Radical Healing: Integrating The World's Great Therapeutic Traditions To Create A New Transformative Medicine

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This extraordinary book offers nothing less than a new vision of medical care. Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., has created a unique, integrative blending of the primary holistic schools of healing that is far more potent than any one of these alone.

Like Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil, Rudolph Ballentine is a medical doctor who became intrigued by the workings of mind-body medicine and looked beyond the West in his search for understanding. Drawing ...
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This extraordinary book offers nothing less than a new vision of medical care. Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., has created a unique, integrative blending of the primary holistic schools of healing that is far more potent than any one of these alone.

Like Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil, Rudolph Ballentine is a medical doctor who became intrigued by the workings of mind-body medicine and looked beyond the West in his search for understanding. Drawing on thirty years of medical study and practice, Dr. Ballentine has accomplished a singular feat: integrating the wisdom of the great traditional healing systems--especially Ayurveda, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, European and Native American herbology, nutrition, psychotherapy, and bodywork. Melded together, the profound principles buried in these systems become clearer and stronger, and a new level of effectiveness becomes possible. Healing and reorganization are accelerated and deepened--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The result is transformation. The result is radical healing.

Radical Healing harnesses nature's medicinals--plants and other natural substances--with commonsense essentials such as diet, exercise, and cleansing, as well as the most profound principles of spiritual and psychological transformation. In Dr. Ballentine's synthesis, illness is an opportunity for growth that can go far beyond recovery. Through radical healing old habits and attitudes that supported the development of disease fall away, to be replaced by the clarity that comes with a whole new way of being in the world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609804841
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 1.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Trained at Duke University, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D., created and directs the Center for Holistic Medicine in New York City. He has written a number of books, including the classic work Diet and Nutrition. Physician, psychiatrist, herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, homeopath, and teacher, Dr. Ballentine provides a model for the health practitioner of the future.
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Read an Excerpt

Back in 1972, when I began my search for a better approach to health and illness, one of the first books I acquired was American Indian Medicine, by Virgil Vogel. I pored over the descriptions of how different tribes used common plants, many of which I had known growing up in the woods and fields of the rural South. I was fascinated by the notion that nature could heal, and I felt in my bones the power of that truth.

By early 1973 I was in Lahore, Pakistan, sitting beside a hakeem, a practitioner of traditional Unani medicine, in his indoor/outdoor consulting booth at the edge of a dusty street. Surrounding him were shelves of hand-labeled bottles holding exotic compounds that had been patiently ground in a mortar and pestle. A year later, when I began my training in Ayurveda and homeopathy, I discovered the subtlety and complexity of such natural medicinals and the power they had, not merely to relieve suffering, but to catalyze personal growth and transformation.

After returning to America, I hauled around my kit of remedies and potions, offering them hesitantly and with some embarrassment to friends and patients. Today, nature's medicinals are quite in vogue, popping up everywhere--shiny new versions of those myriad little bottles fill shelf after shelf in health-food stores and even pharmacies. They come from many parts of the world and reflect a variety of therapeutic schools. The most widely available are herbs, homeopathics, cell salts, and flower essences.

Though each of these classes of natural remedies has its own breed of practitioner, a common thread runs through them: they are all lifted from the same living matrix that nurturesand sustains us human beings. As a result, such medicinals tend to convey complex, natural, informational patterns that can be used by the human system to reprogram the body and mind. Because these medicinals come from the larger biosphere, they encourage the kind of personal reorganization and spiritual evolution that is congruous with an overall shift toward a healthier planet. They heal us into a wholeness with Nature.

Though all of the medicinals we will explore here have the capacity to promote change and reorganization, each type provides a distinct therapeutic "angle," with herbs being used most often to affect organ systems, homeopathics for rebalancing the overall "vital force," and flower essences for addressing the dilemmas of the mind. Understanding the principles that govern the use of each class will allow you to learn to use its basic remedies and, if you wish, to stock and apply the home medicine kit detailed in Section V. Meanwhile, your personal experience with the transformational effects of natural remedies will provide a foundation for much of what you'll learn in the rest of this book.

