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Mind-Body Healing

    

The Cure Within: A history of mind-body medicine

by Anne Harrington

Publisher’s Review: Over the past several years, numerous medical reports have confirmed the connection between a positive mental attitude and good physical health. In this splendid book, Harrington, chair of Harvard’s history of science department, demonstrates that the belief in such a connection between mind and body is nothing new. She uses case studies and stories of healings to show how deeply embedded the idea of positive mental health is in the quest for physical health, as well as the ways that contemporary medicine has incorporated a focus on mind-body healing into its black bag. In her highly original analysis of this history from ancient times to the present, she discovers six different narratives about mind-body healing. These include the power of suggestion, the power of positive thinking and broken by modern life. In the body that speaks narrative, for instance, Harrington traces the idea that physical symptoms are the outward expression of the mind’s secrets, and that revealing those secrets can heal, whether the revelation takes place in the confession box or on the analyst’s couch. Harrington’s study offers a first-rate cultural history of an age-old but still much debated topic.

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