When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Kobo ebook | February 11, 2011

byGabor Mate, M.D.

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In this accessible and groundbreaking book -- filled with the moving stories of real people -- medical doctor and bestselling author of Scattered Minds, Gabor Maté, shows that emotion and psychological stress play a powerful role in the onset of chronic illness.

Western medicine achieves spectacular triumphs when dealing with acute conditions such as fractured bones or life-threatening infections. It is less successful against ailments not susceptible to the quick ministrations of scalpel, antibiotic or miracle drug. Trained to consider mind and body separately, physicians are often helpless in arresting the advance of most of the chronic diseases, such as breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Gabor Maté has found that in all of these chronic conditions, there is a common thread: people afflicted by these diseases have led lives of excessive stress, often invisible to the individuals themselves. From an early age, many of us develop a psychological coping style that keeps us out of touch with the signs of stress. So-called negative emotions, particularly anger, are suppressed. Dr. Maté writes with great conviction that knowledge of how stress and disease are connected is essential to prevent illness in the first place, or to facilitate healing.

When the Body Says No is an impressive contribution to current research on the physiological connection between life’s stresses and emotions and the body systems governing nerves, immune apparatus and hormones. With great compassion and erudition, Gabor Maté demystifies medical science and, as he did in Scattered Minds, invites us all to be our own health advocates.

Excerpt from When the Body Says No
“Only an intellectual luddite would deny the enormous benefits that have accrued to humankind from the scrupulous application of scientific methods. But not all aspects of illness can be reduced to facts verified by double-blind studies and by the strictest scientific techniques. We confine ourselves to a narrow realm indeed if we exclude from accepted knowledge the contributions of human experience and insight. . . .

“In 1892 William Osler, one of the greatest physicians of all time, suspected rheumatoid arthritis to be a stress-related disorder. Today rheumatology all but ignores that wisdom, despite the supporting scientific evidence that has accumulated in the 110 years since Osler first published his text. That is where the narrow scientific approach has brought the practice of medicine. Elevating modern science to be the final arbiter of our sufferings, we have been too eager to discard the insights of previous ages.”



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When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Kobo ebook | February 11, 2011
Available for download Not available in stores
$16.99

From the Publisher

In this accessible and groundbreaking book -- filled with the moving stories of real people -- medical doctor and bestselling author of Scattered Minds, Gabor Maté, shows that emotion and psychological stress play a powerful role in the onset of chronic illness.Western medicine achieves spectacular triumphs when dealing with acute cond...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:February 11, 2011Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030737470X

ISBN - 13:9780307374707

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Customer Reviews of When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from When the body says no Hardest book I have ever read when you reflect, changes the way I want to talk to my kids and live my life. But also confirms removing all that is harmful in my life is the right choice.
Date published: 2014-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Body talk This may be the most important book you read for many years—even though it was originally published in 2003, before the current economic woes plunged many of us into anxiety about our ability to cope in an increasingly unpredictable world. And although we’re a few days out of “Stress Awareness Month” (April) for this year, the message the author conveys to us in the book’s pages remains timely, if not critical. Now more than ever we need to be reminded to attend to what our bodies are telling us as we respond to the stresses—including self-imposed stresses—inherent in our daily lives. Unfortunately, our personal, social, and cultural conditioning is such that this attentiveness can be very difficult for us to give. For many, even an unexpected and apparently untimely brush with serious illness fails to activate the optimal responses our bodies crave for healing and the commitment we need to foster in taking the steps necessary to regain wholeness. Whether or not you still harbour any doubts about the relationship between chronic stress and serious illness, the wisdom imparted in the pages of this engaging and compelling study will enable you to step back and take a more compassionate and objective look at your own life and the lives of those close to you. Illness, or dis-ease, is examined as being not only a whole-person (BodyMindSpirit) phenomenon, but also as a process deeply rooted in our intergenerational and psychosocial dimensions. Our bodies are exquisitely sensitive instruments, tuned to experiences and emotions we may not even be aware of. Biochemically (including hormonally), immunologically, at the deepest cellular level, they are constantly responding and adjusting to the stuff of our lives. But their “hidden reserves of adaptability” are not infinite: even as we struggle to “manage” our stress, these reservoirs become depleted. And this is when illness strikes. The author shares with us his patients’ stories and the insights he’s gleaned from them. He shows and reflects on how our “emotional competence, the capacity that enables us to stand in a responsible, non-victimized, and non-self-harming relationship with our environment” is a strong determinant of our susceptibility to disease and our capacity to heal. The book’s 19 chapters are organized around common chronic illnesses, including cancer. The “biologies” of relationships, loss, and of belief are considered. In the last chapter, “The Seven A's of Healing”, the author summarizes in a sensitive and constructive manner the sort of personal growth and transformation goals we need look towards in order to give our bodies the support they demand. Gabor Maté is a Vancouver physician and bestselling author. His IN THE REALM OF HUNGRY GHOSTS: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH ADDICTION (2008) won the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-fiction at last month’s 25th Annual BC Book Prize awards.
Date published: 2009-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! This book is fantastic. Gabor Mate is brilliant! I had several 'A-ha' moments while reading this book. I highly recommend it. I will be giving a copy to all of my friends and family for Christmas. Everyone deserves to gain the knowledge that he has to share. His approach to medicine and how mind and body are linked would transform the world if everyone understood it.
Date published: 2006-08-20