Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity” as Want to Read:
The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  1,509 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
Now a New York Times Bestseller!

The bestselling author ofThe Brain That Changes Itself presents astoundingadvances in the treatment of brain injury and illness

In The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge described the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and functi
Hardcover, 409 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Viking
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Steve Gold
Jul 04, 2016 Steve Gold rated it it was ok
This is the fascinating story of a Toronto neurologist psychiatrist who travels the world fawning over sorcerers and con artists.

Doidge front loads the book with his strongest cases of neuroplasticity, to lure you in, but each successive chapter retreats further from reason and evidence, until you're learning about a wizard who can heal nearly any mental or physical ailment you can name by shining LED lights at you.

I think Doidge means well, and I am down with bleeding-edge science. The trick
Aug 14, 2015 Chrissie rated it really liked it
From this book you learn of amazing new developments in neurology. The brain is plastic. What this means in simple terms is that we can do things to change it. Plastic means mold-able. It was previously thought that the brain directed the body, but now we learn that the body too changes the brain. Neurons that before have been classified as dead and useless are not dead. This has huge implications for treatment of:

-Parkinson's disease
-chronic pain
-multiple sclerosis
Darcia Helle
The information Doidge provides on the brain's ability to heal itself, and thereby the body, is both fascinating and compelling. This flies in the face of our current mainstream view of the damage from brain injuries and certain chronic illnesses being permanent, with no hope of recovery. Our brains are far more resilient than science has, so far, understood.

That being said, I have some problems with the overall structure and content. The important nuggets of information often get lost within re
Edoardo Albert
Nov 25, 2015 Edoardo Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To review this book, I have to tell you about my grandmother.

When I bought my house, I was thirty years old and single - with little apparent prospect of that changing (not that I hadn't tried to get married, but all the women I'd asked to marry me - some of whom I even knew - had refused). However, my grandmother, my little Italian Nonna, was living with my parents, ten minutes walk away. It was, as the marketing men say, a no brainer: I asked her to move in with me.

May I say that there is no m
Jennifer Lane
Jan 11, 2016 Jennifer Lane rated it really liked it
The Plastic Brain

When I expressed interest in understanding more about the neurobiology of mental health, a psychologist friend recommended The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. When I looked up that book, I found this more recent book by the same author, so started with this first.

Did you know scientists didn't fully appreciate the plasticity of the brain until 2000? That wasn't so long ago, and we are on a steep learning curve to unders
Book Riot Community
The Brain’s Way of Healing is the sequel to Doidge’s earlier introduction to the science of neuroplasticity, The Brain That Changes Itself. While that book took a more general look at the subject, this book hones in on the specific ways that harnessing the brain’s ability to rewire itself can result in remarkable recoveries from stroke and other traumatic brain injury, and halt or slow the progression of diseases like Parkinson’s and MS. This is some of the most exciting science of the twenty-fi ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This is my first-read win. This was a great book, fascinating, learning many different ways that the brain can heal itself.A great resource book. I will be using the eye exercises to improve my eyesight & maybe get rid of my glasses. Now, I need to read The Brain That Changes Itself.
Iona  Stewart
Jun 15, 2016 Iona Stewart rated it it was amazing
A while ago I read and reviewed this authors first book “The brain that changes itself” and found it fascinating. I deem the present book to be even more so.

First we learn of the case of the psychiatrist/pain specialist Michael Moskowitz, who after a horrific accident, had chronic pain for 13 years, He got rid of the pain by visualizing that the areas of his brain producing it are shrinking, after discovering that two brain areas process both visual information and pain. The assumption is that t
Tim Murray
Jul 03, 2015 Tim Murray rated it it was ok
This book was more disappointing than I think I can possibly convey. The Brain That Changes Itself was one of my favourite books and I have recommended it to all my friends, so I was very excited about reading the sequel. In this book Norman Doidge basically does the same as the first book, he gives examples of people with very serious illnesses who have had amazing cures. However for this book he has abandoned the scientific and fully embraced the pseudoscientific. I am certainly not an expert ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Leo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Anecdotal and ignorant of scientific method. I found it hard to credit anything Doidge wrote after his random prattling about the action of laser light inside cells.

