One day Donna Jackson Nakazawa found herself lying on the floor to recover from climbing the stairs. That’s when it hit her. She was managing the symptoms of the autoimmune disorders that had plagued her for a decade, but she had lost her joy. As a science journalist, she was curious to know what mind-body strategies might help her. As a wife and mother she was determined to get her life back.
Over the course of one year, Nakazawa researches and tests a variety of therapies including meditation, yoga, and acupuncture to find out what works. But the discovery of a little-known branch of research into Adverse Childhood Experiences causes her to have an epiphany about her illness that not only stuns her—it turns her life around.
Perfect for readers of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, Nakazawa shares her unexpected discoveries, amazing improvements, and shows readers how they too can find their own last best cure.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.54(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.23(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an acclaimed journalist, public speaker, and author of the award-winning book The Autoimmune Epidemic. An alumna of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, Nakazawa is a graduate of Duke University.
Table of Contents
Part I In the Beginning
1 The Joy Thief 3
2 A Bold New Idea 12
3 The Cost of a Childhood Lost 17
4 The PIN Response 31
5 Baseline 45
Part II Meditation: Coming to the Quiet
6 Mind-Full 57
7 Meditating: The Sweet Spot 67
8 A Little Self-Love Here 78
9 Playing Catch with Thoughts in Midair 95
10 So How Did We Get This Way? 101
11 Breath Works 107
12 The Compassion Cure 115
13 Staying Out in Front of Myself 128
14 The Black Ferret 140
15 More Than Skin Deep 147
16 The Loss That Lives Forever 153
17 Psychotherapy on Steroids 160
18 Shedding 169
Part III Bodywork
19 So Why Aren't We All Doing Yoga? 179
20 A Gentle Start 192
21 Oh to Be a Yogini 196
22 Body Love 202
23 The Life Force 212
24 The Oldest Medicine 218
25 Moving Qi 225
Part IV Landing in a Different Place
26 The Final Reckoning 241
27 Cells Tell 253
Epilogue: Into the Wind 256
Appendix: Finding Your Own Last Best Cure 261
What People are Saying About This
Praise for The Last Best Cure:
“The Last Best Cure will change lives; it may even save some. For all who travel through the dark and lonely landscape of chronic illness, here is hope and healing supported by solid science and first-hand experience. Hand extended, heart open, Donna Jackson Nakazawa is a seasoned, compassionate guide, pointing the way to the light at the end of the tunnel.”
–Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day
“This is a genuine page-turning science/non-fiction thriller! Nakazawa is endearing. Her situation is compelling. Her story-telling art is masterful. You will learn a great deal of up-to-the-minute neuroscience research all the while hoping that Nakazawa’s disciplined quest for health succeeds.”
–Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life
“Donna Jackson Nakazawa has written a moving account of her recovery from severe autoimmune disorders and her success with innovative mind/body therapies. It will certainly inspire others suffering from chronic illness to use integrative medicine to activate their innate healing potential.”
–Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Spontaneous Happiness
“As both a science journalist and someone struggling with serious health issues, Donna Jackson Nakazawa offers clarity, heart, and hope for recovery and well-being. Funny, fast-moving, honest, insightful, and always helpful, her story of her journey to wellness brings together mind and body, East and West, solid research and the upper reaches of human potential.”
–Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
“Our seasons of serious illness can be scary, lonely and deeply depressing. Now, with The Last Best Cure we have a window into another possibility. Donna Jackson Nakazawa made discoveries about stress, disease and the role of meditation and yoga that led her to profound healing. Grounded in scientific research and presented with great lucidity and warmth, Donna’s story will guide, comfort and inspire you as you journey toward full aliveness and wellbeing.”
–Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I stayed up all night to finish this great book. I fell in love with the authors story and what unfolded surprised me. She is an award winning science journalist but she writes about her efforts to find joy through the science in a memoir form and weaves the two together beautifully. The author finds out about an area of research relating really difficult things in childhood to later having physical conditions in adulthood. On two levels this really captured me. First, the science is riveting and I found it echoed some of my own issues with MS. Second, the book began to read like a detective novel, as she tried to piece together the relationship between the past and not only her present chronic health issues but also her difficulty in finding joy. As I read the book, I found myself rooting for the author, doing every practice she practiced, and feeling better as she felt better. It was as much a healing experience for me as it was a great read. This book reminded me of the bestseller, Blindsided, only it spoke to me much more, because it was as if she was inside my life as a woman and as a mom. I loved it!
Who knew a book about neuroscience could be such a page-turner? “The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy and My Life” is that and more. You’ll weep and exalt with author Donna Jackson Nakazawa as she labors to find her health and her happiness in this amazing tale of self-discovery and self-healing. A brilliant science writer, Nakazawa makes complicated topics approachable and understandable. She makes you want to do exactly what she did on her year-long quest for healing, so that you, too, will find your joy.
Great read, amazing possibilities...
The Autoimmune Epidemic book was a life changer for me during my early diagnosis. I was thrilled to learn she had written another on this topic. This time from a very personal vulnerable space. It takes courage to open up in this way. The research that went into it was shared from a place of personal experience. I admire her from writing about situations that not only had to be hard to go through, but then to go through again while learning new techniques and then sharing them. Many times I felt a pang reading the words and imagining how difficult the times have been and at times continue to be. I recommend this book to everyone. It's not just about dealing and recovering from illness, it's about how to manage what life brings. Bravo!!!
Hey chat here its easier