Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Beliefby Herbert Benson, Marg Stark (With)
Explores the intersection between objective science & the mystifying power of the human spirit. Shows how affirming beliefs, particularly belief in a higher power, make a critical contribution to our physical health. Dr. Bensons message is that our bodies are wired for God. The key is remembered wellness a concept that may revolutionize the way health care is practiced in the Western world. Explains how a Harvard physician became convinced that humans are genetically encoded with a need for & nourishment from faith. Documents that when people call upon faith, they activate neurologic pathways for self-healing.
Benson uses the analogy of a three-legged stool to describe how health and well-being rely on the balanced application of (1) pharmaceuticals, (2) surgery and procedures, and (3) self-care. Greater utilization of self-care has been his career focus, and here he recounts his discovery of the relaxation response, his research into the placebo effect (renamed here "remembered wellness"), and his identification of "the faith factor." Benson proposes that religious convictions enhance the relaxation response dramatically. He contends that as a species aware of its own mortality, human beings are "wired for God," that is, through evolution we have become genetically programmed to have faith in some absolute power. Further, he argues that affirmative beliefs, especially faith in God, have many positive effects on health. In 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits, he says, remembered wellness and other self-care techniques can be the treatment of choice, and he lists numerous specific conditionsasthma, insomnia, hypertensionin which studies show that belief plays a major role. The flip side of the coin is that negative thoughts elicit powerful negative effects, and he offers some ideas on dealing with these. Benson's utilitarian approach to religion may offend thoughtful believers, and his spiritual approach to healing may not sit well with the scientific crowd. An appendix plugging a video and 17 audiotapes on relaxation available from Benson's Mind/Body Medical Institute gives the whole project a self-serving air.
For those familiar with Benson's work, there's not much new here.
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.45(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.13(d)
Meet the Author
Herbert Benson, MD, is the Mind Body Medical Institute Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the mega-bestselling book, The Relaxation Response, as well as ten other trade books. His groundbreaking work established the modern field of mind body medicine. Dr. Benson is the Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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