Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Chemistry of Joy or Spontaneous Healing

The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression Through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom

Author: Henry Emmons

The Chemistry of Joy presents Dr. Emmons's natural approach to depression -- supplemented with medication if necessary -- blending the best of Western science and Eastern philosophy to create your body's own biochemistry of joy. Integrating Western brain chemistry, natural and Ayurvedic medicine, Buddhist psychology, and his own joyful heart techniques, Dr. Emmons creates a practical program for each of the three types of depression: anxious depression, agitated depression, and sluggish depression. The Chemistry of Joy helps you to identify which type of depression you are experiencing and provides a specific diet and exercise plan to address it, as well as nutritional supplements and "psychology of mindfulness" exercises that can restore your body's natural balance and energy. This flexible approach creates newfound joy for those whose lives have been touched by depression -- and pathways for all who seek to actively improve their emotional lives.

Publishers Weekly

Psychiatrist Emmons offers hope to sufferers of mild to severe depression in this well-articulated approach to integrating therapeutic techniques from East and West. Identifying three main forms of depression-anxious, agitated and sluggish-Emmons pinpoints three intellectual/physical/spiritual " types" these varieties of depression correspond with, and explains how the types mirror ones described in India's ayurvedic medicine and in Buddhist psychology. A student of Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are) and Deepak Chopra (Perfect Health), Emmons draws on their work in the fields of mindfulness meditation and mind-body medicine, respectively, to help readers find the most effective combination of diet, supplements, exercise and stress-relieving techniques. He provides personal stories to illustrate how brain chemistry and medication can alter behavior and mood and discusses how readers can evaluate their own need for medication. In later chapters, Emmons offers strategies for accessing inner strength and wisdom, once brain and body chemistry are balanced. While much has been written on complementary care for most conditions, readers battling depression will likely find Emmons's vision of healing informative and persuasive; others will find many practical ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle. (Jan. 3) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal

This excellent self-help manual by psychiatrist Emmons (Allina Medical Clinic, Northfield, MN) combines traditional Western approaches to depression with alternative therapies. He finds that Western neurochemists, Ayurvedic medicine, and Buddhist psychology all posit the existence of three types of depressive states, to which he refers as anxious depression, agitated depression, and sluggish depression. To treat each type, he prescribes diet and exercise regimens and nutritional supplements, as well as spiritual and psychological exercises. Emmons likens the treatment that most people receive for depression to a doctor prescribing a cholesterol-reducing drug to a heart patient without counseling the person to quit smoking, make dietary changes, and get more exercise. He advocates cautious use of antidepressants in certain cases and includes several suitably highlighted warnings for those who already take such medications. Studies are generally cited to support the advocated dietary and lifestyle recommendations. Self-help titles for mild depression are perennially popular, and this one is both useful and responsible. Highly recommended for all public and most academic libraries.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents:


1. The Mysterious Mix of Science and Spirit

Step One: Understand Your Brain

2. Basic Brain Chemistry

3. The Promise and Perils of Medication

4. Feed Your Brain

5. Nature's Pharmacy: Supporting Mood with Nutritional Supplements and Herbs

6. Flowing with Nature: Movement, Breathing, and Biorhythms

Step Two: Know Your Ayurvedic Type

7. Ayurvedic Wisdom: Which Type Are You?

8. Calming Air Types

9. Soothing Fire Types

10. Moving Earth Types

Step Three: Discover Your Buddhist Emotional Type

11. Buddhist Wisdom: Which Type Are You?

12. Fear Types: Always Grasping After More

13. Anger Types: Never Satisfied

14. Self-Deluding or Adrift Types: Trying to Wake Up

15. Strategies of Wisdom Appendix A: Serotonin-Enhancing Foods Appendix B: Dopamine/Norepinephrine-Enhancing Foods Appendix C: Resources Notes Acknowledgments Index

Books about: Lessons in Disaster or Common Wealth

Spontaneous Healing: How to Discover and Enhance Your Body's Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself

Author: Andrew Weil

"Memorable...Dr. Weil makes his case carefully and clearly."
—The New York Times Book Review


"This book is destined to become a classic."
—Joan Borysenko, author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

Drawing on fascinating case histories from his own practice as well as medical techniques he has observed in his travels around the world, Dr. Weil shows how the mechanisms of self-diagnosis and self-regeneration have worked to resolve life-threatening diseases, severe trauma, and chronic pain. But spontaneous healing is also the essential element in the maintenance of our basic daily health. The book outlines an eight-week program that each of us can use to alter our diet, avoid environmental toxins, and reduce stress in order to enhance our innate healing powers.

