Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being

Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being

by Esther M. Sternberg M.D.

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Overview

Does the world make you sick? If the distractions and distortions around you, the jarring colors and sounds, could shake up the healing chemistry of your mind, might your surroundings also have the power to heal you? This is the question Esther Sternberg explores in Healing Spaces, a look at the marvelously rich nexus of mind and body, perception and place.
Sternberg immerses us in the discoveries that have revealed a complicated working relationship between the senses, the emotions, and the immune system. First among these is the story of the researcher who, in the 1980s, found that hospital patients with a view of nature healed faster than those without. How could a pleasant view speed healing? The author pursues this question through a series of places and situations that explore the neurobiology of the senses. The book shows how a Disney theme park or a Frank Gehry concert hall, a labyrinth or a garden can trigger or reduce stress, induce anxiety, or instill peace.
If our senses can lead us to a “place of healing,” it is no surprise that our place in nature is of critical importance in Sternberg’s account. The health of the environment is closely linked to personal health. The discoveries this book describes point to possibilities for designing hospitals, communities, and neighborhoods that promote healing and health for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674057487
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/30/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 729,866
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Esther M. Sternberg, M.D., author of The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions, has done extensive research on brain–immune interactions and the effects of the brain’s stress response on health. She is Research Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Table of Contents

1 Healing Places 1

2 Seeing and Healing 25

3 Sound and Silence 53

4 Cotton Wool and Clouds of Frankincense 75

5 Mazes and Labyrinths 95

6 Finding Your Way... 125

7 ...and Losing it 143

8 Healing Thought and Healing Prayer 169

9 Hormones of Hope and Healing 193

10 Hospitals and Well-Being 215

11 Healing Cities, Healing World 253

12 Healing Gardens and My Place of Peace 280

Bibliography 299

Acknowledgments 325

Index 327

What People are Saying About This

John Cacioppo

Most of us explain what other people do in terms of their individual abilities, motives, and personality traits, even when their behavior is due primarily to situational forces. This important and beautifully written book shows that contemporary medicine has made the same fundamental error about healing, and shows how powerful situations and spaces can be in moving people from illness to health.
John Cacioppo, author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection

Anne Harrington

A vividly written book about a humanly important issue: the ways in which the spaces we literally inhabit--whether they be hospital rooms or spacious outdoor vistas--are not just backdrops to our dramas of health and illness, but actually have an impact on the outcomes of those dramas. Mixing accessible science with elegant "you are there" journeys of exploration, Sternberg has written a book that pushes the boundary of mind-body science in ways that patients and their caregivers alike will appreciate.
Anne Harrington, author of The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine

Gail Sheehy

Esther Sternberg is a rare writer--a physician who healed herself by going back to ancient truths known by the Greeks, and proving them. With her scientific expertise and crystal clear prose, she illuminates how intimately the brain and the immune system talk to each other, and how we can use place and space, sunlight and music, to reboot our brains and move from illness to health.
Gail Sheehy, author of Passages

Norman L. Koonce

This engaging book--conversational in tone, informative in content--is full of insight on collective healing and well-being. Esther Sternberg reveals the power of both natural places and architecture to elevate and enrich human experience and health. Enjoy it, and benefit from reading it!
Norman L. Koonce, former CEO, American Institute of Architects

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