be healed. This book asks some tough questions, but provides a clear path toward wellness, and is full of positive truths for healing. I took a whole no This book is such a powerful tool for reexamining your life and your health, and how your mental health and stress responses will affect your health. I love that it is full of scientific facts, and medical studies, but is easy to read. There are simple, actionable plans for bettering your life, empowering your immune system, and find real ways to be healed. This book asks some tough questions, but provides a clear path toward wellness, and is full of positive truths for healing. I took a whole notebook full of notes, and this book has set me on a journey to find a personal truth and wellness.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia Swann-Levkoff

    This book was written with a generous spirit. Rankin skillfully, methodically shows us how our minds can make a difference in our health. She compels us to take a good look at the state of our lives. She poses the right questions to guide us. With those answers she asks us to formulate changes that will change our lives. She researched to find the right information then conveyed it effortlessly. I will live by what Lissa Rankin taught in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    An interesting book written in an enthusiastic style by an author who has experienced healing in her own body by changing her lifestyle and her thinking. Many people do not accept that the mind can heal the body and conversely that the mind can make the body suffer physical illness. Many others feel that to suggest to someone who is ill that it is their brain which has caused the illness is not productive or helpful. Modern medicine can only go so far in curing illness and it is the powerful heal An interesting book written in an enthusiastic style by an author who has experienced healing in her own body by changing her lifestyle and her thinking. Many people do not accept that the mind can heal the body and conversely that the mind can make the body suffer physical illness. Many others feel that to suggest to someone who is ill that it is their brain which has caused the illness is not productive or helpful. Modern medicine can only go so far in curing illness and it is the powerful healing processes in the patient’s own body and mind which need to be harnessed to produce a cure. The author quotes scientific research and personal experience as well as individual cases which show how the body and mind interact to produce both illness and ‘wellness’. Optimistic people seem to live longer and have fewer health problems than the pessimists amongst us. Studies have been carried out among groups of people who all have the same living conditions – e.g. nuns – and the optimists amongst them lived several years longer than the pessimists and had fewer illnesses and health problems. Maybe more work needs to be carried out to assess whether we are seeing cause and effect here – or something else but the studies the author quotes from are at the very least persuasive. One thing about being an optimist is that you are likely to enjoy life more even if you are ill. I was particularly struck by two cases the author quotes of children – one recovered from an apparently incurable cancer and the other who died. Happiness, hope and disappointment seem to have played a part in both cases. The author offers many suggestions about how you can improve your own health in some comprehensive appendices. There are many notes on the text of the book if readers wish to follow up any of the sources. If you are interested in the mind body connection then this is a fascinating book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Soficita

    I just finished this for a book club at work, a medical research center. We meet tomorrow and although I am eagerly anticipating the opinions, stories and discussions of the medical experts, I wanted to a chance to get my initial thoughts out first. I am deeply intrigued by the key idea of the book, the concept of our mind-body relationship and how the two interact and affect each other. The book started off with an interesting collection of studies with scientific results that supported this rel I just finished this for a book club at work, a medical research center. We meet tomorrow and although I am eagerly anticipating the opinions, stories and discussions of the medical experts, I wanted to a chance to get my initial thoughts out first. I am deeply intrigued by the key idea of the book, the concept of our mind-body relationship and how the two interact and affect each other. The book started off with an interesting collection of studies with scientific results that supported this relationship. However, this book quickly became redundant. Instead of depth or breadth of the concept, it pounded it's fairly basic take away point that stress is biologically harmful and we if we are intentionally more happy with reduced stress we have the potential to be more healthy, which may be reflected with biological outcomes. I felt the tone of the book shifted towards self-validation and promotion of the author's theory and to be honest I probably wouldn't have finished it if it weren't for the club. It ended with some practical soul-searching questions to apply her theory to your life, a typical self-help book. I was hoping for more rigorous exploration and contrasting discussion of concepts, such as personal responsibility within the mind-body relationship. Yes, they are complexly intertwined, but what is within and outside our grasp for change?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sam B

