"Let Food Be Thy Medicine"
The Mind/Body Connection
The way you think and feel and the deep-seated belief patterns you hold can all contribute to the development of disease. If you do not explore and deal with painful emotions, they can create an underlying sense of anxiety, depression, or anger that can physically disrupt the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Mindfulness for Health
“research is showing that we can change our attitude, and thereby our relationship to our circumstances, in ways that can make a difference in our health and well-being, and possibly to our longevity.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
It was apparent to me that becoming healthy represented more than just getting over an illness. Health represented a complex progression into a state of personal empowerment in which one had to move from a condition of vulnerability to one of invincibility,from victim to victor,from silent bystander to aggressive defender of personal boundaries.Completing this race to the finish was a yeoman's task if ever there was one.Indeed,in opening the psyche and soul to the healing process,we had expanded the journey of wellness into one of personal transformation."
Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason
Health and Nutrition
“I have come to see that the benefits produced by eating a plant-based diet are far more diverse and impressive than any drug or surgery used in medical practice. Heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, stroke and hypertension, arthritis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, impotence and all sorts of other chronic diseases can be largely prevented. These diseases, which generally occur with aging and tissue degeneration, kill the majority of us before our time.”
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health
Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.
Transformations for Health and Life
1. Make happiness a high priority. Versus: Coasting along with our present state of happiness and unhappiness.
2. Make sure your life has purpose and meaning. Versus: Focusing on daily practicalities, even those that seem routine and meaningless.
3. Live according to a higher vision. Versus: Living for externals like a better job, more money, a bigger house, etc.
4. Expand your awareness in every decade of life. Versus: Viewing youth as the peak of life and old age as a dwindling decline.
5. Devote time and attention to personal growth. Versus: Staying the same as you always were and feeling proud about it.
6. Follow a sensible regimen of good diet and physical activity. Versus: Eating a diet high in sugar, fat, and calories. Promising yourself to exercise tomorrow, or next week.
7. Allow your brain to reset by introducing downtime several times a day.
A full CD of guided mindfulness meditations for health and happiness,
narrated by Jon Kabat-Zinn
If you’ve ever struggled with depression or know someone who has, take heart: mindfulness practice is a simple, powerful way to naturally break depression’s self-perpetuating cycle.
With The Mindful Way Through Depression, four leading researchers present insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy about how to triumph over this illness—and, more importantly, how to prevent it from striking again. Join these uniquely qualified experts to discover the power of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, including:
The “quicksand effect” of depression—why our attempts to think our way out of depression can backfire, and the strategy we can use for true freedom
The biology of depression—how meditation can rewrite neural structures and heal chemical imbalances
What to do when you’re not depressed—techniques for cultivating an abiding sense of joy that will protect you from recurrence
Identify ways feelings, thoughts, the body, and behavior interact to trigger depression
Summarize basic concepts of mindfulness and awareness
Recognize the difference between thoughts and the truth
Describe the difference between doing mode and being mode
Identify ways awareness counteracts depression
List several kinds of mindfulness meditation practices
Practice guided mindfulness meditation exercises
Even successful treatments for depression too often stop short of providing you with a way to protect yourself from falling back into the downward spiral. With The Mindful Way Through Depression, you will develop the tools you need to understand the core mental habits and patterns that lead to depression—and learn a proven method for creating genuine change that lasts a lifetime.
Recommended Books on Mindful Health
The following list of books all live on my bookshelf (some on my kindle). They are much loved books I have read and often re-read on my own journey towards living in a healthy way. I have loved putting this list together for you, and hope that it will help to guide you on your own journey. These books reflect my own journey into the way I think about health. The power of the mind and body connection, using proven Mindfulness practices to counteract stress and pain. Going beyond traditional medicine into the world described often as 'alternative' has bought miraculous and unexplained healing for many. From Quantum healing to letting food be thy medicine, I love to look at health from all these different view points.
Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh (Preface)
The landmark work on mindfulness, meditation, and healing, now revised and updated after twenty-five years
Stress. It can sap our energy, undermine our health if we let it, even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection and disease. Based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this classic, groundbreaking work—which gave rise to a whole new field in medicine and psychology—shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing. By engaging in these mindfulness practices and integrating them into your life from moment to moment and from day to day, you can learn to manage chronic pain, promote optimal healing, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of your life, relationships, and social networks. This second edition features results from recent studies on the science of mindfulness, a new Introduction, up-to-date statistics, and an extensive updated reading list. Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well and the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in our fast-paced world.
Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
by Caroline Myss
Building on wisdom from Hindu, Christian, and Kaballah traditions, this comprehensive guide to energy healing reveals the hidden stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that cause illness.
Anatomy of the Spirit is the boldest presentation of energy medicine to date, written by one of its premier practitioners, internationally acclaimed medical intuitive Caroline Myss, who is amongst the "hottest new voices in the alternative health/spirituality scene" (Publishers Weekly). Based on fifteen years of research into energy medicine, Dr. Myss's work shows how every illness corresponds to a pattern of emotional and psychological stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that have influenced corresponding areas of the human body.
Anatomy of the Spirit also presents Dr. Myss's breakthrough model of the body's seven centers of spiritual and physical power, in which she synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions-the Hindu chakras, the Christian sacraments, and the Kabbalah's Tree of Life-to demonstrate the seven stages through which everyone must pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. With this model, Dr. Myss shows how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously cultivate your personal power and spiritual growth.
By teaching you to see your body and spirit in a new way, Anatomy of the Spirit provides you with the tools for spiritual maturity and physical wholeness that will change your life.
Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
by Deepak Chopra M.D.
More than twenty-five years ago, Quantum Healing helped transform Deepak Chopra into a cultural phenomenon. Now Dr. Chopra, hailed by Time as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine,” returns to this groundbreaking exploration of consciousness and the power of mindfulness, adding the latest scientific research as well as expanded thoughts on the connection between body and mind.
Inspired by the unexplained recovery of patients in his own practice who had been given just a few months to live, Dr. Chopra began his search for answers. After returning to his native India to explore humanity’s most ancient healing tradition, Ayurveda, he combined those insights with Western medicine, neuroscience, and physics. What he discovered—a “network of intelligence” in the human body with the potential to defeat cancer, heart disease, even aging itself—forms the basis of Quantum Healing. In this new edition, Dr. Chopra once again offers a fascinating intellectual journey and a deeply moving chronicle of hope and healing.
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.
The New York Times bestselling guide to the lifesaving diet that can both prevent and help reverse the effects of heart disease
Based on the groundbreaking results of his twenty-year nutritional study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. Dr. Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has helped thousands across the country, and is the book behind Bill Clinton’s life-changing vegan diet.
The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn's program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, all Dr. Esselstyn’s patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.
Complete with more than 150 delicious recipes perfect for a plant-based diet, the national bestseller Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of heart disease patients forever. It will empower readers and give them the tools to take control of their heart health.
Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility
by Alice D. Domar, Alice Lesch Kelly
Infertility is a heartbreaking condition that affects nine million American couples each year. It causes tremendous stress, can trigger debilitating sadness and depression, and can tear a marriage to shreds.
In Conquering Infertility, Harvard psychologist Alice Domar—whom Vogue calls the “Fertility Goddess”—provides infertile couples with what they need most: stress relief, support, and hope. Using the innovative mind/body techniques she has perfected at her clinic, Domar helps infertile women not only regain control over their lives but also boost their chances of becoming pregnant.
With Conquering Infertility, women learn how to cope with infertility in a much more positive way and to carve a path toward a rich, full, happy life.