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The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  138 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Is stress a deadly disease on the rise in modern society? Can mind-body practices from the East help us become well? When it comes to healing, we believe we must look beyond doctors and drugs; we must look within ourselves. Faith, relationships, and attitude matter.


But why do we believe such things? From psychoanalysis to the placebo effect to meditation, this vibrant cult
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Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 16th 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jean
Sep 11, 2010 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book! Harrington explores the various narratives of mind-body experience and history, from mesmerism to positive thinking to non-Western disciplines (like Buddhism). There is much to think about in this book. For example; Did you know that in Japan there is no word for "hot flashes"? Apparently Japanese women don't have them. Harrington speculates that it's because loss of ability to bear children is not associated in Japan with loss of use to society, as it is in the U.S.

I don't us
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Anna Graham
Feb 19, 2012 Anna Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy book to read, The Cure Within is nonetheless the best summary of the state of mind-body medicine around. The author is a prodigious researcher, and brings the mind of a scientist and the heart of a historian to the subject matter; she reveals how we got to our present attitude toward mind-body medicine and in the process, connects the dots from ancient times to today.

However, the book is so dense with information that after finishing it, I felt forced to read it through once more, a
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Finbar
Jul 28, 2008 Finbar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, science, history
This one starts off well, but falters near the end and then falls flat on its face with the conclusion. I liked the narrative survey format that is used, but there are many associative leaps used to tie together the ideas presented in order to make them fit the narrative structure. Harrington also relies on loaded language to make her point where simply stating her case would have been more effective. She ends up distracting the reader from her argument and bringing her own bias into the dialogu ...more
Jjryan
Apr 14, 2010 Jjryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "feel-good title" belies the author's scholarly, yet commercially accessible, premise of the history of mind-body connection in the modern West from the 1600s to today. She divides the movement into six narrative templates (skeptical, detective, secular miracle, lament, redemption, exoticism) to address the conceptual and therapeutic shortcoming in biomedical medicine. She traces the historical figures and developments that have brought mind-body medicine to where it stands today, from the r ...more
Alisha
Apr 11, 2008 Alisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really fascinating look at the different narratives we have about mind/body healing--that our bodies are "broken by modern life," that "positive thinking" can sometimes do more than doctors...and most intriguing, the historical origins of these stories. What I found particularly interesting is that not only do these different narratives about how our minds/bodies work together and/or don't help us make sense of illness, they also *define* how we can make sense of it at all. Not that an ...more
Ann S-V
Mar 26, 2010 Ann S-V rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
A good historical (history of science) approach to mind-body medicine as it is related to and imbedded in cultural context. Excellent bibliography. Very neutrally written - the focus is on the historical development of mind-body medicine rather than a consideration of the 'authenticity' of claims of healing. Good reference book/jumping off point for considerations of m-b healing in different time periods.
Janis
Jun 13, 2008 Janis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Anne Harrington provides a clear and interesting history of mind-body medicine by looking at it from six different viewpoints. I liked that structure and appreciated taking this historical look at a topic I've heard quite a lot about over the last years. I only wish the author, chair of Harvard's History of Science Department, had revealed more about her own opinions in the concluding chapter.
Clare
Mar 02, 2013 Clare rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Freud is a d*ck. But you knew that, right? I was hoping for something less of what this book was. It was a look at how medicine and mental health evolved together, with glimpses into PTSD and other mental illnesses using very specific case studies. Do check out George Carlin's bit on how shell-shock turned into PTSD. But skip this book. It read more like a report or high school thesis paper.
Rhonda
Jul 09, 2008 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rhonda by: NYTImes review
great book for anyone interested in health generally, and esp health care workers. well written, organized around 6 "narratives" with solid historical info. saw this one favorably reviewed in NYTimes and so glad i found it in local library. will probably purchase a copy.
Carol
Apr 01, 2008 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, clear, really gets at the six fundamental narratives we tell ourseslves in understanding the relationship to mind/body in sickness and healing.
Outstanding
Marc Mason
Occasionally interesting, but too often dull look at the history of mind-body medicine. Harrington's work is solid, but the chapters are a bit disjointed.
Harmony
Feb 01, 2013 Harmony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dense, but a must have for anyone interested in health, healing, and how we got where we are in regards to accessing our cure
Ida
Jan 27, 2008 Ida marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
NYT review makes it look interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/boo...
Sukjoon Kim
Jun 14, 2011 Sukjoon Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mind-and-brain
Very interesting and informative book I ever read.
Hiten Soni
Must read for anyone in heath care field.
Jennifer
Dec 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be shared at a later time.
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