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The Balance Within: The Science Connecting…

The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions (2000)

by Esther M. Sternberg

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A somewhat irritating book, in that the subject matter is undermined by the manner of its expression. The interrelationship of the nervous system and the immune system is detailed by a medical researcher who has significantly contributed to our current level of understanding of the science of the “mind-body connection.” The discoveries of Dr. Sternberg and her colleagues are tremendously exciting in terms of medical science, but they also open doors to better understanding of the neurobiology underlying aesthetics, sociology and even theology. But why in the world did Dr. Sternberg have to adopt the artificial narrative strategy of casting her book in the form of a gothic detective tale? Time and again, the reader finds her/himself standing in some exotic locale from the past (the temple of Asclepius, St. Anthony’s cathedral at the University of Padua, the Royal Victoria Hospital at the Montreal Neurological Institute), waiting to be taken by the hand by Dr. Sternberg and given an exhaustive tour of some dank and dusky structure, only to wind up in either an operating theater or a laboratory in order to peek over the shoulder of someone just about to make a mind-bending discovery in the field of endocrinology, histology, immunology, neurology, rheumatology, microscopy… The material has its own fascination and is reasonably accessible without the faux romance. ( )
  jburlinson | Oct 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0716744457, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:33 -0400)

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The chief of neuroendocrine immunology at the National Institute of Mental Health offers evidence that emotional and physical health influence each other, and examines the critical role relationships, faith, and emotional well-being play in resisting disease.… (more)

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