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A Beautiful Medicine - A Radical Look at the Essence of Health and Healing [Kindle Edition]

David Mercier
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $21.95
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  • Length: 318 pages
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Book Description

Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Nautilus Book Awards

In this poetic and inspirational look at the essence of health and healing, David Mercier offers a view of medicine that emphasizes the necessity of including the psychological and spiritual dimensions of the human experience into healthcare.

Weaving threads of memoir throughout the book, he illustrates key ideas with childhood stories of growing up with a militaristic father, his years as a hippie, and then as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka where he went to practice mindfulness meditation. After becoming ill and depressed there, he returned to the U.S. and began using complementary and alternative medicine to restore his health. Now, with over three decades of experience as an acupuncturist and practitioner of holistic medicine, he offers his insights on health, healing, and medicine—and on the ingredients of a peaceful and and vibrant life. Drawing upon the teachings of mystics, philosophers, and poets, he redefines health in surprising ways. And with inspirational stories and poignant case studies about his patients, he describes a philosophy of living that combines the scientific and the spiritual.

Echoing the ideas of ancient healers, he writes that our connection to the laws of nature and the universe must be understood for a deeper understanding of the secrets of a whole and vibrant life. If we uncover the human narrative underlying many of our symptoms, we often find the true diagnosis lying in unfinished emotional business, or in the values, priorities, and choices that shape dysfunctional lifestyles.

Key ideas from the book:

* The symptom is a message: our aches, pains, and malaise are signs pointing to imbalances. They are not problems, but pointers. By trusting that symptoms are signals, we can work with them instead of against them.

* The body is more than a physical thing. It is an expression of the invisible energies of the universe.

* We have far more potential to heal than we can imagine, even in our later years.

* The quality of our relationships is a key influence on our health.

* Increasing our abilities to be generous, loving, compassionate and selfless can have a positive impact on our health.

By listening carefully to the voice within mind and body, we can hear the voice of a profound evolutionary drive speaking to us through our symptoms. It encourages us to transform into the best human beings possible. In the end, the experience of love, meaning, and beauty moves us toward optimal wellness. A Beautiful Medicine helps show the way.

Reader comments:

"This is a book everyone should read. It rivals the Great Books in terms of content and significance. Don’t miss it."

'It's stunning. The words, the story, the teachings, the vibrancy and hope are ALL Beautiful. You've managed to capture Beauty itself in prose and in its message. The book IS a beautiful medicine!"

"May I say...I do not understand all of life, or healing, or medicine...but reading this book makes sense to part of me I cannot locate. It makes me feel good and right with the world. Beautiful things do that. This book is a beautiful thing."

'One of the most spiritual and beautiful books I have read on healing and wellbeing."

"I have to say that the end chapters were truly moving and some of the sentences were written so beautifully, they brought tears to my eyes."

"I bought it for my sister and she just loved it, and I just love it – it’s an amazing book."

"It is magnificent! It is so beautifully written it is hard to find the words to tell you how meaningful it is. I am certain it will bring much happiness and understanding of the complexities of life to all those who are lucky enough to read it."

"Magnificent!!!... a true gift to humanity. I read it cover to cover in one day (couldn't put it down) with my high-lighter and post-it tabs everywhere. I am recommending it to everyone I know!"

Editorial Reviews


Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Nautilus Book Awards - Better Books for a Better World

From the Author

"In our overstressed lives, we need heavy doses of renewal. When the neuro-endocrine consequences overwhelm our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, we need something more than antibiotics--we need something transformational and transcendent. Kerouac with On the Road and Pirsig with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance each inspired a generation and guided a movement. David Mercier's marvelous book will do the same. After reading this engaging integration of stories, philosophy, and medicine, you will never think of healing in the same way again"
Distinguished University Professor Richard Boyatzis, Ph.D.,Case Western Reserve University; co-author with Dan Goleman and Annie McKee of the international bestseller Primal Leadership and co-author with Annie McKee of Resonant Leadership