    First, I must say that I did believe in the power of the mind over the body before starting reading this book. BUT, Lissa Rankin being a doctor and having went through medical school writes this book for the skeptics. She approches the subject with an great attitude, the attitude of someone who had her life changed by her great amount of research and her discoveries. This book is filled with scientific evidence of the incredible power of the mind. It's not just personal testimonies as some might First, I must say that I did believe in the power of the mind over the body before starting reading this book. BUT, Lissa Rankin being a doctor and having went through medical school writes this book for the skeptics. She approches the subject with an great attitude, the attitude of someone who had her life changed by her great amount of research and her discoveries. This book is filled with scientific evidence of the incredible power of the mind. It's not just personal testimonies as some might think, it's actual research results; researches conducted by renowned physicians and professors all over America. The last part of the book is the actual method the author used to heal herself and now her patients. It's divided in different steps that are easy to follow for anyone who wants to give it a try. Not only does the author insist on the fact that we have control over our body, but she gives exercices and relaxation methods that can be used to decrease the stress response in our body. A great read! I highly recommend it to everyone!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wilderness

    This book came to me at the perfect time. I have had it on my want to read list since before it came out, but subconsciously was sabotaging the actual act of reading it. I wasn't in the right mindset to accept it until now, and it was exciting, inspirational, and literally everything I needed. If you have read other books on this topic it is not new information, but it is offered in a personable, precise, easily digestible, and inspiring format. If you haven't read any books on the topic, it is This book came to me at the perfect time. I have had it on my want to read list since before it came out, but subconsciously was sabotaging the actual act of reading it. I wasn't in the right mindset to accept it until now, and it was exciting, inspirational, and literally everything I needed. If you have read other books on this topic it is not new information, but it is offered in a personable, precise, easily digestible, and inspiring format. If you haven't read any books on the topic, it is a great place to start. If you are ill, have ever been ill, or generally want to lead a happier and healthier life I would highly recommend it. I suggest approaching it at a time when you have an open heart and can take what you need from it and leave what you don't without frustration or judgment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suze

    Dr. Lissa Rankin presents very distinct correspondences between the mind / body connection. She is not re-inventing the wheel and it’s more than theory and persuasive essay writing as she refers to documented scientific studies, then applies these findings to anecdotal examples. Very often Rankin uses instances from her own journey into debilitating health which eventually inspired this research. Despite the scientific grounding, she presents it in plain (even slangy) language and, in the end, h Dr. Lissa Rankin presents very distinct correspondences between the mind / body connection. She is not re-inventing the wheel and it’s more than theory and persuasive essay writing as she refers to documented scientific studies, then applies these findings to anecdotal examples. Very often Rankin uses instances from her own journey into debilitating health which eventually inspired this research. Despite the scientific grounding, she presents it in plain (even slangy) language and, in the end, helpfully includes a “how-to” create a personalized preventative health plan. I didn’t need much convincing but I liked the reassurance of the back-up studies and the kick in the mental butt to delve into my own issues.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Kris Carr wrote the forward, so I was a sucker for the book from "go". This book is a good reminder about the importance and possibility of considering the root causes of illness and suggestions for how to go about achieving balance. It's a handy little field guide, especially because of the wealth of specific resources Rankin offers throughout. Now that I am the chief breadwinner and person who earns health insurance for our family of 4, maintaining my health has become even more important beca Kris Carr wrote the forward, so I was a sucker for the book from "go". This book is a good reminder about the importance and possibility of considering the root causes of illness and suggestions for how to go about achieving balance. It's a handy little field guide, especially because of the wealth of specific resources Rankin offers throughout. Now that I am the chief breadwinner and person who earns health insurance for our family of 4, maintaining my health has become even more important because of what's at stake. Most of us know what we have to do, but Rankin offers the reader plenty of "hows".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rick Kew

