A small-town doctor in Iowa explains the methodology of his practice of “medical intimacy,” which he claims has cured ailments that other doctors have deemed incurable.
Time and again in his medical practice, debut author Coram says, he sees patients who’ve been told that there’s no cure for their ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain from injuries, and even cancer. The patients seem beaten down by their diseases, he says, and their doctors have given them no reason to hope. But Coram, who’s been trained as a nurse and a chiropractor, believes that hope—that is, the belief that what one wants to happen can actually happen—is key to the healing process. Coram’s practices draw on spiritual ideas (such as “Merging With Our Source”), conversational therapy, and physical therapy, and he provides long, testimonial-style interviews with past patients who are healing or recovering from a variety of ailments, from eating disorders to cancer. Ultimately, Coram’s belief that the health of the body isn’t solely physical or mental seems sound, and his goals of self-knowledge, self-love, and self-acceptance seem logical and admirable; indeed, they sound a lot like simple mindfulness. Yet what exactly happens during patients’ visits remains vague and unclear, particularly regarding the amount of physical work. At one point, for example, it seems as if the author was somehow able to halt a patient’s cancer simply by talking her through past traumas and pathological triggers. When his patients wax philosophical about their experiences, it appears as if the author is acting more like a therapist and spiritual guide than as a nurse and chiropractor: “When I look at each patient, I see a perfectly well and vital being who has temporarily forgotten who he or she is,” he writes. Still, Coram has an immaculately clean and casual prose style, and his wholeness-first approach to healing is compelling and hopeful—a useful reminder of the power of loving oneself.
A sometimes-vague book that nonetheless features some helpful philosophies.