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

Norman Doidge

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Praise for The Brain’s Way of Healing
“Brilliant and highly original. Neurology used to be considered a depressing discipline with patients often displaying fascinating but essentially untreatable symptoms and disabilities. Drawing on the last three decades of research, Doidge challenges this view, using vivid portraits of patients and their physicians. The book is a treasure trove of the author’s own deep insights and a clear bright light of optimism shines through every page.”
—V. S. Ramachandran, MD, PhD, neurologist, neuroscientist, and author of The Tell-Tale Brain (W. W. Norton, 2011), Director, UCSD Center for Brain and Cognition 

“A tour de force. In one of the most riveting books on the human brain and its mystery powers ever written, Doidge addresses the role of alternative medical therapies to reset and re-sync the dynamic patterns of ‘energy in our brain, whit the ability to restore relatively normal health to those whose fate seems hopeless. . . . These are people that traditional medicine all but abandoned as . . . untreatable. But they were rescued. . . . It’s possible to start anywhere in the book and be mesmerized.”
Huffington Post

“An exciting overview of powerful new neuroscience theories that connect mind, body, and soul . . . In this age of distraction and unnatural environments and actions—like staring at screens all day—brain science offers all kinds of useful techniques to care for our infinitely complex selves. Norman Doidge’s work is a Michelin Guide to this hopeful new trove of knowledge and insight.”
Boston Globe, USA
“Brilliant and highly original. Neurology used to be considered a depressing discipline with patients often displaying fascinating but essentially untreatable symptoms and disabilities. Drawing on the last three decades of research, Doidge challenges this view, using vivid portraits of patients and their physicians. The book is a treasure trove of the author’s own deep insights and a clear bright light of optimism shines through every page.”
—V. S. Ramachandran, MD, PhD, neurologist, neuroscientist, and author of The Tell-Tale Brain; Director, UCSD Center for Brain and Cognition
“Doidge’s book is filled with compelling stories about the power of ingenious technologies and disciplined awareness methods generated by innovators who transcended their own brain challenges, and who now use them to help others make radical improvements in conditions often deemed hopeless. It points to a future of remarkable and unprecedented brain healing.”
—Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Neurologist, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital, author of The Autism Revolution
The Brain’s way of Healing is a stunner—the sort of book you want to read several times, not because it is difficult to understand, but because it opens up so many novel and startling avenues into our potential to heal. Norman Doidge enthralls us with a rich combination of lucidly explained brain research and pioneering new (and some not so new, but not widely known) approaches to recovery. With an eloquence reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, Doidge bolsters the latest advances in brain science with a series of extraordinary case histories of people for whom all hope seemed to be lost, but who healed as a result of great personal courage, and by changing the ways their bodies and brains processed sensations and movement. This hopeful book demonstrates that a variety of sensory inputs—light, sound, electricity, vibration, movement, and thought—can awaken the brain’s attention processors, and thereby allow even the most afflicted to (re)gain ownership of their lives. 
—Bessel van der Kolk MD, Medical Director, the Trauma Center, Brookline MA; Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Author of The Body keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the healing of Trauma

“The book offers real hope to individuals suffering from diverse chronic conditions. It shows in terms of graphic personal stories that we truly do not yet know the limits of what is possible in rehabilitation. The book also has a number of creative integrations of the data that will be of interest to neuroscientists.”
—Edward Taub, Ph.D., Behavioral Neuroscientist, University Professor,University of Alabama at Birmingham, Director, UAB CI Therapy Research Group and Taub Training Clinic
“Everyone who has a brain could benefit from reading Doidge’s book.”
The Columbus Dispatch
“A vivid, robust and optimistic read . . . an essential addition to our growing understanding of the mind-brain-body connection. Doidge argues quite convincingly that when the brain is damaged or incompletely formed, whether from stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, autism, ADHD or a host of other conditions, it’s entirely possible to “rewire” the circuits by training a different part of the brain to take over the task. . . . He's positively elegant in his crystalline explanations of brain science for a lay audience.”
Toronto Star, Canada
 “This is a book of miracles: an absorbing compendium of unlikely recoveries from physical and mental ailments offers evidence that the brain can heal. Fascinating . . . brings to mind Oliver Sacks.”
“Dazzling . . . In friendly vignettes reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’s case studies, Doidge chronicles the heroic efforts of patients with a wide variety of apparently intractable ailments, from chronic pain to multiple sclerosis. . . . Each of Doidge’s examples suggests tangible treatment ideas for patients who may have thought they were out of options. Doidge’s penchant for considering unconventional approaches to healing offers hope for all.”
Bookpage, USA
“Beautifully written . . . inspiring . . . merging scientific information into timeless and fascinating personal stories . . . The Brain's Way of Healing grabs onto the reader at once and compels them to keep reading. This is an important and encouraging book.”
The Vancouver Sun, Canada
“Exhilarating science . . . In an era of ever-increasing medicalisation of the human mind, and the medication of it, the appeal of neuroplasticity outlined by Doidge is addictive. It is inspiring, page-turning stuff.”
Sunday Times, London

