A physician blends traditional medicine with a more holistic approach in order to address both the physical and psychological aspects of emotional pain.
With a mix of personal experience, anecdotes from the examination room and empirical research, this book focuses on the interdependent relationship between physical and mental health, calling on both doctors and patients to understand how to comprehensively treat serious health problems. In exploring the relationship between heartache as an emotional concept and actual problems with cardiac function, Hinds (A Life Larger Than Pain, 2003) draws on both his work as a physician specializing in pain management and the personal experience of dealing with his daughter’s death. He demonstrates how neurotransmitters associated with grief limit the heart’s ability to function properly, in some cases leading to severe reactions. The book doesn’t disparage traditional Western medicine, and the use of surgical procedures and medications are encouraged to treat the symptoms of heartache, but both doctors and patients are asked to approach the problem from a broader perspective. Doctors, the author writes, should ask patients if they are suffering from heartache and incorporate that information into their treatment plans. Patients should not expect to be completely cured of the condition, but they should acknowledge the source of the pain and work to heal and respond appropriately. The author, a Quaker, also addresses the role spirituality can play in the healing process, though his advice for addressing the emotional components of pain goes beyond a strictly religious perspective. The book touches on some methods for controlling physical responses and healing emotional pain, including meditation, prayer, biofeedback and yoga, but since it does not go into particular detail, readers should consult other sources for more specific advice. Thankfully, with frequent citations of both scholarly research and popular books throughout this relatively short text, the author provides readers with evidence supporting his approach to heartache and plenty of resources for further reading.
A brief but comprehensive overview of the connection between health of the mind and body.