"In his remarkable book, A Beautiful Medicine, David Mercier has described revolutionary new ways of understanding disease, health, and healing. It is beautifully written, well researched, and a treasure trove of transformative ideas. His therapeutic strategy transcends conventional allopathic interventions - it treats the symptom not as a pathological phenomenon that needs to be controlled,but as a message that can lead us to the deeper roots of the problem. He weaves a rich tapestry of medicine, psychotherapy, acupuncture, diet, exercise, spirituality, and art; and illustrates the efficacy of this multidimensional mosaic with touching, compelling  personal stories from his practice. By emphasizing the importance of meaning in human life and moving beyond distorting illusions about our own nature and the nature of reality, David Mercier combines the roles of therapist and spiritual teacher."

Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Beyond the Brain, Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Game, and When the Impossible Happens
"A Beautiful Medicine is the best prescription for a longer, healthier, more satisfying life that I've ever encountered. It makes total sense. It gives you hope. It's uplifting. If you care about your health and well-being-your quality of life-you should read this important book."
Roger Vaughan, author of Herbert Von Karajan; Ted Turner-the Man 
Behind the Mouth; The Grand Gesture; and others

Product Details

  • File Size: 914 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Still Pond Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009XG5YCG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,094 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He has cleaned my house starting today! May 4, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A Beautiful Medicine - A Radical Look at the Essence of Helath and Healing: I have a feeling that this book is going to change my life. Every page and every word has helped me see what I have been hiding behind food and other bad behaviors. I am 30 pages from the end and I must say that my book is totally fringed with those tiny pink post-it notes marking all of the pages that I want to re-read and start my goal to a better mind and body. I can hear the author talking to me as I read his words. And by the way, he writes with such passion and color in his words. This book is a keeper and I recommend it to everyone. I think that I am beginning to feel better already. Thank you, David G. Mercier.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BECOMING -- a process June 16, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Mercier is a poet! He is a lyricist! So, how does one create a marvelous book about health and healing that is also remarkably beautiful? It is important, I think, to be deeply aware of what you know and about what you passionately believe. Clearly Mr. Mercier has these understandings. A look at his own life processes and at his credentials shows the reader the power of learning both from information and from experience. More importantly, David helps the reader understand the science and the art of becoming and of being a "whole" person. Cleverly indirect and at times very direct, David Mercier teaches us the complexity of being human and of transforming ourselves if we wish to do so. The anecdotal stories punctuate the effort needed and the experiences to be "gone through" in order to integrate physical, mental and spiritual health into our lives. If you want to read a book beautifully conceived and beautifully written; if you want to begin to transform your life; if you believe that symptoms do not need to be covered - but rather uncovered; if you wish to understand healing in the broader sense, then you will want to read this beautiful book - A Beautiful Medicine!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK! May 29, 2012
This book should be compulsory reading for the world, in all languages. Agree or disagree, the contents provide a wide range of thoughtful, probing, and ultimately meaningful ideas, many very intimately presented. Some you will already know, others will be new. There are arguable points, but the tone of the book will encourage reasoned responses, not knee-jerk received-knowledge flashes, and you might just really super-charge your thinking: you will surely gain a broader sense of how others perceive the world we all share, clearly presented, and be able to consider some practical solutions to various problems. There are common sense conclusions, but engagingly written for everyone. There are peeks into a more ethereal sphere, too. Also engagingly written for everyone. With plenty of examples. Good stories. READ THIS BOOK!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, uplifting and empowering October 18, 2012
By Susanne
This book was incredibly uplifting to read. I did not want to put it down once I started. I felt better about myself, the choices I have made in my life, and better yet, have new possibilities ahead of me for improved health and well-being. The book felt like it was written totally from a place of love and compassion, not once did I feel like there was an admonition or a command that I should do something. I felt uplifted and ready to take new actions for improving my health and well-being.

Most of us already know things we can do to improve our well-being, I certainly do. After reading this book, I found myself in action doing some of them, and with fresh new ideas I had not had before. It isn't that the book has a list of suggestions for actions, it is that the book was compelling and gave me a sense of pulling me forward into a new level of self-confidence and self-care. Maybe you have to read the book to have this totally make sense!!!

