Spontaneous Healing: How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself

( 12 )

Overview

The body can heal itself. Spontaneous healing is not a miracle but a fact of biology--the result of the natural healing system that each one of us is born with. Drawing on fascinating case histories as well as medical techniques from around the world, Dr. Andrew Weil shows how spontaneous healing has worked to resolve life-threatening diseases, severe trauma, and chronic pain. Weil then outlines an eight-week program in which you'll discover:

- The truth about spontaneous ...

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Spontaneous Healing

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Overview

The body can heal itself. Spontaneous healing is not a miracle but a fact of biology--the result of the natural healing system that each one of us is born with. Drawing on fascinating case histories as well as medical techniques from around the world, Dr. Andrew Weil shows how spontaneous healing has worked to resolve life-threatening diseases, severe trauma, and chronic pain. Weil then outlines an eight-week program in which you'll discover:

- The truth about spontaneous healing and how it interacts with the mind
- The foods, vitamins, supplements, and tonic herbs that will help you enhance your innate healing powers
- Advice on how to avoid environmental toxins and reduce stress
- The strengths and weaknesses of conventional and alternative treatments
- Natural methods to ameliorate common kinds of illnesses
And much more!

A healing diet/protection from toxins/using tonics/activity & rest/mind & spirit/making the right decisions when sick.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"DR. ANDREW WEIL IS AN EXTRAORDINARY PHENOMENON."
--The Washington Post

"MEMORABLE . . . DR. WEIL MAKES HIS CASE CAREFULLY AND CLEARLY."
--The New York Times Book Review

"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
--Library Journal (starred review)

Marijane Green
Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil, M.D. provides a look at the world of alternative medicine though the eyes of a Harvard Medical School graduate. The book is chock full of testimonials from patients who recovered from their afflictions by what Weil calls spontaneous healing. Spontaneous healing occurs when conventional medicine can give no other reason for a patient's recovery. He breaks these testimonials into subchapters called "The Faces of Healing," outlining each patient's history and recovery.

Weil began his medical career receiving training in conventional medicine at one of the most respected medical schools in the nation, Harvard. Soon thereafter, he began exploring the world of alternative medicine and he liked what he saw. Weil has worked for the National Institute of Mental Health and was a research assistant in ethnopharmacology at the Harvard Botanical Museum. He traveled the world extensively collecting information about the medical properties of plants, altered states of consciousness, and healing. When the book was written, he was the Associate Director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he practiced natural and preventive medicine.

Chapter two, Right in My Own Backyard, describes Weil's return from his South American travels in 1973, and his settlment near Tucson, Arizona, where he lives to this day. This chapter is easily one of the most interesting, providing insight into Weil's beliefs. In this chapter, we meet kindly Dr. Robert Fulford, an unusual osteopathic physician who believes in "cranial therapy." At this time, Weil says he was prejudiced about osteopaths, and with the usual prejudices of medical doctors, considered them second-rate M.D's who "dabbled in the kind of manipulation of the body more frequently done by chiropractors." This chapter details Fulford's medical practices and how Weil was eventually won over by his techniques. At the end of the chapter, Weil states, "Dr. Fulford did not succeed with everyone, but he had a higher percentage of successful outcomes than any other practitioner I have met."

Although Weil provides detailed information supporting various types of alternative medicine, it seems the conventional medical community would not receive this book with open arms. However, Weil offers a credible look at alternative therapy that is worthwhile reading for any medical professional. For those who already support alternative medicine, the book provides valuable insight into both alternative and conventional worlds of treatment.

In various chapters Weil discusses, "Medical Pessimism," "The Healing System," "The Role of the Mind in Healing," "The Tao of Healing," "Optimizing Your Healing System," "A Healing Diet," "Protecting Yourself from Toxins," "Using Tonics," "Activity and Rest," and "Mind and Spirit." He ends the book with his "Eight Week Program for Optimal Healing Power." Here, Weil outlines his program for wellness and healing.

Some readers might be skeptical of alternative medicine, but this easy-to-read book provides solid evidence for considering alternative practices. Those who believe in alternative medicine will also find the book helpful and informative.
FitnessLink

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As others argue the politics of health care, Weil "Health and Healing" turns away from the usual practice of Western medicine, which is focused on alleviating symptoms rather than strengthening internal mechanisms of health, to closely consider the nature of the healing process. "At every level of biological organization, from DNA up,'' he writes, the "mechanics of self-diagnosis, self-repair and regeneration exist in us.'' To buttress his point, he cites such evidence as the placebo effect, inexplicable remissions and the commonplace repair of wounds, often marginalized by the medical community. In an effort to make the process of healing seem less obscure, Weil reports a wide range of dramatic case histories. Other sections detail various means, e.g., diet and breathing exercises, available for optimizing one's healing system, and suggestions for approaches to illnesses. Also included are an ``Eight Week Program for Optimal Healing Power'' and a guide to finding practitioners, supplies and information.
Library Journal
Arizona doctor Weil leads the movement to combine alternative forms of medicine with standard treatment.
From Barnes & Noble
Examining thebody's ability to heal itself, Dr. Weil describes the mechanisms involved in this process and explains its interactions with the mind, its biological organization, and its systems of self-diagnosis, self-repair, and regeneration. He analyzes natural, non-invasive measures to cure disease, from acupuncture to biofeedback and herbal medicine, and provides specific information on how to aid the body in maintaining its well-being: information on regarding diet, environmental factors, exercise, stress reduction, and vitamins and supplements.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804117944
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 209,530
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.85 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Andrew Weil is a leader in the new field of integrative medicine, which combines the best ideas and practices of Western and alternative medicine. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, which is advancing the field worldwide. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. His Web site, "Ask Dr. Weil," is in the top five of all health-related programs on the Internet.

