THE MIND/BODY EFFECT: How Behavioral Medicine Can Show You the Way to Better Health by

THE MIND/BODY EFFECT: How Behavioral Medicine Can Show You the Way to Better Health

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Benson, author of The Relaxation Response (1975), is an advocate of behavioral medicine, an interdisciplinary approach to health care which watches attitudes and expectations along with pulse rates and blood counts. His easygoing exposition may again win best-selling approbation for he manages to discuss in-the-air issues in a refreshing manner, without mumbo-jumbo or irritating gimmickry. Basically he maintains (as many others have) that the modern medical model is inadequate--a person becomes the gall bladder in 1118; that patients can take more responsibility for their health; and that doctors can reorder priorities. He contends that such disparate phenomena as voodoo deaths and hospital healing rates demonstrate the importance of attitude in the course of an illness, a factor too often overlooked or undervalued in modern practice. In addition, the quality of the doctor/patient interaction affects diagnosis and recovery. Dr. Benson believes we can take a cue from healing practices in other cultures--after scientific investigation, not wholesale acceptance--and he indicates areas likely to yield results. He never suggests using behavioral techniques for organic disorders--only for those behaviorally induced, like stress-related syndromes. And he does not deny the genuine advances in technological medicine despite the harmful accompaniments--""polypharmacy,"" defensive medicine, etc. His, then, is a balanced, historically attuned brief for health care that examines and treats the whole patient.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Simon & Schuster