“A fascinating study on brain science that shows the way to major therapeutic discoveries.”
Library Journal


Now a New York Times Bestseller!

The bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances 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 function in response to mental experience—what we call neuroplasticity.

His revolutionary new book shows, for the first time, how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. It describes natural, non-invasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us—light, sound, vibration, movement—which pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated years of chronic pain or recovered from debilitating strokes or accidents; children on the autistic spectrum or with learning disorders normalizing; symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy radically improved, and other near-miracle recoveries. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia with simple approaches anyone can use.

For centuries it was believed that the brain’s complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain’s Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain’s performance and health.

From the Hardcover edition.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1603 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 409 Seiten
  • Verlag: Viking; Auflage: 1st (27. Januar 2015)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00KWG9L2A
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #63.662 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  183 Rezensionen
84 von 87 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A new paradigm for treating chronic illness, pain and unexplained symptoms of all kinds 11. Februar 2015
Von Veronique Mead, MD, MA - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
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 technique to some of his patients. In chapter 2, Doidge walks with John Pepper, a World War II survivor with Parkinson's disease who devised a program that enabled him to recover lost mobility and other functions. Pepper uses his approach not only to keep many of his symptoms at bay decades after diagnosis, he has also taught it to others with Parkinson's, who have also improved. More amazing stories and treatment approaches follow in each chapter and the case studies highlight this new paradigm. The research starts to explain the ever-elusive, until now, "why."

In easy-to-read connecting language Doidge gives us a framework for understanding what is happening during these transformations. He, and the studies he cites throughout, take us beyond our current understanding of the brain.

The principles of brain plasticity presented by Doidge can be summarized as follows (chapter 3):

Events such as strokes, infections, head injuries, radiation, toxins and degenerative processes cause brain injury and affect our neurons. While some neurons die following such events, the new science is showing us that some neurons start to signal in irregular ways following injury, which can make the brain "noisy" and confused. Other neurons become dormant (referred to as "non-use"). Improvement is based on the extent to which these neurons can heal, rewire, and recover from changes in function.

Doidge presents 4 stages of neuroplastic healing, which gives us new ways of understanding how recovery occurs. Neurostimulation (1) is commonly needed and can occur through attention to internal processes (such as mindful attention to sensations and movement, and intentional focusing of the mind on specific tasks) as well as through external input (such as from sound, light, and vibration). The energy provided by neurostimulation enables the brain to repair communication pathways and regain its innate capacity to regulate or "modulate" itself. The modulated brain (2) regains its ability to cycle, alternating from periods of activity to periods of rest and repair. Modulation allows the brain to relax, rest and heal (3). A rested brain is able to learn and rewire (4). Learning new skills allows a person to restore old functions or develop new ones and is a process referred to as neurodifferentiation.

