Have you ever felt a surge of adrenaline after narrowly avoiding an accident? Salivated at the sight (or thought) of a sour lemon? Felt turned on just from hearing your partner's voice? If so, then you've experienced how dramatically the workings of your mind can affect your body. Yet while we accept that stress or anxiety can damage our health, the idea of "healing thoughts" was long ago hijacked by New Age gurus and spiritual healers. Recently, however, serious scientists from a range of fields have been uncovering evidence that our thoughts, emotions and beliefs can ease pain, heal wounds, fend off infection and heart disease and even slow the progression of AIDS and some cancers. In Cure, award-winning science writer Jo Marchant travels the world to meet the physicians, patients and researchers on the cutting edge of this new world of medicine. We learn how meditation protects against depression and dementia, how social connections increase life expectancy and how patients who feel cared for recover from surgery faster. We meet Iraq war veterans who are using a virtual arctic world to treat their burns and children whose ADHD is kept under control with half the normal dose of medication. We watch as a transplant patient uses the smell of lavender to calm his hostile immune system and an Olympic runner shaves vital seconds off his time through mind-power alone. Drawing on the very latest research, Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind's ability to heal, lays out its limitations and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives. With clarity and compassion, Cure points the way towards a system of medicine that treats us not simply as bodies but as human beings.
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by Erica James
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"Narrator Genevieve Swallow has a strong voice and an authoritative BBC accent: It's a shame she doesn't stick to it throughout this audio. Jo Marchant's fair-minded and deeply compassionate work explores the power of placebos, meditation, hypnosis, and similar therapies to influence our health. She is an outstanding reporter who enlivens her narrative using interviews with patients and medical professionals around the world as she separates the promising research from the quackery. Unfortunately, Swallow gives each of these subjects his or her own accent and distinctive speech style, which is cloying and inappropriate in a work of journalism. It's a regrettable decision because the straightforward narration she uses for Marchant's own words would have been enough to carry her through the whole volume. D.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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