1: Herbal Traditions Dr. A. came into the Center for Holistic Medicine in New York City looking sallow and breathing heavily. It had been all he could do to get himself there. He was exhausted and sick, but relieved to have made it. "I left the hospital," he said. "They told me not to, but I did anyway. I couldn't deal with all the tests and medications."

Dr. A. was a psychoanalyst of the old school. He had escaped Vienna as the Nazis arrived, and had come to America already middle-aged. Starting over in New York was no small challenge. In order to open professional doors that would otherwise have been closed to a man his age, he simply told everyone that he was ten years younger than he was. With his energy and determination, he was questioned by no one, and he'd become quite successful.

But now, at the age of eighty-six, it was all catching up with him: the cumulative professional responsibilities, the rapid tempo of New York City, and a physical constitution that had never been very strong. Under the stress of trying to maintain the pace of a younger man, all his systems had begun to fail. He was admitted to the hospital with a laundry list of complaints including anemia, chest pain, and a bloated abdomen. Whether it was due to the barrage of invasive tests he was put through there or the side effects of strong medications, he found his strength ebbing alarmingly. So he signed out "against medical advice" and retreated to his cottage on Cape Cod. After recovering enough to travel again, he came in to see me.

I looked at his swollen ankles, listened to the moist sounds in his chest, and said, "You're in heart failure!" His heart was letting fluids accumulate in his lungs and legs. "You've got to go back into the hospital . . ." I began to explain patiently. "Oh no!" he interrupted, mustering more intensity than I thought him capable of at the moment. "I'll die at home first." Hospitalization was out of the question; he'd already done that, he insisted, and it had nearly killed him.

Two and a half hours from the city was the Himalayan Institute, where we did residential holistic therapy programs. We weren't set up for intensive care, but he couldn't remain at home. Soon I installed him there and he started on a holistic program.

By the second day of his stay, I was nervous. Dr. A. wasn't getting any better. His condition was serious, and it was becoming obvious that the diet and exercise regimens we offered weren't going to do the trick. I pulled down my Scudder's textbook of Eclectic Medicine, published in the 1800s, and studied the various herbal remedies that had been used for heart failure. I didn't dare give him digitalis unless it fit his symptoms precisely. If it did fit, a small dose would turn him around. If it didn't, the dose needed to get results could be dangerous, since foxglove, the plant from which the digitalis leaf is taken, is quite poisonous. Unfortunately, it didn't fit. Digitalis works well when there's a slow pulse, but his pulse was fast. That, along with his bloated abdomen and fluid accumulation, pointed me in the direction of convallaria, the common name of which is lily of the valley.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2002

    Do not miss

    The book may not be the cheapest one or the thinnest one; But its worth every dollar and cent. Self-Help books tend to preach sometimes, or to be preoccupied with mysterious conventions without an explanation. But this is not one of them; The author is honest, intelligent, lively and most of all- it does make sense. The reading is easy and the book provides many tools not only to deal with certain and specific diseases, but also to simply improve your lifestyle and offers tools to customize your habits\diet\excercise to your needs and type. This book is not to be missed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2000

    An Invaluable Book

    A year has passed since I purchased and read Dr. Ballentine's 'Radical Healing.' I continue to think about and assimilate all that he said. I continue to reach for the book and consider its suggestions when an illness arises; this book is rich with easily-applied therapies. But 'Radical Healing' is much more than lists of treatments. This is a book of ideas and possibilities. The notion here is that our healing is largely in our hands, and that there is so much more to health and healing than western convention has led us to believe. Dr. Ballentine covers a lot of ground. He offers an understanding of the source of illness, and different means to probe illness, recognize it, accept it, deal with it, and find health. Dr. Ballentine is easy to read. He doesn't club you over the head with his beliefs. He writes as a true physician, as one who opens the patient, the reader in this case, to himself, to his own power to heal, to his own responsibility to heal.

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