Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine

ISBN 10: 060960385X / ISBN 13: 9780609603857
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Synopsis: "Perhaps our real work, whether offering or seeking care, is to recognize that the healing relationship--the field upon which patient and practitioner meet--is, to use the words of the mythologist Joseph Campbell, a 'self-mirroring mystery'--the embodiment of a singular human activity that raises essential questions about self, other, and what it means to heal thy self."        
--Saki Santorelli

Today we are experiencing extraordinary technological advances in the diagnosis and treatment of illness while at the same time learning to take more responsibility for our own health and well-being. In this book, Saki Santorelli, director of the nationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic, explores the ancient roots of medicine, and shows us how to introduce mindfulness into the crucible of the healing relationship, so that both patients and caregivers begin to acknowledge that we are all wounded and we are all whole. His approach revolutionizes the dynamics of the patient/practitioner relationship. In describing the classes at the clinic and the transformation that takes place in this alchemical process, he offers insights and effective methods for cultivating mindfulness in our everyday lives. As he reveals the inner landscape of his own life as a health care professional and we join him and those with whom he works on this journey of human suffering and courage, we become aware of and honor what is darkest and brightest within each one of us.

From the Publisher: Early one morning I received a call from Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and other wonderful books. He told me that Saki Santorelli, the director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, was just completing a manuscript and Jon had recommended that he send it to me.
        
When it arrived, I was electrified. Several friends came to visit that evening and I couldn't stop talking about how moved I was at the subject matter--introducing mindfulness into medicine--and how beautifully the author wrote. Over the next week I shared a hundred or so pages with several colleagues and was often in touch with the author (I told him I had fallen in love with his manuscript, which is something I rarely do or say) and he would send me faxes saying, "I am savoring these moments."
        
It turned out that in the years since Bill Moyers had featured the clinic in his series, "Healing and the Mind," the program at UMass Medical Center had gone from strength to strength. 1999 would be the twentyfifth anniversary of its founding and there were big plans for a year-long celebration of this triumph. In addition, there were now almost two-hundred-and-fifty affiliated clinics around the country and Saki's teaching schedule in Worcester and other venues encompassed classes for both patients and professionals.
        
Now that the book exists as a book which I can share with the whole world, I am encouraging everyone I know not only to read the book but give a copy to their physician. We're all troubled at what is happening (or not happening) in health care today. Heal Thy Self will go a long way toward healing the division between patients and health care professionals. It is a landmark book which I am proud to have brought to birth.

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