I am very grateful to the friend of my sister who sent me the book, and know that it has already permanently altered me, for the better.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Medicine Both Human and Divine March 16, 2013
A BEAUTIFUL MEDICINE illuminates how our individual minds and bodies are profoundly linked to the Whole, essential for understanding health, healing, and medicine. Of course, you would think that all holistic medicine would look at the whole, but Dr. Mercier takes us one step further, to see that creating the best life possible for ourselves is creating the best world possible.

The author draws on great philosophers and poets to help him show us the beauty of life, that which we are all seeking. And he takes us on a journey through the book that is transformational... from the biological puzzle of painful symptoms to health portrayed not only as a vibrant body, but also a life full of meaning and purpose, and at harmony with one's spiritual nature.

If the reader gets nothing else from this book, I hope it is the appreciation and gratitude for the symptom's role in our lives, as a roadmap from the problem to the cure. Never again will I see a back pain as simply a back pain, but maybe an expression of tension caused by anger, boredom or fear, an amplifier for the voice of prisoners in the subconscious self, as Mercier so beautiful puts it. "The impulse of unresolved emotions takes advantage of perforations in the armor of our anatomy and physiology, seeking the spots that then become physical speaker systems for blaring the message," he explains..."for the benevolent purpose of helping us heal and integrate." This becomes transformational as we overcome the obstacles in our path, like on the hero's journey, and transcend them with courage.

Mercier is so eloquent, I would do best by quoting him over and over.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
I am inspired by David Mercier's approach and expression to wellness, healing, and life. He is an original thinker, going beyond old and new ideas to something greater and more. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Becky B. Cannon
1.0 out of 5 stars No problem with the author, but a HUGE problem with the book
This is a book I wanted to read. It still is. But I have a HUGE problem with Amazon and whomever was responsible for editing this book. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Turtle Kientz
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I rarely take my time really slowly digesting a book the way I have with is well worth purchasing.
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful medicine
I liked the examples he gave of people he helped to explain how it worked. Some things just seemed hard to believe or understand.
Published 21 months ago by Ruth A. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual common sense
A wonderful read. David Mercier has a lot to say and says it with love. I am so glad I read this book. Inspiring.
Published 22 months ago by Spiritwitch
4.0 out of 5 stars A new way to look at health
When we look at healing and our health care we often base the evaluation on things and values that are no longer valid. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Linda
4.0 out of 5 stars Healing
This books expands my thoughts about the healing process. I am recommending it to a friend in med school. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Belizian traveler
5.0 out of 5 stars This book fills a void...Beautifully!
David Mercier's book is a "must-read" for anyone who realizes that traditional medicine in the U.S. today is lacking. Read more
Published on February 22, 2013 by Suzie Seagull
5.0 out of 5 stars well written, amusing, and insightful
This book has changed my way of looking at health and health care. I have changed the way I eat and the way I interact with others. I started exercising again! Read more
Published on February 6, 2013 by Deborah M.
5.0 out of 5 stars a must-read for people seeking healing
One of the best books I've read that explains illness and healing from a holistic perspective. We need such a perspective to help us better understand our current "health care"... Read more
Published on January 22, 2013 by zwordser
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More About the Author

David Mercier is a seminar leader, speaker, life coach, and acupuncturist. In the 1970s he went to Sri Lanka where he practiced mindfulness meditation as a Buddhist monk for two years. But instead of finding peace of mind, he became ill and depressed. After returning to the U.S., he sought healing from acupuncture and other forms of integrative medicine, also known as holistic or complementary and alternative medicine. Since then, David has had extensive experience in management and in integrative medicine as a clinician. His passion is helping people lead a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

With master's degrees in organization development and acupuncture, David has established and led a hospital-based integrative medicine center, and has held consulting and leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Combining science and spirituality, he writes of the humanistic and spiritual essence of health, healing, and medicine.

Learn more at where you can sign up a free newsletter and receive the free 8-part guide to the book, The Beautiful Medicine Discovery Guide. Through a series of questions and brief essays, it offers the reader an opportunity to find inspiration through the exploration of meaning and purpose.


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