The best medicine does not merely combat germs or suppress symptoms, but rather works hand in hand with the body's natural defenses to manage illness. Building on this fundamental truth and tapping into the intricate interaction of mind and body, Dr. Weil arrives at a major new synthesis of conventional and alternative medical treatments. At once practical and inspirational, Spontaneous Healing gives each one of us the power and the wisdom to draw on the sources of health we hold within.

FitnessLink - Marijane Green

Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil, M.D. provides a look at the world of alternative medicine though the eyes of a Harvard Medical School graduate. The book is chock full of testimonials from patients who recovered from their afflictions by what Weil calls spontaneous healing. Spontaneous healing occurs when conventional medicine can give no other reason for a patient's recovery. He breaks these testimonials into subchapters called "The Faces of Healing," outlining each patient's history and recovery.

Weil began his medical career receiving training in conventional medicine at one of the most respected medical schools in the nation, Harvard. Soon thereafter, he began exploring the world of alternative medicine and he liked what he saw. Weil has worked for the National Institute of Mental Health and was a research assistant in ethnopharmacology at the Harvard Botanical Museum. He traveled the world extensively collecting information about the medical properties of plants, altered states of consciousness, and healing. When the book was written, he was the Associate Director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he practiced natural and preventive medicine.

Chapter two, Right in My Own Backyard, describes Weil's return from his South American travels in 1973, and his settlment near Tucson, Arizona, where he lives to this day. This chapter is easily one of the most interesting, providing insight into Weil's beliefs. In this chapter, we meet kindly Dr. Robert Fulford, an unusual osteopathic physician who believes in "cranial therapy." At this time, Weil says he was prejudiced about osteopaths, and with the usual prejudices of medical doctors, considered them second-rate M.D's who "dabbled in the kind of manipulation of the body more frequently done by chiropractors." This chapter details Fulford's medical practices and how Weil was eventually won over by his techniques. At the end of the chapter, Weil states, "Dr. Fulford did not succeed with everyone, but he had a higher percentage of successful outcomes than any other practitioner I have met."

Although Weil provides detailed information supporting various types of alternative medicine, it seems the conventional medical community would not receive this book with open arms. However, Weil offers a credible look at alternative therapy that is worthwhile reading for any medical professional. For those who already support alternative medicine, the book provides valuable insight into both alternative and conventional worlds of treatment.

In various chapters Weil discusses, "Medical Pessimism," "The Healing System," "The Role of the Mind in Healing," "The Tao of Healing," "Optimizing Your Healing System," "A Healing Diet," "Protecting Yourself from Toxins," "Using Tonics," "Activity and Rest," and "Mind and Spirit." He ends the book with his "Eight Week Program for Optimal Healing Power." Here, Weil outlines his program for wellness and healing.

Some readers might be skeptical of alternative medicine, but this easy-to-read book provides solid evidence for considering alternative practices. Those who believe in alternative medicine will also find the book helpful and informative.

Publishers Weekly

As others argue the politics of health care, Weil ("Health and Healing") turns away from the usual practice of Western medicine, which is focused on alleviating symptoms rather than strengthening internal mechanisms of health, to closely consider the nature of the healing process. "At every level of biological organization, from DNA up,'' he writes, the "mechanics of self-diagnosis, self-repair and regeneration exist in us.'' To buttress his point, he cites such evidence as the placebo effect, inexplicable remissions and the commonplace repair of wounds, often marginalized by the medical community. In an effort to make the process of healing seem less obscure, Weil reports a wide range of dramatic case histories. Other sections detail various means, e.g., diet and breathing exercises, available for optimizing one's healing system, and suggestions for approaches to illnesses. Also included are an ``Eight Week Program for Optimal Healing Power'' and a guide to finding practitioners, supplies and information.

Library Journal

Arizona doctor Weil leads the movement to combine alternative forms of medicine with standard treatment.

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