Reinventing Medicine

Reinventing Medicine

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by Larry Dossey

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Larry Dossey forever changed our understanding of the healing process with his phenomenal New York Times bestseller, Healing Words. Now the man considered on of the pioneers of mind/body medicine provides the scientific and medical proof that the spiritual dimension works in therapeutic treatment, exploding the boundaries of the healing arts with


Larry Dossey forever changed our understanding of the healing process with his phenomenal New York Times bestseller, Healing Words. Now the man considered on of the pioneers of mind/body medicine provides the scientific and medical proof that the spiritual dimension works in therapeutic treatment, exploding the boundaries of the healing arts with his most powerful book yet.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Medical Association
Reinventing Medicine changes everything. In his latest book, Larry Dossey, MD, has done a masterful job of meticulously documenting the science at the frontiers of medicine while expanding those frontiers even further. This work reflects the changes in medicine, historically and futuristically.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Always in the vanguard, physician Dossey (Prayer Is Good Medicine, etc.) makes a fascinating case for the next revolution in medicine beyond the current era of mind-body healing. Rather than signaling an entirely new direction, he defines a larger, more humane vision based on incorporating advances in integrative medicine. His brief, persuasive work is bound to attract attention from the general public and medical professionals alike, especially in light of his pioneering work on the connection between prayer and healing. Rendering his argument in simple language and illustrating it with many individual stories as well as scientific studies, Dossey contends that we are entering an era of the "non-local mind"--that consciousness can accomplish healing outside the confines of one's brain and body, influencing distant events, people and circumstances. He does not discount the efficacy of medical intervention so much as he anticipates an enlightened model of partnership between patient and healer. While some readers may resist the idea of prayer influencing such events as cell development, many will accept the more familiar examples involving animal behavior (e.g., pets traveling thousands of miles to reunite with their owners). Addressing such major conduits of nonlocal healing as dreams, prayer and being in "the zone," Dossey offers moving examples of human healing that seem inexplicable by other means. He is at his most eloquent in his concluding chapter on "Eternity Medicine," or the compassionate treatment of the dying. Agent, James Levine. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In his Recovering the Soul, physician Dossey first introduced the idea that there have been, so far, three eras of Western medicine: physical healing, mind-body healing, and a new era he focuses on here, continuing his investigation/description/ validation of alternative healing. He challenges physicians and others to look beyond the now-accepted mind-body component of healing (pioneered during what he calls Era II) and to embrace what he terms nonlocal medicine--a worldview incorporating consciousness as a healing agent, where events are unaffected by space or time. Dossey summarizes research supporting nonlocality and then examines it in the context of ordinary, day-to-day medical practice. Although some of the material included here is repeated from previous works, much of the research he cites is recent. An interesting and unusual approach to health studies; recommended for public libraries and health science centers.--Andy Wickens, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. of the Health Sciences Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Chapter One
The Eras Of Medicine

Man's perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception:
he perceives far more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover.
William Blake
"snowing and about three inches deep ... wind at northeast and mercury at 30.... Continuing snowing till one o'clock and about four it became perfectly clear.Wind in the same place but not hard.Mercury at 28 at night."

These were the last words George Washington, the first president of the United States, wrote.

On the morning of December I3, I799, at age sixty-seven, Washington had gone on his long daily ride at Mount Vernon.He was an obsessive horseman, and not even foul weather could keep him out of the saddle.When he returned later that day, his greatcoat was soaked through, and snow hung from his white hair.He sat down to dinner without changing his damp clothes, and by evening he had a sore throat.On trying to read parts of the newspaper aloud, he was hampered by hoarseness.When his secretary, Tobias Lear, suggested he take some medicine, Washington declined, saying, "No.You know I never take anything for a cold.Let it go as it came."

Between two and three in the morning, Washington woke his wife, Martha, and complained that he had a very sore throat and was feeling unwell.He could hardly talk, was shaking with chills, and had trouble breathing.At George's request, Martha sent for his lifelong friend Dr. William Craik, who had been his companion in the French and Indian War and a fellow explorer of the frontier.In the meantime, Washington asked Rawlins,the overseer who usually took care of sick slaves, to bleed him.He bared his arm, and Rawlins made the incision, but Washington complained that the incision was not wide enough."More," he ordered.When Craik arrived he applied Spanish fly to Washington's throat, to draw blood into a blister, and bled him again.Washington was. given sage tea and vinegar to gargle and nearly choked.Craik sent for another doctor and bled him again.