The process of healing, and the extent to which recovery is possible, differs for everyone. Each person, as well as the events leading to symptoms, is unique. Not everyone needs to address all 4 stages of neuroplastic healing for improvement or recovery to occur. Some people experience significant or even full recovery after strokes and brain injuries. Others, such as people described who have Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis, can use tools to regain function and manage their diseases even though they do not achieve a cure or reversal of the underlying disease process. Some people presented have recovered fully from autoimmune-induced blindness, dyslexia, sensory integration problems, and serious debilitating developmental delays (each detailed through case studies in later book chapters). With some symptoms and chronic diseases, people need to keep using their tools to maintain their gains but can also recover again after periods of discontinuation. With other symptoms, such as Dr. Moskowitz's work with chronic pain, the techniques can be discontinued once symptoms resolve.

The amount of time and effort involved in using these techniques varies. Recovery from strokes, when new neuronal pathways need to be developed, can take months or years. At the other extreme, recovery from chronic symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) began for two women within hours of initial treatment. In this setting, neurostimulation energized neurons to better modulate, allowing them to begin to communicate more effectively almost immediately. In these two cases, functions that had been interrupted rather than destroyed were restored.

We are at the frontier of a paradigm shift. The seemingly miraculous changes described here are beginning to reveal their secrets and Doidge does a masterful job of giving us the tools to begin to explore these new dimensions to whatever extent we may want. (Doidge's website has a FAQ with links to resources).
212 von 249 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Brain plasticity, a cure for all that ails you? A skeptic at the door. 28. Januar 2015
Von Dr. Chuck Chakrapani - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The human brain can rewire itself. This phenomenon, known for almost a hundred years beginning with the work of Karl Lashley, is known as "plasticity" and was popularized by Norman Doidge's earlier book, "The Brain that Changes Itself". That book was based on contributions from several mainstream neuroscientists working in the field of brain plasticity.

In his new book, "The Brain's Way of Healing", he goes further. And much farther - to a realm that is difficult to distinguish from the realm of alternative medicine and New Age healing. The healing claims here include how an astonishing variety of ailments - Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, anxiety, concussion, autism, dyslexia, ADHD, migraine, arthritis, chronic pain, dementia, to name a few, I kid you not - can be cured by the application of "energy" such as light, sound and electrical stimulation. And they are all free of side effects.

The fact that the human body can cure itself even when medical science has given up is not new. As far back as the 1930's, Dr. Alexis Carrel, who won the Nobel Prize for pioneering vascular suturing techniques, documented in his book "Man the Unknown", how a group of patients without any hope prayed and healed themselves. Then there is the mystery of the placebo effect, the inert pill with no medicinal value that cures various ailments. So we know that the human body heals itself, even though we have not fully understood the mechanism through which it accomplishes this. Much of the explanation for the placebo effect does not go beyond naming the phenomenon in various ways.

This book ventures an explanation and claims that the techniques described in the book, used by isolated practitioners around the world from California to Canada to Australia, go beyond the placebo effect. Here is the physiological basis for the author's claim: You can use "energy" to stimulate your brain. Neuro-stimulation can reset your brain by powering up your cortex, empowering you to switch off your fight-or-flight reaction and switch on your social engagement system. This explanation is totally indistinguishable from the claims made by New Age healers. This is no scientific explanation. This is a scientific-sounding explanation of what the author believes has happened. It is hard to accept this kind of description as "scientific".

Do these therapies work? Dr. Doidge quotes practitioners and patients and has seen before and after photos. They all sound convincing. But the problem with this kind of evidence is that we know mostly of patients on whom the therapies worked. We don't know when, on how many and under what conditions the therapies didn't work. Doidge doesn't seem to document any contrary evidence or instances where the therapies fail to work. They all seem to work just fine, thank you.

On the other hand, I have no reason to believe that therapies like the ones described in the book do not work either. However, if the evidence has been so compelling and overwhelming, these therapies would be practiced more widely. In the absence of replicated published evidence, my view is a generous one: it is possible these therapies work.

I am not against what Doidge's proposed therapies. I would try them myself instead of taking drugs. But I would be cautious about the (what appears to be exaggerated) claims of their efficacy. Maybe they are the way of future medicine. Maybe not. It is just that, after reading the book, I am not convinced one way or the other.

