The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions
Since ancient times humans have felt intuitively that emotions and health are linked, and recently there has been much popular speculation about this notion. But until now, without compelling evidence, it has been impossible to say for sure that such a connection really exists and especially how it works.
Now, that evidence has been discovered.
A thrilling scientific detective story, The Balance Within tells how researchers finally uncovered the elusive mind-body connection and what it means for our health. In this beautifully written book, Dr. Esther Sternberg, whose discoveries were pivotal in helping to solve this mystery, provides first hand accounts of the breakthrough experiments that revealed the physical mechanisms - the nerves, cells, and hormones - used by the brain and immune system to communicate with each other. She describes just how stress can make us more susceptible to all types of illnesses, and how the immune system can alter our moods. Finally, she explains how our understanding of these connections in scientific terms is helping to answer such crucial questions as "Does stress make you sick?" "Is a positive outlook the key to better health?" and "How do our personal relationships, work, and other aspects of our lives affect our health?"
A fascinating, elegantly written portrait of this rapidly emerging field with enormous potential for finding new ways to treat disease and cope with stress, The Balance Within is essential reading for anyone interested in making their body and mind whole again.
As inspiring as it is illuminating
By D. Vaughan - January 5, 2001
I'm an academic bioscientist but not trained in the immune system. I have always been interested in the brain-immune connection (for personal as well as professional reasons), and I have always appreciated getting the history of a scientific field's evolution -- something that we find less and less time to discuss in the college classroom, much to the detriment of the next generation of scientists. I am a huge fan of this book and this year I am incorporating it into my university courses and seminars. I've recommended it highly to colleagues who also find it valuable. It's fun to read and contains fascinating historical notes about medical science in general. Sternberg discusses how the work of many people contributed bits and pieces to an important emerging story. It gave me what felt like an eyewitness perspective on the birth of neuroimmunology, as well as a fountain of information about the brain-immune connection. It is a must-read for anyone wondering how science comes up... read more
Bold and Daring, Advanced Knowledge!
By Bladerunner B26354 - January 28, 2002
Dr. Esther Sternberg from the outset tells us that she wrote this book "out of a question" that "seemed ostracized from the rest of the scientific community." Clearly, it seems that the information in "The Body Within" is a daring challenge to present new brain-immune connection information to the lay public, and is determined to not let it stagnate only among the doctoral elite. I found all 11 chapters fascinating and richly detailed, gloriously free of slanted opinions and filled with highly intelligent questions. All 250 pages inform, with its interesting anecdotes and illustrations, and my gratitude goes out to Dr. Sternberg for ensuring that some of us, even though we do not have a "Ph.D" attached to our name, are nonetheless able to grasp concepts as the workings of the brain, the immune system and the role of various hormones and neurotransmitters.
As a result, I learned much about neurochemistry and neuroscience from Dr. Sternberg who helped me make irrefutable... read more
Solving The Mind-Body Conundrum
By Eric Ehrmann - December 11, 2002
I am a writer who is currently at work on a book on my living through colon cancer. I was diagnosed at age 47 with Duke's C-3 colon cancer. Because of the early onset of my disease, I was three years too young to be considered for routine colon cancer screening, which doctors are supposed to offer to patients when they reach age 50. I was lucky. Even with one year of chemotherapy (due to minor lymph node involvement) medical textbooks and doctors said my chances of surviving five years (a five year colon cancer survivor is considered "cured") were about 35 percent. Now, seven years later, I can say that Esther Sternberg's work validates some key elements of the survival strategy I developed for myself that links health and wellness and emotions. Sternberg flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom by providing proof that stress can make you sick. She provides evidence that the immune system can be trained, citing the work of Bob Ader and Nick Cohen. And she offers evidence... read more
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