Biography

Since the early ‘70s, Andrew Weil has been bucking conventional wisdom about healthy living.

Weil began his career with a bang -- or maybe just a puff -- in The Natural Mind, a book containing ideas that remain controversial today. Most famously, it endorsed the idea of "stoned thinking" (induced not only by drugs but also by hypnosis, meditation, etc.) and identified a bias in traditional studies about mind-altering drugs. The book was fortified by Weil's own experience studying and taking various psychotropic agents, and while it suggested that non-chemical experiences were healthier, it also bore open criticism of American drug policy. Weil continued his exploration of altered mental states with The Marriage of the Sun and Moon and From Chocolate to Morphine (coauthored with Winifred Rosen).

In his next three titles -- Health and Healing, Natural Health, Natural Medicine, and Spontaneous Healing -- Weil turned to illness and alternative therapies, educating readers on then relatively unknown options such as homeopathy, herbal medicine, cranial therapy and other unconventional approaches. The fact that Weil was a Harvard-trained doctor lent his writings credibility and popularity with an ever-widening readership, even as he earned a somewhat heretical status in the world of mainstream medicine.

Some of Weil's views might rile practitioners of traditional medicine -- he has suggested that certain conventional treatments do more harm than good -- but Weil has never advocated abandonment of the medical establishment. Rather, he promotes integrative medicine: an approach to health that embraces nontraditional healing methods and takes the mind and spirit into account when assessing and treating problems. In response to Dr. Arthur Relman's assault in the New Republic, charging that assertions in Weil's books that lacked scientific backing, Weil responded on his web site, "If I had dismissed the successes I saw with [cranial therapy, for example] as ‘anecdotes,' we would not be in a position to take the next step and gather the data that Dr. Relman wants to see. It is important to note that paradigm shifts, in medicine as in other fields, are not quiet affairs. They occasion much screaming and kicking." (To both of the doctors' credits, they engaged in a public debate at the University of Arizona following Relman's much-discussed critique, minus the screaming and kicking.) Whatever the future holds for certain alternative approaches, it is a testament both to Weil's popularity and the growing interest in his ideas that studies of such practices have begun to win funding and attention.

Eight Weeks to Optimum Health was the most complete synthesis yet of Weil's ideas about holistic health and also helped cement his status as a health guru. Unlike most "diets" that focused mostly on meal plans and magical eating formulas, Weil's program is about a balance of nutrients, herbs, exercise, and mental salves such as turning off the news or keeping fresh flowers around. In particular, Weil became a well known expert on the growing field of herbal supplements.

Recently, Weil teamed with Rosie Daley -- Oprah's former personal chef – to create The Healthy Kitchen. The book operates on a bit of push-and-pull between Daley and Weil, with "Andy" offering substitute ingredients to some of Rosie's recipes. As with Weil's other tomes, The Healthy Kitchen does not operate on draconian edicts, offering options for individuals instead.

Good To Know

Weil is director and founder of the Program in Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Also, his Polaris Foundation advances the cause of integrative medicine through public policy, education, and research.

Weil's parents owned a millinery store in Philadelphia, and his mother fostered his interest in botany. "When you grow up in a row house, there's very limited opportunity to grow stuff, but my mother knew some things from her mother, who was the one with the real green thumb," he told My Generation magazine. "And she did introduce me to growing bulbs in the house, and we had a little plot of ground to garden. That stuff fascinated me. And I always dreamed about the day when I could have enough space to do it."

Weil's undergraduate focus was ethnobotany, which focuses on the uses of certain plants by various cultures and ethnicities. His thesis title: "The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent." Under a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, Weil traveled from 1971-75 throughout Central and South America to investigate cultural psychotropics and healing. Many of his findings from this time are collected in The Marriage of the Sun and Moon.

Weil lives in Arizona "by pure chance," he told HealthWorld Online. His car broke down in the mid-1970s, and it took so long to fix that he ended up staying in Tucson.

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    1. Hometown:
      Tucson, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 8, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Biology, Harvard University, 1964; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1968
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
I The Healing System
1 Prologue in the Rain Forest 11
2 Right in My Own Backyard 25
3 Testimonials 45
4 Medical Pessimism 59
5 The Healing System 71
6 The Role of the Mind in Healing 88
7 The Tao of Healing 107
II Optimizing the Healing System
8 Optimizing Your Healing System: An Overview 129
9 A Healing Diet 136
10 Protecting Yourself from Toxins 154
11 Using Tonics 171
12 Activity and Rest 187
13 Mind and Spirit 194
14 An Eight-Week Program for Optimal Healing Power 210
III If You Get Sick
15 Making the Right Decisions 221
16 Considering the Alternatives 238
17 Seven Strategies of Successful Patients 248
18 Managing General Categories of Illness: Secrets of a Hygeian Practitioner 253
19 Cancer as a Special Case 267
Afterword: Prescriptions for Society 277
Acknowledgments 282
Appendix: Finding Practitioners, Supplies, and Information 284
Notes 290
Index 299
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 12, 2013

    I do Recommend it.

    Go for it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Excellent resource for improvement of life.

    This book reinforced much of the nutritional information found in some other works by Pollan and others, but was much more useful in providing a practical guide to health and wellness. It also delves more deeply into the minds role in wellness than anything I've read before. The world needs more physicians like Dr. Weil.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    Great!

    The book draws you in each and every page, better understanding how you have control of your own health.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    I love this book!

    This is book on health, but it is written like a story book--filled with cases of hope and healing. It covers all aspects of altenative medicine, from nutrition to mind body medicine. I simply loved it and recommend it highly.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Empty room

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    Very Insightful Reading

    I thought it was a great book. It was easy to follow and interesting.

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