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The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen Natural Steps to Health and Happiness Hardcover – February 7, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Holistic physician Dossey examines the potential power of 14 readily accessible sources of well-being, providing a strong case for utilizing such remedies before more extreme measures. His expansive discourse on optimism, forgetting, music, miracles, plants, risk taking and other "simple" things makes clear that, while these are hardly "simple" when fully appreciated, often they are undervalued or completely ignored by the mainstream medical community, which turns to high-tech procedures and worst-case scenarios as a first resort. According to Dossey (Reinventing Medicine), a nearly single-minded clinical focus has obscured patients' interpretation of their own experiences, leaving out important clues about how people heal. He provides numerous examples of those who have discovered "spontaneous healing," which most physicians discount or downplay because they defy explanation. Despite the title, this is not a step-by-step guide to accessing the healing power of home remedies. Instead, Dossey takes readers on a poetic, well-researched journey into the many paradoxes that are inherent in the human condition and how they relate to healing the body, mind and soul. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

It may seem odd that a book promising to reveal the keys to happiness as well as health lists unhappiness as one of those keys, but Dossey, former cochair of the National Institutes of Health Panel on Mind/Body Intervention, contends, not without documentation, that unhappiness is as necessary for the preservation of good health as, say, periodic tetanus shots. Add healthy doses of such other common but oft-overlooked good things as optimism, novelty, music, plants, and miracles, and one can expect a longer, happier life, Dossey says. Going further than promoting the obvious, Dossey also believes that including a bit of dirt, some bugs, a few tears, and a certain amount of forgetfulness can also significantly add to life's length and breadth. In a lively style that punctuates scientific data with charming anecdotes and personal history, Dossey offers "medicine" sweetened with just enough sugar to make it palatable and seasoned with some spice for interest. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1St Edition edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030720989X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307209894
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In his book Larry Dossay, a Vietnam War veteran, shares his wisdom regarding the truly important things in life. We learn that the secret to a joyful and meaningful life is hidden among the simple, small things. The author talks about basics of natural healing and recovery, investigating the medical research that acknowledges and supports natural remedies. It is not a surprise that the best healer is the practice of living in agreement with nature. Dr. Dossay also draws our attention to the importance of duality, and experiencing the seemingly negative things in live. Surprisingly, not only stress, but also an occasional dose of unhappiness turn out to be beneficial to our overall well-being. Another example of Dossay's unconventional wisdom is the discovery of the healing power of prayers.

This is an exceptionally good reading. The author's unusual wisdom will bring about extraordinary results one applied in practice. Another great book that I highly recommend as the addition to this book is Can We Live 150.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Physician, writer and editor Larry Dossey has been an important voice in medicine for more than two decades.

In his previous books and papers he has articulated an emerging vision of medicine which goes far beyond a simple mechanical view of the body, and emphasises a model that also addresses the emotional, spiritual and timeless aspects of our lives.

In this book he incorporates and expands upon some of the insights of the burgeoning field of positive psychology. One of the most attractive things about this new work is that he also emphasises the importance of apparently "negative" experiences. I have pointed out in my own work that we need to understand the importance of duality, balance and personal integration: To recommend positive thinking can be disastrous for some people, for whom pessimism and negative cognitions are their natural defense styles. Similarly, there are some people who get sick once stress is over. And the constant drive to boost self-esteem has created many people with narcissistic and sociopathic personality traits. In the same vein, Dossey also points out the importance of bugs, tears, dirt and an occasional a bit of unhappiness for our overall well-being.

This is a book that should be widely read and the principles applied in all our lives.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
In the spirit of Aristotle and Thoreau Larry Dossey provides compelling and stimulating answers to the eternal question - "what is truly important in life?" At a time when we seem increasingly confused by complexity, speed and continuous change this book reminds us that the important things in our lives are timeless and simple.

As befits the title Dr Dossey writes with simple elegance. The essays are lucid, well-reasoned, practical and frequently moving. Indeed I experienced the rare feeling that I was receiving genuine wisdom, and was being shown the path to a joyful and meaningful life through paying attention to the small things. So I recommend that the reader learns the principles in this book and takes "route one" to health and happiness
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank God for Larry Dossey!!

As I sat at my grandmothers' feet, many years ago, she told me of the importance of the subtle world around me. She ministered to people struggling in various ways in the back-woods of West Virginia in the early nineteen hundreds. She learned medicine from her grandmother. Her life was rich with stories of healing and her love of nature.

Larry Dosseys' voice in the world is long overdue!
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Larry Dossey's book is for everyone who seeks everyday peace, everyday purpose, everyday hope and everyday love. He gives us stories to nourish our hearts, science to satisfy our minds and a 14-step path to ease our way. Truly, we CAN find sacred footing on ordinary ground.
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Format: Paperback
The purpose of this book is to explore ordinary, simple things that have "an extraordinary capacity to help us heal, to understand our place in the natural order, and to be more complete as human beings." Healing and health are both related to wholeness, knowing who we are and the how we are connected to the world around us. Some of these ordinary things are tears, dirt, bugs, plants and music. Dossey relates his own experiences, in fascinating stories, and raises pertinent issues with contemporary medical practices. Some of the chapters on optimism, risk and mystery read more like brief literature reviews than compelling personal stories. I prefer to connect with the author's voice.

Some ordinary "things" that Dossey identifies are attributes, such as optimism. Dossey cautions us against viewing optimism as a panacea. Adapting an optimistic mindset is an unrealistic solution for people who are discriminated against, living in poverty, and struggling to survive day by day. There are real life barriers, beyond the individual's psychology. In addition, unhappiness is part of life, a necessary part of life.

In Dossey's view, health and healing encompass spirituality, a connection with our universe and a spiritual source. In many ways, the "ordinary things" he describes are more effective than traditional Western medicine. Readers gain insights into their own responsibility -- and the ordinary things they use -- for health and healing.
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