MIND/BODY MEDICINE: How to Use Your Mind for Better Health
Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., and Joel Gurin
Consumer Reports Books: New York, 1993.
482 pp., $24.95 (hardback).

Barbara Graham

THE DIRECT LINK between mind and body won’t surprise anyone who’s ever had “butterflies in her stomach,” but science is only now beginning to catch up. What’s more, the mind-body connections that have been established in recent years appear far more subtle, with more profound implications for the prevention and treatment of disease, than most medical scientists ever dreamed.

For example, in a landmark study at Ohio State University College of Medicine, researchers found that stressed-out medical students who diligently practiced relaxation techniques showed stronger immune function and resistance to viruses than students who did not practice the techniques. And in perhaps the most widely hailed study in mindlbody medicine to date, Stanford University psychiatrist David Spiegel found that terminally ill breast cancer patients who participated in support groups lived, on average, twice as long as women assigned to the control group.

Butterflies in the stomach are one thing, but can group therapy really make you live longer? Can relaxation and meditation practices keep you from succumbing to the common cold-and who knows what other nasty little bugs? The answer, based on these and other well-designed studies, is a promising “maybe” that has captured the attention of consumers seeking to improve their health.

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