I am giving the book three stars. I consider this as a neutral rather than a negative rating. If the claims in this book turn out to be mostly true, it deserves at least that many stars and the book deserves a wide audience; if they don't, no harm done.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Beacon of Hope 13. März 2015
Von Steve - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
My review of "The Brain's Way of Healing" is that of someone who experienced one of the therapies he describes, the Tomatis Method, many years before Norman Doidge's book was published. For me, this is a practical subject, and I hope to shed some light both on this book and to address the natural skepticism that one might has who has not experienced or known someone who has benefited from the type of therapies Dr. Doidge describes.

My life is an example of neuroplasticity. I was 40 when I found out about the Tomatis Method, described in Chapter 8 of Dr. Doidge's book. I had never graduated college. I was born with a cleft palate, had speech therapy, and was developmentally slow. I was a traumatized child based on my childhood experiences. In my early 20s, I had cancer and was treated with chemotherapy and radiation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In my mid-30s, I married a wonderful woman from the Philippines whom I met in the States. She was a doctor, and she did not care that I was less accomplished career-wise. It was her sudden death via car accident that plunged me into a phase that I could not pull out of. I was like an old fashioned record player where the needle got stuck in a groove. I traveled to the Listening Centre in Toronto, Canada in 2003. This is the same centre that Dr. Doidge talks about in his book. After doing Tomatis, the needle lifted, I wanted to live again, and I returned to college and finished a degree program within three years after completing my initial treatment. It's important that I share that none of this happened overnight, and mine was not a one-time, cure all treatment. I have received Tomatis sound boosts over the years. The point remains, I went from a phase where I was not functioning to one where I was renewed and not only got back on my feet, but accomplished a task - finishing a 4-year university program - that I had been unable to do at an earlier age.

I'd recommend Dr. Doidge's book to anyone. It's well researched and well written, and I feel for those in pain who might think his tone is too positive and optimistic. In the beginning, we have to allow a crack of optimism to break through. We are fortunate to live in an age where alternative therapies are already established and neuroplasticity is acknowledged. Mine is among the many stories of people getting help where they previously felt helpless. We know what we know, and what's difficult to acknowlege is our ignorance. I'd hope that readers of Dr. Doidge's book consider if any of the therapies he describes so well might help themselves or others. Norman Doidge's book is a welcome sign of the times, a beacon of light and hope that gives these alternative therapies the respect and consideration that they deserve.
94 von 111 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not Quite What I Was Expecting 11. Februar 2015
Von Darcia Helle - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
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 repetitive information and long-winded stories. Consequently, I'm not sure this book will go over well with readers looking for a more science-based read.

The book opens with a case study of a man with Parkinson's disease. This is quite a lengthy section, as we follow this one man throughout his life, his disease, his determination to heal himself, his setbacks, and his healing. We're given a lot of personal information, far more than necessary for me. This section has the feel of a memoir or biography, more so than a book on brain science.

There is also a lengthy section on Moshe Feldenkrais. While interesting, this feels far more like a history lesson. We follow him from Nazi-occupied Paris. We learn about his work with Irene Joliot-Curie, the famous Madame Curie's daughter. We learn about Feldenkrais's work, while also learning about how the State of Israel was formed. All of this feels like it belongs in a different book.

Finally, while I appreciate Doidge's enthusiasm, I'm troubled by the fact that each case cited here had near miraculous results. Were there any patients who simply did not do well, or even as well, with the treatments discussed?

I do think there is important information to gain here on the brain's healing ability, making this book worth reading.

*I was given a copy of this book by Penguin Group via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.*
49 von 57 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Brain’s Way of Healing starts with a superb description ... 3. Februar 2015
Von Dr. Edward Taub - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The Brain’s Way of Healing starts with a superb description of the former axiomatic belief in the neuroscience community of the immutability of the CNS and the more recent research that has slain that conceptual dragon. The articulation of the ideas in the book is a model of exposition; the language is direct, simple yet elegant, which is no mean trick when conveying the meaning of technical research studies. The book offers real hope to individuals suffering from diverse chronic conditions. It shows in terms of graphic personal stories that we truly do not yet know the limits of what is possible in rehabilitation. The book also has a number of creative integrations of the data that will be of interest to neuroscientists.

Edward Taub, Ph.D.
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