This is not Oliver Sacks style "here is an interesting case and this is what it might tell us about how things might work" or "here are some new developments being trialled" it is a string of "Bob had a brain problem, by application of X he got better!" type stories where X varies from exercise to mindfulness to lasers.

Quackery for
Pam Thomas
Nov 26, 2014 Pam Thomas rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved the book, its about the way the brain recovers and embarks on a journey of discovery, how a brain can recover with light and awaken damaged neural circuits, how it can turn off when pain is in the body releasing endorphin's to quell pain and the role of neurons and pain through research. a very indepth and fascinating and educational book.
Jun 03, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, health, 2015
Boy, when they say "remarkable" they mean remarkable. I was astounded by these recovery stories based on therapies I'd never heard of before. The book is a fascinating read, and I ended up just buying it as a reference when I got near the end of it. I found a lot of information that had potential applications for myself or my loved ones.
I've been hearing references to neuroplasticity for about a year now, and this is the first book I've read about it. It does get rather in-depth in spots, alter
Nov 10, 2014 GONZA rated it really liked it
Great book, fascinating, many of the stories told by the author seem like miracles or magic, as well as stunning are some of the mode used by the various experts and doctors to cure some of the problems that affect the brain or nervous system.

Gran libro, affascinante, molte delle storie raccontate dall'autore sembrano dei miracoli o delle magie, come anche fantastiche sono alcune delle modalitá utilizzate dai vari esperti e medici per curare alcune problematiche che interessano il cervello o il
Jan 24, 2016 Caileen rated it it was ok

This article sums up exactly what disturbs me about this book. After hearing several of his interviews and being fascinated by their content I bought Norman Doidge's latest book. Only a few pages in I lost faith with him. Peddling false hope with dubious science and worse, encouraging irrational fears that will cause actual harm to people. So disappointing.
The preface promises miracles... but there sure isn't a lot of primary literature cited. >_< so disappointed this seems to be a bunch of pseudoscience... I can't bring myself to read it fully after skimming the references. Naturopaths? Osteopaths? Chiropractors? Seriously?? If this book wasn't claiming to be scientifically sound, I'd be way less annoyed. Quite frankly, it's misleading people to believe a lot of these therapies are medically and scientifically sound.

Doidge's first book, Th
Sep 13, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Deeply fascinating and important information shared in this book. I hesitate to give five stars though because sometimes the promises of healing with the therapies described really sound too good to be true particularly the chapter on light and laser therapy which makes it sound like a cure-all. Most of these therapies will probably not harm a person physically, but I am greatly concerned about the financial havoc which could be wrought. The possibilities are exciting though in what people are l ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Eleanor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
Not a 'light' read and will have to revisit periodically. Some of Norman Doidge case studies seem a little flaky at first but he back everything up with science - good science! I was interested to see a fairly large section on Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement. I have been a long time advocate for Feldenkrais methods and this book has reinforced my understanding of the science behind them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who suffers from chronic pain, ME, Parkinsons, Multiple
Thomas Holbrook
Apr 20, 2015 Thomas Holbrook rated it really liked it
Neuroplasticity is one of the leading edges of understanding how the body heals. Using movement, sound, light, environmental changes to create new “neuro-pathways” (developing new ways for the brain to function) that are healing sounds like science fiction and “too good to be true,” but the research is solid and the outcomes are amazing. I bought this book hoping it would have more information pertaining to how to apply these methods to the “common” mental ailments (depression and anxiety) and ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Gina rated it it was amazing
In his new book, Norman Doidge describes the role of brain plasticity in healing. This paradigm is helping us recognize how improvement from symptoms of all kinds is not only possible, but explainable, as well as reproducible.

