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am 1. Juli 2000
This was book that really put Andrew Weil on the map and public speaker circuit and it was totally deserved. A wonderful mix of Weil's personal journey of being disaffected with the medical system, his travels abroad to look for answers he could only find at home, stories of patients that taught him key concepts about the body's inherent capacity to heal itself, and discussion of herbal and mind/body research that has influenced his work are only some of the main concepts he expounds upon in this volume. The main crux of the book is short and sweet: the body can heal itself because it is a healing system.
Weil links the lack of doctor's belief in this healing system directly to their education. Medical students work in teaching hospitals populated by patients who represent only one end of the total spectrum of illness - the very sick. Since in this group healing responses occur less frequently than in the general population, doctors develop pessimistic attitudes that are applied across the board to all seen patients in their practice and often these attitudes are conveyed through thoughtless remarks that are the equivalent of a "medical curse". These powerful words expressing little optimism for healing are often internalized by the patient (although a chosen few will rebel and fight against them just to prove the doctor wrong) and rob the patient of belief in their own capacity to respond to their illness.
Building on these concepts, Weil describes several of his patients and friends who, against traditional medical odds, have undergone "unexplained" spontaneous healing often from life-threatening conditions. In almost all cases, acceptance of the illness rather than struggle characterized a key part of the healing process and indicated a mental shift that Weil believes can initiate a transformation of the personality with it a healing of the disease. It's a relief for anyone finding hope for the medical profession while reading this book that Weil has begun a revolutionary medical school program in his home state of Arizona that begins to incorporate many of the "radical" ideas found in this book. This is a medical volume that should be on everyone's shelf.
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am 8. Juli 2000
Dr Weil pulls together the medical knowledge from around the world to explain the human healing system. He offers suggestions for diet, natural herbs, vitamins, and much much more. I practice medicine as a Physician Assistant in Boise, Idaho. I have a web page "At Ease Medicine" that deals with natural healing, I recommend this book to all of my patients. I think it should be required reading in high school. Buy it, read it, let Dr. Weil change your life for the better.
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am 6. Juni 2000
In these 352 pages, the renowned Andrew Weil, M.D. offers you his theories on spontaneous healing. He helps you examine the body's ability to heal itself naturally, and clearly explains how the body performs self-diagnosis, self-repair, and self-regeneration. He walks you through the natural ways to cure disease, covering areas from acupuncture to biofeedback, herbal medicine and more. You'll learn how to help your body maintain its healthiest state. There is data on your diet, the outside environment, exercise, reducing stress, and vitamins and food supplements. He tells you how to build-up your body through the use of the proper diet, vitamins and supplements, excercise, mind and body techniques. He discusses actual case histories and methods from throughout the world. Included is an eight-week program to help your body heal itself and ward off disease. All of the information is presented in easy to understand language. He discusses how the mechanisms of self-diagnosis and self-regeneration have worked in practice (not just theory) to resolve live-threatening diseases, trauma, and chronic pain. Dr. Weil notes that the best medicine works with the body's natural defenses to overcome illness, and not just to reduce symptoms or cure infection. A very useful book, one that can really improve our health and well being.
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This uplifting book desribes very well when alternative medicine can be an option, e.g. for allergies and stomach problems and when it isn't such a good idea, e.g. when one has operable cancer or a serious bacterial infection. This, I believe, gives this book high credibility. It combines the best of worlds and focuses on the ability of self-healing that can be enhanced by, for instance, better living, a change of attitude, new eating habits and learning hos to breath right.
I became very interested in finding out more about visualization therapy, something that Weil strongly recommends trying, but in Stockholm where I live, I haven't been able to find a therapist in this field.
The book includes lots of "things to try" or advice you might call it. These things have made me more observant of my body and mind, my breathing and how I feel. I might add that I am not exactly sick, but stressed a lot and find it difficult to relax. I have problems saying no and always feel pressure at work that I should be getting more things done. My interest for alternative medicine started when I started seeing a homeopath that has done wonders for my immune system. I used to get sick all the time and that has changed.
I don't know what I would think of this book if I had a serious disease. One very good idea of Dr Weils for sick patients is trying to connect them with people that have survived similar illnesses. I myself would like to discuss my everyday problems with people that experience the same thing and have found a solution or a way to live a more relaxed life.
I have recommended this book to several people already.
