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Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  17 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 7th 2000 by Harmony (first published 1999)
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Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an extraordinary book. I read it several times to really absorb it. It's not just about mindfulness in medicine - it's about finding the right balance when helping others and openly acknowledging the times of helplessness when we can do nothing or when we don't know what to do. Saki does what few teachers do - he delves into his shortcomings as a human being and healer. He frames the importance of being humble and open to "not knowing" during the healing process while capturing how messy ...more
May 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in mindfulness, anyone in the health professions, and everyone else.

Saki Santorelli is Jon Kabat-Zinn's "silent partner," the other half of the brains at the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Hospital. He writes so beautifully -- parts of this book read like Rumi poetry, which he borrows heavily from to create metaphors about healing. If you have never read anything about meditation or mindfulness, this is a wonderful introduction. If you've read everything else
Marjorie Hogan
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I am determined to incorporate mindfulness into life - both personally and at work - and eagerly anticipated reading this book. I am so sorry to find that I got lost in the verbiage - I could not understand a good deal of what Dr. Santorelli wrote. I liked some of the real-people stories and found the instructions about breathing helpful. Some of the poems / musings of great thinkers were wonderful. Perhaps re-reading this book after pursuing mindfulness in more tangible ways will be helpful.
Jan 08, 2020 added it
This book may present as being focused on medicine/healing, but it's really appropriate for anyone who's interested in mindfulness or meditation. Santorelli writes like no physician I've read. His writing is the opposite of dry or distant; he takes inspiration from Rumi, and his own words flow and shimmer. Highly recommend. ...more
Jennifer Lawrence
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book can never be fully finished as there are little gems that can be returned to daily.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great read. If nothing else, it rejuvenated my on-going efforts towards a daily meditation practice.
Harry Patrick
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Definitely not what I expected. Much too touchy-feels for me.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully inspiring as an MBSR teacher myself
Paul L'Herrou
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Good resource especially for those in the helping professions on learning to use mindfulness. Not so much a guide for using mindfulness on your own, but a good introduction and overview.
Travel Writing
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone seeking
Recommended to Travel Writing by: Dolly Stavros
The lessons are broken into weeks and I would highly suggest taking the time to read and do the activities. I needed to finish the book in 8 days for an immersive yoga training and think I may have missed a lot from the brief amount of time I took to read the book.

My most beloved concepts and quotes:

Don't turn your head.
Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That's whee the light enters you.

It is possible that the entire healing relationship is actually founded on friendship.

Shattered, but still w
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't really what I was hoping for. It focused more on bringing mindfulness to the medical field and how wonderful Saki was at teaching mindfulness to people in pain so they can be in a better place mentally. And that is all good. But I guess I was hoping for a more practical book where I could get suggestions for my clients. There was some in there don't get me wrong, I guess I just hoped for more. By the end it seemed he was just recycling concepts he had already discussed but gave ...more
George Bremner
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are health worker looking for a companion book to your MBSR practice, then this is the book for you. It is written in weekly installments to match the eight week Mindfulness based Stress Reduction program at UMASS Worcester founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The author, Saki Santorelli, is the current executive director of that program. Saki provides many anecdotes from his own practice as well as practical exercises to guide your own.

If you’re interested in MBSR or mindfulness generally, then th
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book by the man, who once directed the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass, is full of stories about his work with patients and teaching medical students about mindfulness--the importance of being truly present with patients, experiencing the patient as a mirror of yourself, letting the patient be your teacher. Santorelli's writing style is beautiful; you feel as if he is speaking directly to you in a very personal way. His chapters are peppered with poetry, particularly that of Rumi and Mary ...more
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I greatly appreciate the witness Saki shares of the value of practicing mindful living and working and failing to be mindful and having to step back and try again. I like his style of writing and I felt I was a part of the story he was showing.

Don't turn your head.
Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That's where the Light enters you.
Nicoletta Cinotti
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Questo libro - adesso tradotto anche in italiano - mostra il lato affettivo della mindfulness: heartfulness. Dare un'attenzione affettuosa come strada per esplorare se stessi, la nostra vita e la vita degli altri ...more
I only partially completed this book before returning it to the library, but based on what I have read so far, have added the book to my "to buy" list. ...more
Mary Beth
May 02, 2008 rated it liked it
A great read for future counselors, social workers, and clinicians of any kind.
Diana Keat
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