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Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Kaleidoscopes provide moveable mandalas

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The Cure Within
, by Anne Harrington, W.W. Norton traces the history of Americans relationship with the ephemeral aspects of medicine, and how that has evolved into today’s “Wellness” sector. Starting with snake oil and huckster cures, our interests and hopes for wholeness are unraveled, and reveal the inspired and earnest inquiry along with portraits of  the gullible and the  creation of the placebo.

As we continue seeking hoped for silver bullets, some true  turning points occurred along the way that have paved the road for the  brilliant work of Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and the general acceptance of yoga, breathing techniques and other, formerly  “exotic” modalities, which DO help us feel better.

One fascinating turning point involves a band of  Transcendental Meditators coercing a researcher to “study” them, rather than the lab rats that were in his Harvard lab. The doctor agrees, with the stipulation that the meditator ONLY enter the lab at night, and through the back door, so his white coated colleagues would not see.  The physiological benefits he measured were so impressive, the doctor reframed the meditation “techniques” as The Relaxation Response, to help bring relief to anxiety and stress.

The book is insightful and informative. It also offers an interesting perspective on our persistent quest for a health, and wholeness…. which we now call Wellness.

You can purchase The Cure Within

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