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Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient (Twentieth Anniversary Edition) Paperback – Deluxe Edition, July 17, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Amazing and heartening.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“An entertaining and instructive example of an inspired participation of a patient in his own treatment.” (Washington Post)

About the Author

Norman Cousins was a longtime editor of the Saturday Review and the author of eleven books on health and healing, among other works.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (July 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393326845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393326840
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book for several reasons. The author made a recovery from a terminal illness, and had a doctor who cooperated and encouraged him in his recovery. They even had the hospital run tests to verify whether the authors strategy was working.

The author's strategy involved the use of laughter, and found that 10 minutes of laughter, in his case watching Marx brothers movies would give him 2 hours of pain relief. Tests conducted by the hospital proved that the laughter caused the sed rate (which monitors tissue inflammation) to drop, proving the strategy worked. In addition taking megadoses of Vitamin C would also inhibit the deterioration of his connective tissue. Important elements of his recovery were his determination, the power of the placebo effect, and homeostasis, which is the body's natural ability to heal itself.

There are important topics covered in this book, and I particularly liked his stories from Dr Albert Schweitzer, a Nobel Prize winner.

Interestingly, Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel prize winner popularised the use of megadoses of Vitamin C, but that was in 1970, according to the author, six years after the author used the same strategy on his own illness.

I am very impressed with this book. Having explored energy healing, and emotional healing techniques for myself, I agree unequivocally that good body chemistry emanates from good emotions, just feeling good. How would you feel if you felt 100% healthy? I also remember a quote from the movie The Secret that 'cancer cannot survive in an emotionally healthy person.'

If you or someone you know has a serious health challenge, this book could be enormously helpful. It is an easy read. I devoured it in less than a day, and gave it to my mother.
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Format: Paperback
This work contains numerous strategies aimed at maintaining
health into the far future. For instance, the author explains
how cancer occurs more frequently in patients with significant
grief, anger or fear in their daily lives. He indicates the
importance of physician contact with the patient. The importance
of a balanced diet is articulated. The author decries poor
nutrition in some hospitals . i.e. white bread and bleached flour
Specific medical tests are referenced i.e. SED RATE
The sed rate is the speed with which red blood cells settle in a test tube measured in milli-liters~ severity of inflammation.
He explains the importance of Vitamin C in collagen maintenance.
This work would be valuable for any middle-age or elderly person
seeking to maintain health far into the future.
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Format: Paperback
Norman Cousins examines such topics as creativity and humor as being essential to treatment. Important to anyone touched by chronic illness. This was one of the first books my husband Tom and I read when we found out he had Alzheimer's disease. It was one I found particularly helpful in meeting the demands and changes Tom's illness imposed on me. It is a book that talks about outlook and attitudes and taking charge of one's life.
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Format: Paperback
This book revolutionized the way Americans think about health and health care. Diagnosed with a life-threatening and incurable condition, Cousins checked himself out of the hospital and basically healed himself with laughter, rest and Vitamin C. A few years later, he recovered from a major heart attack on his own and wrote about that, too.
These books jump-started the whole field of mind-body medicine. Hundreds of books have followed in its tradition, including mine, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness. Anatomy of an Illness holds up well. I just re-read it and it's still relevant.
Not everything here will apply to most readers, because Cousins was a major cultural figure with many physicians among his friends. Not everyone would have his self-confidence or his sources of support. But his ideas and his approach are more needed than ever today.
David Spero RN [...]
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Format: Paperback
As an essay, Anatomy of an Illness is engrossing. At as a work of inspiration, it is indispensible. Anyone you know who is ill, or who simply cares about his or her state of health, will gain wisdom and hope from this carefully constructed, sober, yet passionate memoir of healing.
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Format: Paperback
As I have a rare form of cancer (mesothelioma) with no real known cure this book was one I was told about that may help.
It has, and it should be read by all those with so-called incurable diseases, as it explains how much power we have in our own minds and body's when we take control of our own illness.
And when you feel in control it changes your perception of what is uncontronable.
I believe all the current medicos should read this and start realizing the incredible power the body has to heal itself and stop relying on all the drugs that are really the big killers of the day.
Not only that in his book Robyn Cousin's says that over 90% of all visits to the doctor could eliminated if people knew about this.
Knowledge is power and reading this book will give you power.
Ron Sullivan
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By G. S. Walters on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
My husband has been very ill over the last 7 years and although the doctors were sure he's be dead by now... he's not and doing better every day. He has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, ITP, Lymphodema, as of now, everything it either in remmission or under control and I believe this book "Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient" and "Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do: Revised and Updated Edition" and "Getting Well Again: The Bestselling Classic About the Simontons' Revolutionary Lifesaving Self- Awareness Techniques" As well as the DVD "the Secret" have not only made a difference in his health, but in our lives and those of our family.

Keep things in prospective, give it to a higher authority and LAUGH!
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