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am 19. Dezember 1996
Dr. Weil has written a brutally honest book on how to hone the body, mind, and spirit so they can ward off disease, unpleasant thoughts, stress, etc., thereby enabling this temple - as the body is referred to in the Bible - to be pure. The reason why I said Dr. Weil was honest is that he doesn't take a pro-alternative medicine stand, or an anti-allopathic stand. He simply explains, from his wealth of valuable experience, what works best. If it happens to be conventional medicine, then so-be-it. If not, then he says so. Too many alternative medicine practitioners shun any and everything conventional medicine has to offer. (Reminding me that Abraham Lincoln once said that few things are black or white. They are usually varying shades of gray.) From my experience, most chiropractors are charlatons. I have gone to approximatley 20 chiropractors over the past 12 years. I would recommend only 3. One wanted me to see him everyday for the next 6 months. Another devoted a total of less than 2 minuted to me each time I visited him. Find a good osteopath, or an excellent chirpractor. Dr. Weil is right on target in this respect. This is an all-encompossing book that gives great detail to the many different avenues of healing. In addition, it is not padded with much of the filler information to be found in other health books. This book packs a mean wallop and is a must-read for anyone seriously concerned about his or her health. Thank you, Doug Henderson
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am 3. Januar 2000
The idea that your body possesses natural ability to heal and maintain itself is usually not within the realm of believability for many. But this Harvard M.D. presents evidence and explains body mechanisms that can overcome life-threatening illness and pain.
A "how to" book, on the one hand, Dr. Weil also points out shortcomings of our medical system. He calls it "medical pessimism" because the end result is that often nothing more can be done. This comes about, he contends, because modem medical practice is based on the view that human beings are an assemblage of structures that can be neatly programmed. Western medicine, the Chinese, for example, believe the human organism has defensive spheres such as ~onsils, adenoids and appendix, which can be stimulated and are components of an immune system. Modem medicine, he believes, also writes off the importance of the mind, looking instead for physical causes of changes in health or illness.
A realist, Dr. Weil concedes that life is uncertain and while we don't have control over life and death, we have the ability to understand how the human organism can heal itself and this is reason enough for doctors and patients to be optimistic.
"My purpose in writing this book," he states, "is to convince more people to rely on our innate potential for maintaining health and overcoming illness but, he goes on to say, "I cannot easily give you a picture this system (I) because there is a lack of organized research (2) the human organism is complex and (3) the ability of the body to repair itself is a complex function."
The DNA healing system: Is always on call and works continuously; it diagnoses damage; removes damaged structures and replaces them; acts to neutralize injury and make corrections. The challenge is to discover how to turn the right switches to activate this process. The author maintains that the final cause of all cures is the healing system with or without outside treatment. When treatments work, they do so by activating innate healing mechanisms
You can boost the efficiency of your healing system but this does not necessarily produce immediate, noticeable change. It is a long-term investment in the future. These areas seem to be emerging from current studies of diet and health: Modify diet to reduce calories; eat a limited diet one day a week; reduce animal fats (replace with fish and soy protein); increase consumption of polyunsaturated fats found in corn, soy, sesame, safflower, olives, canola, peanut and avocado oils; eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains such as wheat and oat bran.
Greatest threats to everyday health and well-being: Toxic overload from harmful substances in the environment including chemical fertilizers, toxins in the workplace, water we drink, air pollution. The author suggests some anti-toxin formulas: Vitamins C and E, Selenium, Beta Carotene, Ginseng, Garlic, Ginger, Green Tea, Milk Thistle, Astragalus, to name a few.
The seven strategies of successful patients: (1) Don't take "NO" for an answer. Believe there is help to be found somewhere. (2) Search for help. Ask questions; read books; go to libraries; ask for ideas, visit promising practitioners. (3) Talk to others who have been healed. (4) Form partnerships with health professionals who support your search for answers. (5) Don't hesitate to make radical lifestyle changes. (6) Regard illness as a stimulus to change (7) Remember that change is more likely to occur in a climate of self-acceptance than in one of confrontation with the universe.
This popular book suggest ways to optimize your healing system and paints this upbeat scenario of the level of good health we have a right to expect. Says Dr. Weil: "We pay little aft ention to our health when it is good. "You recover from illness and injuries heal uneventfully "Stresses of ordinary life may be annoying, but they don't derange digestion or blood pressure. "Sleep should be restful, sex enjoyable. "Aging of your body occurs gradually, allowing you to moderate your activity appropriately and live out a normal life span without discomfort. "You would not get heart disease or cancer in middle age, be crippled by arthritis in later life or lose your mind to premature senility. "This scenario is possible and worth working toward because the body wants to be healthy," says Dr. Weil.
Well worth reading if you want to live in better health whatever your age.
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am 21. Februar 1999
 Spontaneous Healing By Dr. Andrew Weil M.D.
