Santorelli, director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, offers a collection of inspirational essays and the meditations he uses in his eight-week course at the clinic for both healing professionals and patients. The key to improving the relationship between the two, he believes, is mindful awareness, a spiritual concept borrowed from Eastern mysticism. To achieve mindfulness, he recommends a series of breathing exercises. Santorelli suggests that within every health care practitioner is a Wounded One, in every patient an Inner Healer. Patient and doctor are bound together, and may embrace "an indelible opportunity to drink from the deep well of [their lives]." Interspersed throughout the essays are a series of eight chapters describing the weekly sessions of one of Santorelli's courses, with anecdotes relating to the students' gradual awakening to the possibilities of better healing relationships as "they share the essence of life with one another." Class activities include yoga exercise, silent meditation and an all-day retreat. Santorelli's approach to the relationship between caregivers and patients will surely provide food for thought for anyone interested in exploring the personal dynamics of health care.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"In prose, poetry, and poignant case examples, Saki evokes for us the mutuality of the healing relationship and reclaims for medicine and all who work within it the wisdom and power of its lineage. Heal Thy Self
is a clear mirror in which we can find that freedom which is at the heart of all authentic healing and through it reconsecrate ourselves to our work and to our lives."
--Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom
"Saki Santorelli's words have the gentle strength of a bird's wings, beating softly as they gradually bear us aloft. Brave, beautiful, and disturbing, his book reminds us of the healing that conventional Western medicine has all but forgotten. I wish it had been available when I was in medical school."
--Mark Epstein, M. D., author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart
"Rarely does a book speak so eloquently to those of us who struggle with illness in our own lives, as well as to those who join with us in the project of healing. In sharing his involvement in the lives of patients and his own personal journey of mindfulness, Saki Santorelli gives us startling insights into what it means to heal and be healed. This book is a gift that will change your life."
--S. Kay Toombs, Ph.D., author of The Meaning of Illness,
associate professor of philosophy, Baylor University
"A simply beautiful book. A full body/mind/heart contact between that which is healing within and that, a bit further in, which promotes that healing. A most necessary book for any medical student or healing library."
--Stephen Levine, author of A Year to Live
"Saki Santorelli shows the fruit of his dedicated effort in presenting mindfulness as not just the stuff of meditation retreats and stress reduction seminars. His accounts of everything from counseling a depressed woman to watching his six-year-old daughter encounter a homeless person bring the reader up against basic truths of our lives. It is honest, clear, and very helpful."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of A Heart as Wide as the World
"This is a remarkable, helpful book. Its genuine and warmhearted teaching gives us a real glimpse of the path of healing. Recommended to everyone, new or old, on the path of life."
--Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen
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