    The Pendulum is Swinging Reassuring to see medical professionals confess that long accepted practices are not the only treatments which may bring positive results. Dr. Rankin's analysis and new thinking on how patients can help themselves is presented in robust, yet easily understood terms. Told from the perspective of her own career, her doubts and misgivings about the stereotypical modern physician's practise has given the world a brave example of what modern medicine should embrace. The Pendulum is Swinging Reassuring to see medical professionals confess that long accepted practices are not the only treatments which may bring positive results. Dr. Rankin's analysis and new thinking on how patients can help themselves is presented in robust, yet easily understood terms. Told from the perspective of her own career, her doubts and misgivings about the stereotypical modern physician's practise has given the world a brave example of what modern medicine should embrace.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Overall, very impressed. I am genuinely shocked and impressed at how much we can effect our own bodies. However, I found her overtures to standard medicine a little hollow, like when I was still trying to convince my parents that I was straight. "Yeah mom, I love dick...." If she wanted to do a perfect job of converting the skeptics, it would have been good to back off on the "woo woo" spirulina (makes me nauseated), yoga (pisses me off), and astrology (fake) aspects. I wanted personally to hear Overall, very impressed. I am genuinely shocked and impressed at how much we can effect our own bodies. However, I found her overtures to standard medicine a little hollow, like when I was still trying to convince my parents that I was straight. "Yeah mom, I love dick...." If she wanted to do a perfect job of converting the skeptics, it would have been good to back off on the "woo woo" spirulina (makes me nauseated), yoga (pisses me off), and astrology (fake) aspects. I wanted personally to hear more science. But that's ok, that's not what this book was really for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book has some good info, but is much too repetitive. It could easily have been edited down to half its size. I now have a greater appreciation for the power of the placebo effect (and its opposite, the nocebo effect) but I wasn't inspired enough to do all the exercises at the end of the book. I do like her "wellness cairn" which provides a nice visual for all the aspects of our lives that contribute to our health. This book has some good info, but is much too repetitive. It could easily have been edited down to half its size. I now have a greater appreciation for the power of the placebo effect (and its opposite, the nocebo effect) but I wasn't inspired enough to do all the exercises at the end of the book. I do like her "wellness cairn" which provides a nice visual for all the aspects of our lives that contribute to our health.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    My mom gave me this book to read. I finished the book in about a week as it was easy to digest. I thought the author did a lovely job of outlining the importance of stress and its impact on health...as well as mindfulness and its use to bring the body back to homeostasis or a place where it can heal itself. As a recovering allopathic doctor, the author marries the best of both worlds (heroic medicine and preventative/holistic medicine) and offers good advice and useful tools.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jes Singer

    3.5 stars, a little too much fluff to give it a 4 or 5. But solid good message with a lot to think about. Whether you're sick, have a loved one who is, or are healthy and want to remain so - this book has some great ideas and evidence of the power our minds have to heal our bodies. Compelling, inspiring, worthwhile. 3.5 stars, a little too much fluff to give it a 4 or 5. But solid good message with a lot to think about. Whether you're sick, have a loved one who is, or are healthy and want to remain so - this book has some great ideas and evidence of the power our minds have to heal our bodies. Compelling, inspiring, worthwhile.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Howell

    I was ambivilant about this book. While it contained some good and useful information, it wasn't anything that we haven't heard before about mind over matter and how our thoughts can effect our health. A good point, of course, but not particularly well written. I found it to be a total bore after a couple of chapters. I was ambivilant about this book. While it contained some good and useful information, it wasn't anything that we haven't heard before about mind over matter and how our thoughts can effect our health. A good point, of course, but not particularly well written. I found it to be a total bore after a couple of chapters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara (The Bibliophage)

    I like the balance between science and inspiration here. Looking forward to putting some of her suggested exercises to use in my healing process.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rebekka Steg

    I bought the Audible edition when it was on sale to relisten to it. I adored it just as much the second time around.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebekka Steg

    Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a difficult one for me. On one hand I am a skeptic at heart and I tend to question most things in life – whether that be religion, work, lifestyle and health. As an example I am gluten free, even though I am not (to my knowledge) Celiac. And you know, gluten free is all a fad… Although my decision came after reading about an Italian study that showed 75% of women with Endometriosis do better on a gluten fre Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D., is a difficult one for me. On one hand I am a skeptic at heart and I tend to question most things in life – whether that be religion, work, lifestyle and health. As an example I am gluten free, even though I am not (to my knowledge) Celiac. And you know, gluten free is all a fad… Although my decision came after reading about an Italian study that showed 75% of women with Endometriosis do better on a gluten free diet, you could easily - from a skeptical perspective - pick it apart: It wasn't a double-blind study, there was no control that people really stayed gluten free, etc. But I decided that it was a good enough reason for me to give gluten free a proper chance. After I reached my initial goal of 3 months I already felt much better, and since then I have halved my consumption of pain killers. Which is anecdotal evidence, and therefore counts for practically nothing in most skeptical communities. Furthermore, I know that I do much better when I follow a primal/paleo diet and cut out all grains, legumes, processed/refined sugar and most dairy. I always stay gluten free, but I can tell you when I eat processed food (including processed gluten free foods) and particularly anything rich in sugar, my body reacts. Strongly. Again, this is anecdotal evidence and even though I could link you to hundreds and probably thousands of blog posts from people who are paleo/primal and where these lifestyle changes have improved their health and wellness, it is still “just” anecdotal evidence. Or worse, “all in our head”, a statement which I am particularly sensitive to as I have had several doctors tell me that my period pains were “all in  my head” and that I just needed to get over myself. This happened for years until I finally saw an OB/GYN specialized in Endometriosis who straight away recognized my symptoms and had me booked in for a laparoscopy (the only way to diagnose Endometriosis). Turns out, it was not all in my head. With that being said, I do think our head and our mind can play a massive role on our health, wellness and recovery. We know that our mind can play a huge effect on our body, so that we might get better when given a sugar pill as long as we believe it is the real medicine, aka the placebo effect. Similarly we might experience side effects from medicine – even if we have received no real medicine – this is also known as the nocebo effect. It is a fine line though, I don’t believe in “the law of attraction” – that it is out “fault” if we become ill, but I do think our mind can play a huge role in our getting better. What I don’t understand is how often the conventional medical community will completely disregard the placebo effect as a useful tool in helping people to heal. At the end of the day, if I halved my pain from going gluten free I don’t really care if it’s the placebo effect – I care about how I feel and my health.  While I did not agree with everything that Lissa writes in Mind Over Medicine, I thought it was very thought-provoking and a great read to start thinking about these issues. I really loved her own journey from a more “standard” medical approach, to beginning to look at the role that our mind plays in our health. Her dedication to her dad (who was also a very skeptical doctor) was very heart-warming: I hugged Mom and mused about what my father would think about this book if he had read it. The whole time I researched it, his voice was the voice in the back of my head, questioning me, prodding me, pushing me to go deeper, serving as the ultimate skeptic I was trying to win over. I also really appreciated her focus on providing references for her statements: Throughout this book, I make every effort to back up what might seem like far-out statements with scientific references. Because I know that what I’m about to teach you will raise eyebrows, I’ve written this book just for the people who are skeptical, as I was. I’ve laid out the book to walk you through my argument as if a jury of my physician peers were judging me. Lissa starts of by talking about the different thoughts around how placebo works; 1) they think they will get better, 2) classical conditioning, 3) emotional support, 4) other treatment and 5) disease resolves itself. She goes on to talk about how negative thinking has been shown to have an effect on our body and how our thoughts can actually change the way our DNA expresses itself. Lipton says, “When we shift the mind’s interpretation of illness from fear and danger to positive belief, the brain responds biochemically, the blood changes the body’s cell culture, and the cells change on a biological level.” When our beliefs are hopeful and optimistic, the mind releases chemicals that put the body in a state of physiological rest, controlled primarily by the parasympathetic nervous system, and in this state of rest, the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are free to get to work fixing what’s broken in the body. Talking about the use of alternative treatments (this is where I get very skeptical, to be honest): Instead of dismissing such treatments, I’d like to make the argument that perhaps nontraditional healing modalities work not so much because of the modality being practiced as because of the potent combination of positive belief in the healing method, the nurturing care offered by the practitioner, and the relaxation responses these treatments induce. Perhaps these modalities are, in fact, highly effective— but not via the means we might expect. In conventional medical wisdom, we call anything that doesn’t outperform placebo “quackery.” But haven’t we lost sight of the real goal? I suggest we reconsider our evaluation standards regarding the efficacy of medical treatments. If the patient is getting better, does it really matter whether the treatment is better than placebo? Is resolution of symptoms and cure of disease not the ultimate goal? Does it really matter how we achieve such a goal? One thing that turns out to be very important is whether or not we FEEL in control of our health and our lives: Psychological states can directly affect the outcome of remission from some diseases, at least those that are immune-mediated, as many cancers are. This may explain why optimists are healthier than pessimists. Because of their healthier explanatory styles in the face of negative life events , optimists are more likely to learn healthy adaptations in response to life’s shocks, making them immune to states of helplessness. Pessimists, on the other hand, feel like life’s shocks are inescapable, and like the listless, helpless rats, they get depressed and their immune systems weaken . Over the course of a lifetime, fewer episodes of learned helplessness may keep the immune system stronger, reduce stress responses and their negative health outcomes, and reduce the likelihood of disease. Radical self-care also involves things like setting boundaries, living in alignment with your truth, surrounding yourself with love and a sense of connection, and spending time doing what you love. You need radical self-care, not just in your health habits, but in the rest of your life. Merely knowing what needs to change isn’t enough. The hardest part of the process is mustering up the guts to actually do what you know you need to do. [caption id="attachment_1628" align="aligncenter" width="294"] Whole Health Cairn[/caption] Lissa goes on to talk about the importance of happiness, how we can deal with our own negative thoughts and beliefs. She also goes into great detail about the importance of balance in our lives, what she calls the ‘whole health cairn’ – if one of the stones/parts in our lives isn’t balanced, our physical health is often the first to go. Lissa ends by giving us suggestions on how we can write our own individual prescription to help us create more balance and vitality in our life.

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