Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing

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9780062516220: Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing
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In 1993, revered and respected physician Larry Dossey forever changed our understanding of the healing process with his phenomenal New York Times bestseller, Healing Words. Now the man considered one of the pioneers of mind/body medicine once more explodes the boundaries of healing with his most powerful book yet.

Reinventing Medicine is nothing less than a vision of the future of the practice of medicine. In his book, Dr. Dossey provides the scientific and medical proof that the spiritual dimension works in healing. Citing the work of scientists at such well-known institutions as Princeton, Harvard, and Stanford, he conclusively demonstrates that spiritual tools such as intercessory prayer, dreams, coincidence, and intuition have measurable, powerful, and profound effects on how we heal. His argument forces us to go beyond the practices of conventional medicine, which he calls Era I, and mind/body medicine, which he calls Era II, leading us to a new dimension, the spiritual, "nonlocal" dimension of Era III. What was viewed in the past as random or episodic events in healing are shown, through scientific evidence, to be related and connected to a higher force at work--Dossey calls this force the non-local mind. Through our understanding and recognition of the nonlocal mind, Dossey suggests ways in which it can be used for diagnosis and treatment, speeding the healing process, and giving clues for gaining information related to illness and pain. This vision of the coming era in medicine is one of promise and spiritual fulfillment that will surely change the face of medicine forever.

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Cue the theme song to the Twilight Zone: Research shows your plants won't grow as well when you're depressed as when you're happy. Praying for someone else will improve your own health, too. The growth of E. coli bacteria is inhibited when a group of people merely think about stopping the growth. And qi gong practitioners in San Francisco can kill cancer cells in other peoples' bodies--by willing the cells to die. These ideas surely sound ludicrous, but these and other similarly mindboggling studies have been commissioned and replicated by researchers at Harvard, Duke, McGill, and other esteemed universities.

Larry Dossey is known as the father of mind-body medicine and perhaps best known for his advocacy of the role of prayer in healing in 1995's bestselling Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. He admits that working on such seemingly impossible projects a few years ago would have ruined a researcher's career with "ATF," or "the anti-tenure factor." But things are changing. He wrote Reinventing Medicine to present proof that "the mind can literally change the external world" and how this "nonlocal mind" will change health care in the future. His argument for the existence of this nonlocal mind is as convincing as it is eloquently conveyed. Doubters, he says, merely need to examine their own dreams for proof this is true. When was the last time you had a conversation or found yourself in a situation you dreamed about the night before? Studies from as early as the 1960s "strongly suggest that dreams are an avenue of nonlocal communication between separate, distant persons."

Dossey's support of the nonlocal mind is sure to draw pooh-poohs from cynics, including M.D.s, but, he warns, health-care workers are bound to experience this force firsthand: "Doctors can experience their patients' symptoms nonlocally, and this can be unpleasant." He cites the example of psychiatrist Mona Lisa Shulz, a medical intuitive, who "began to grow increasingly uncomfortable, feeling hot and flushed," while speaking over the phone with a feverish patient. Dossey says this telesomatic event, extreme empathy, or whatever you want to call it, is dangerous, but that "empathic balance" is something that will be taught in medical schools in the future to ensure accurate diagnoses of ill patients. Dossey was one of the first vanguards of mind-body medicine, which is basically accepted as fact today; he's again presenting the future of medicine, as otherworldly as it seems. --Erica Jorgensen

About 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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