Sunday, January 30, 2011

elaxation Revolution: Enhancing Your Personal Health Through the Science and Genetics of Mind Body Healing

While new age types and holistic healers have long argued for the connection between mental attitude and physical health, Western doctors have resisted, largely because of the difficulties with testing the efficacy of ephemeral ideas such as "the placebo effect" and the value of meditation in reducing pain, nausea, and migraines. Benson, of Harvard Medical School, has dedicated his life to proving that meditative responses tangibly improve physical health, reduce illness, and encourage a healthy immune system. To combat skeptics, the authors utilize conventional research methods and rigorously test a variety of illnesses. The results are compelling, but good science doesn't always make for great reading; after presenting a relatively simple theory, the authors barrage readers with redundant examples of their success. While their results are confined to the scientific journals cited here (though not in detail), the authors create a quandary. Laypeople will find the repetition tedious, while scientists will be skeptical of paperless overviews. While their research may be sound, Benson and Proctor fail to strike that key balance, and readers wanting to test their methods will have to look elsewhere.

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Part  1                                  |                   Part  2

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