Between three and four in the afternoon, two more physicians, Gustavus Brown and Elisha Cullen Dick, arrived.Craik and Brown agreed on a diagnosis of quinsy, what we today would call acute streptococcal pharyngitis, or strep throat.They decided on more bleedings, blisterings, and purges with laxatives.But Dick, a thirty-seven-year-old graduate of the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine (also Craik's alma mater), dissented.It was his view that Washington was suffering from "a violent inflammation of the membranes of the throat, which it had almost closed, and which, if not immediately arrested, would result in death." Dick urged that a radical new surgical procedure be performed that he had learned about in Scotland for cases like this—a tracheotomy below Washington's infected, swollen throat to allow him to continue to breathe.But this was too much for the senior physicians Craik and Brown, and they would not agree.

Dick took another tack.At the very least, he pleaded, do not bleed Washington again."He needs all his strength—bleeding will diminish it." Again Craik and Brown ignored the younger doctor. They asked for and obtained Washington's consent to bleed him a fourth time. Washington rallied briefly, long enough for Craik to give him calomel and other purgatives.

Shortly thereafter, George asked Martha to come to his bedside.He requested that she bring his two wills and burn the old one, which she did.

Washington continued to defer to the advice of Craik and to refuse the suggestions of the younger man.He had convinced himself early in the day that he was going to die."I find I am going.My breath cannot continue long," he whispered to Lear, to whom he gave instructions for the arrangements of all his military papers and accounts.Then Washington smiled and said with perfect resignation that death "is the debt which we must all pay." To Craik he whispered a little later, "Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.My breath cannot last long." A lifelong stoic, he did not complain, although he must have been in terrific pain.

"'Tis well, he finally whispered.These were his last words.Five hours later, with his beloved Martha at his side, George Washington died.

Washington was hard to kill.At a muscular six-four, he was a giant for his day.His ironlike constitution enabled him to survive a volley of illnesses that would have killed weaker men—dysentery, influenza, malaria, mumps, pleurisy, pneumonia, rickets, smallpox, staph infections, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever—not even counting all the lead shot at him.It is ironic that in the end he succumbed to an illness that today is regarded more as a nuisance than a disease and that can be cured by a single injection or a handful of pills: strep throat.

It is easy to find fault with the way America's first president was treated in his final hours, but retrospective criticism is unfair.Washington's physicians were doing the best they could with the knowledge they had.To senior physicians Craik and Brown, young Dick's suggestion of a tracheotomy probably sounded like assassination.They were unwilling to make Washington, the most revered man in America, an experiment for an unproved, unfamiliar surgical intervention.Washington himself declined Dick's advice.A true man of his time, he got what he expected and what he wanted—bleeding, blistering, and purging.

The Eras Of Medicine

Washington's deathbed therapies show a gruesome side of medicine, which has prevailed for most of our Western history.His final hours reveal both the helplessness of the physicians of his day and the fact that by and large the techniques in use at the time either did not work or were actually harmful.In the early nineteenth century, there was no getting around the fact that doctors were dangerous.

Meet the Author

Larry Dossey, M.D., is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Healing Words, and Prayer Is Good Medicine. An authority on spiritual healing, he lectures throughout the country and has been a frequent guest on Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, and The Learning Channel. He is responsible for introducing innovations in spiritual care to acclaimed institutions across the country. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Era III medicine, an idea whose time has come, is the practice of Non-local, Eternity Medicine. Recognizing that the mind of the patient is not limited to the physical body or even to the individual, great strides in healing and the practice of healing have been made. We are each the beneficiaries of this evolutionary process. Beginning with Era I Medicine, that of the physical body/ mechanical processes only, our understanding of the mind and it¿s connection to the health and attitude of the patient evolved into Era II Medicine, the acknowledgement of the relationship of the mind / body connection in health and healing. Era II, however, recognized only ¿the mind¿ within a ¿single person¿ and connected to or as a function of the anatomical brain. The triumph and opportunity of Era III Medicine is that it brilliantly and limitlessly replaces an outdated concepts of linear, logical, scientific model for healing in lieu of a total Wholeness/ Wellness concept, which revolves around the spiritual nature of the being/ patient.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever suspected that healing requires something more than either an entirely body-based approach... or even a mind-body approach? Would you like to better understand how powerful prayer really is for healing? If so, you'll love Larry Dossey's book, 'Reinventing Medicine', in which he describes this new era of non-local medicine. Dossey cites very convincing scientific studies that indicate healing can be achieved at a distance by directing loving thoughts, intentions and prayers to others -- even if they are not aware that these loving thoughts are being extended to them. Dossey's revolutionary book inspires us to consider the healing power of what he calls Eternity Medicine in our everyday lives right now. I get goose-bumps of excitement and joy each time I read this book, and give it my highest recommendation