Doidge artfully draws us in with people's stories, including the experiences of Dr. Michael Moskowitz, a chronic pain specialist who figured out a way to cure his own increasingly debilitating chronic pain after 13 years (chapter 1). He has also successfully taught the tech
Shaina Skaletski
May 27, 2016 Shaina Skaletski rated it really liked it
The Brain’s way of Healing, by Norman Doidge informs the reader of remarkable discoveries and recoveries in the study and practice of neuroplasticity. The book talks about modern situations where people heal themselves using their mind on a subconscious level. Doidge also speaks to the reader on how they could potentially help themselves out with the given information. In example, the first chapter tells of a man who severely dislocated his leg resulting in a true ten out of ten of the pain sca ...more
May 01, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
I read this book directly after finishing the Brain that Changes Itself. The first book made me feel hope for the future of medicine. This book, in contrast, made me feel upset that the techniques discussed in the book are not more widely available, even though some have been around for a while. Googling many of these alternative methods tells one very quickly that they are much too expensive for the average person and that insurance will not be covering them. It made me wonder whether Doidge is ...more
Mar 20, 2016 Katya rated it it was amazing
Really amazing! In his book Norman Doidge outlines several remarkable achievements in the research of the neuroplasticity of brain. What would happen if the patient stopped being a passive figure to whom things are done, and became an active part of the cure process? What would happen if we stopped relying solely on chemical remedies and tried to train our brain instead, as if it were a broken limb we are rehabilitating? The answer - no matter how fantastic it is - is that the body often would s ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Jo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, neuroscience
Utterly fascinating! I downloaded the audiobook from my public library and so enjoyed listening to the science and stories illustrating discoveries about neuroplasticity in recent decades. The challenges overcome by creative clinicians and patients alike in conditions ranging from Parkinson's, MS, and traumatic brain injury to chronic pain, ADD, autism and sensory disorders are astounding and moving. This is progress.
Jun 12, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
The human brain is an amazing thing, not only can it think and create it can heal itself given the right circumstances. Symptoms from Parkinson's, Autism and ADD/ADHD can be lessened if not cured by using neuroplasticity or retraining of the brain. Usig, special listening devices and/or music amazing changes can be made to the damaged brain, even those with Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Very interesting book. Written for the layman.
Heather Grothaus
Apr 11, 2015 Heather Grothaus rated it it was amazing
This book is in the top five of the best non-fiction books on health that I have ever read. The Brain's Way of Healing contains vital information and fascinating insight as to how the human brain changes and works. Healthy or ill, injured or recovered, this is one book everyone interested in a long and healthy life should read. I'm looking forward to catching up with his other books.
Aug 24, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
A great follow-up to 'The Brain That Changes Itself' - surprisingly easy to read. Doidge writes in a way that makes complicated scientific research and concepts understandable and applicable to the average North American reader. Also, your learn a lot about how our brains work in general. Fascinating stuff! I recommend it
Jan 03, 2016 Nikki rated it did not like it
While the topic is very interesting, this book provides very little useful information on it. What few tidbits are to be had are lightly sprinkled between paragraphs of irrelevant and boring page-filler rhetoric. Very disappointed.
Feb 25, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, 2016
excellent stuff.
especially if you have any disability, cognitive issues, adhd, dyslexia, blindness, deafness, tbi, ptsd etc.
a lit about brain and how to train it - much better than the overreliance on psychiatric drugs.
interesting stories.
Jan 23, 2015 Jennifer marked it as to-read
noting for later: maclean's review:
Jun 25, 2015 Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is mind-blowing and inspiring.
The information I learned here is literally changing my life for the (much, much) better.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Brain Science Pod...: BSP 116 Norman Doidge 5 36 May 02, 2015 10:43AM  
  • The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And Other Inspiring Stories of Pioneering Brain Transformation
  • Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life
  • The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime
  • Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind
  • The Man Who Wasn't There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self
  • Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety
  • The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back
  • Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts
  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life
  • The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged from an African Forest
  • Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness
  • Shaken
  • NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
  • Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
  • Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
  • Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
  • Tales from Both Sides of the Brain: A Life in Neuroscience
  • Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel
Norman Doidge, M.D., is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet.

He is on the Research Faculty at Columbia University’s Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in New York, and the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry.

He is a native of Toronto.
More about Norman Doidge...

Share This Book

“Neuroplasticity is the property of the brain that enables it to change its own structure and functioning in response to activity and mental experience.” 5 likes
“Moskowitz defined chronic pain as “learned pain.” Chronic pain not only indicates illness; it is itself an illness. The body’s alarm system is stuck in the “on” position, because the person has been unable to remedy the cause of an acute pain, and the central nervous system has become damaged.” 5 likes
More quotes…