Dr. Weil is both a visionary and a pilgrim in the field of alternative medicine. He saw the possibility of self healing long before it became accepted by the medical community at large .He has spent years researching the body's natural ability to maintain and heal itself. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and has worked for The National Institute of Mental Health and was a research associate in ethnopharmacology for 15 years at the Howard Botanical Museum .He is currently associated with the University of Arizona at Tucson, where he now practices natural and preventive medicine. Early in his career he felt that the emphasis of Medicine should be to prevent disease, rather than cure it after it occurred. He contends that the body is perfectly able to heal itself if all of its systems are functioning in unison. Healing is the result of a mind-body connection and a restoration of the balance between the two. He was quick to observe that most patients who came to him had been abandoned by other physicians. They had been pronounced incurable and in many cases had been sent home to die. Often this was a result of too many Specialties, and Specialists dealing with only a part of the anatomy instead of dealing with the person as a whole. The first step to healing them was overcoming this negative energy and replacing it with positive energy, dealing with one system at a time. Healing requires a lot of energy, positive energy. Positive energy required for spontaneous healing comes from correct breathing, proper and adequate nutrition, stress reduction, spiritual connection and the willingness to make life changes that promote optimal healing and health. Dr. Weil traveled extensively studying natural herbs and plants that have been used by practitioners for centuries. He believes in the holistic approach that encompasses physical and spiritual well being. His 8 week plan to enhance healing deals with all aspects of harmony within the systems, supplemented with natural medicinal herbs and plants. We now have a population of over medicated people because the average physician does not take the time to assess the entire person and treats symptomatically. The patient does not feel that he or she has his money's worth unless he leaves the office with a handful of pill samples or prescriptions. These same people, with a little more basic knowledge of their bodily functions and systems could readily heal themselves. As a nurse, I have been part of the medical profession for 45 years and know the pessimism that pervades the profession. We are keyed in to preventing death instead of promoting healthy life. Dr. Weil is as refreshing as a breath of fresh air, and his approach is a "down to earth", sensible answer to optimum health. With the prohibitive cost of today's health care, alternative medicine is becoming more and more appealing to the increasingly health conscious public. Other books by Dr. Weil are Natural Health, Natural Medicine, and Health and Healing.
Phyllis Fowler
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am 4. Oktober 1997
A simplisitc and trendy viewpoint on the current state of medical and non-medical treatments. I would recommend this book highly to all MDs in clinical practice- not that it contains anything particularly useful, but as a roadmap of everything that is currently in vogue in non-medical treatment it does let you know what you can expect to be hearing from your patients (and where they are hearing it). The book does have some good points. The author provides a very accurate enumeration of the things for which effective modern medical treatments are available. And maladies for which sub-optimal medical treatment is currently available are also listed. The author also provides a rather good explanation of the benefits of shamanistic doctor/patient relationships. Unfortunately IMHO the book is less than balanced in its assessement of various therapies. Where it does a very complete job of pointing out the deficiencies of modern medicine, it does not even come close to applying the same level of critical analysis to the various and sundry forms of alternative "medicine" that it identifies. In fact, the author shows a lot of enthusiasm for all manners of quackery. It must also be pointed out that the issue of shamanistic relationships is not treated in any kind of balanced manner. The author doesn't even attempt to address the problems associated with balancing an un-questioning faith in the abilities
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am 4. März 2000
Andrew Weil a graduate of Harvard Medical School, after many years of practicing medicine, found that the medical professionals did not cure or heal ailments but took care of the problem either by surgery, drugs. In the 1970's he met Dr. Fulford,an osteopath who helped and cured people with many different types of ailments. Dr. Weil explains that our bodies have a natural ability to heal themselves. If we are in touch with our body, mind and spirit we can be on our way to a better, healthier person. We have to take on the responsibilities of our own care, we are the captain of our own destiny. At times we do need the medical community because we are sometimes caught in emergency situations and we need to be discerning in our choices of care but we should not depend on this treatment. We need to practice preventive ways of keeping ourselves healthy and not depend on quick fixes when we get into trouble. Thank you Dr. Weil for taking a stand and making a difference. Other books for your consideration are: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss and Women's Bodies, Women's Spirit by Christine Northrup.
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am 4. Oktober 1997
in the abilities of a therapist, and control of your own treatment and body. It could be argued that there was atime when medicine was practiced in a very shamanistic manner. However, in modern times we tend to consider this to have been "bad", and label it with the perjorative "paternalistic." This issue is clearly not anywhere near as simple as this author might have one believe. A final criticism of the book is that, contrary to statements made otherwise, the author seems to choose therapies not simply by their efficacy and safety, but by some aethetic measure as well. A good example of this is his recommended treatments for depression, a couple of herbs with known CNS depressant action. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who still believes that CNS depressants are viable treatments for depression anymore, and certainly much more effective treatments are available in the modern medical pharmacopia. This prejudice for probably ineffective herbal remedies where more effective medical remedies are available gives pause to any consideration that this book was written in an objective manner.
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