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On Hope and Healing: For Those Who Have Fallen Through the Medical Cracks Paperback – September 1, 2010

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author



     From the time I was a medical student, it has always been my passion to try to help as many of my patients as possible. I was never satisfied with sending patients home with the cliché: of "Sorry, we just don't have any answers for you." For me, and for my patients, conventional medicine had lots of answers, but sometimes they just weren't enough.

     Starting my 38-year medical career as a family physician, I delivered babies, did some minor surgery and worked in the emergency room, providing the most comprehensive care that I could. Over time, it seemed to me that other disciplines, some of which were a part of medicine and part of which were tangential, held the promise of useful answers for those patients who did not receive adequate benefit from conventional medicine.

     So I threw myself into studying as many of them as I could uncover. I spent hours learning osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, homeopathy, prolotherapy, Reichian therapy, therapeutic touch, herbal supplementation and chelation. Each new field clearly added another dimension to improving my practice of medicine. As we learned more and more about the biochemical underpinnings of chronic illness, (a field often referred to as functional medicine) I was able to understand and provide better medical care.

     Slowly, my practice evolved into something new, that didn't really have a name, and I called it Complex Medical Problem Solving. Over time, I found that I was working mostly with those unfortunate patients who had not received a diagnosis from conventional medicine, and were suffering with persistent and debilitating illnesses. These included fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic Lyme disease and its co-infections, autism, and all varieties of chronic pain, amongst others.

     Several years ago I began to teach my colleagues what I had learned about working with chronically ill patients, and I called this course:  "What Every Physician Should Know About Working with Complex Medical Illness." My patients asked me to provide this same information in a simplified but understandable form, and that is how this book evolved.

My text is derived from the distillation of countless patient visits. When I found a patient's eyes glazing over as I began to explain some aspect of chemistry.....I took note. When they sat up, alertly, and asked cogent questions....I also took note.

     Despite my many years of clinical practice, I am still optimistic that I can help every single person who comes through my door. The truth is that I haven't been able to do that, but the truth is also that I have helped the vast majority of them to improve or heal. It is that experience that motivated me to write On Hope and Healing. There are millions of suffering individuals who have not been able to be diagnosed or helped by conventional medicine, and who are not aware that help is indeed possible. This book was intended to be a starting point for their journey into health, and it is my hope that it will reach as many patients as possible. 

From the Back Cover

What prominent physicians have said about Dr. Nathan and his book:

     "With unusual clarity and first-rate science, Dr. Neil Nathan encourages us to shift
     our thinking to a more holistic, multifactorial, and positive approach to chronic and
     recurrent illness. On Hope and Healing eloquently transports health and medicine
     into the 21st century. It is, I believe, by far the best book, the most
     comprehensive book, and the clearest book ever written about integrative holistic
                                   ---Bill Manahan, M.D., Past President, American Holistic   
                                             Medical Association, author of Eat for Health
      "Dr. Neil Nathan's  On Hope and Healing makes an essential contribution to the
      millions whose medical care has suffered under the limited vision of our
      conventional medical system. Professionals and consumers alike will find
      innovative approaches that combine cutting-edge healing options with practical
      medical care choices. "
                                    ---Robert Anderson, M.D
., Founding President, American
                                             Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine, author of
                                             Clinician's Guide to Holistic Medicine and Wellness

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Et Alia Press LLC (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982818408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982818404
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Nathan, MD, is a Board Certified Family Physician who has been practicing medicine for almost 40 years. As he studied and learned a wide variety of alternative concepts, his practice gravitated into primarily helping to diagnose and treat those patients who have not been helped by conventional medicine. He wrote "On Hope and Healing: For Those Who Have Fallen Through The Medical Cracks" to educate both patients and physicians about how to accomplish this. This book represents the distillilaton of his work with thousands of patients with complex medical illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic Lyme disease, autism, and chronic pain. Dr. Nathan hopes that it will provide a starting point for those who have been told by their physicians that "there is nothing more we can do," so that they can move forwards towards improved health.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Braidwood on January 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
My daughter has Lyme, Babesia, Bartinella, Erlichia and a host of other diseases brought about by a compromised immune system. She has been a patient of Dr. Nathan for over a year. She suffered greatly for over 15 years at the hands of a medical establishment that refuses to take the time to listen to patients' concerns, that dismisses symptoms as psychosomatic, that stops at the "easy" answer and then declares the patient is cured. Dr. Nathan's book is a must for anyone suffering from a chronic illness or symptoms that their general practicioner can't diagnose. The book is clear, concise, and easily readable. Many alternative therapies are explored as healing options. I am thrilled that I purchased the book because it gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the many care options available. Thank you Dr. Nathan for taking the time to write your book and for the excellent care you give to your patients. Louise Larro
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marianne Herr-Paul, D.O. on January 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Dr. Nathan has been my mentor for at least six years, ever since I took his course on chronic illness. His insights, and step-by-step approach have helped me immeasurably, as I have teetered along the precarious path of understanding serious and complicated cases of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic pain. As a breast cancer survivor myself, with at times moderate to severe fatigue, his words and wisdom have struck home. Countless of my patients have been the benefactors of the methods I learned from him. This book steps out the process in a readable and learnable format, accessible to anyone who has been captivated by the eager souls awaiting release from the cage of fatigue and pain. Highly recommended for physicians and patients (laypeople) alike. (As an osteopathic physician, I am grateful for the great chapters on osteopathy as well--in that this kind art of hands-on therapy is recognized and made available in such a readable format.)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Boyer on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for anyone dealing with or treating fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Very few people understand the intertwined elements of these conditions and that you can't simply be looking for a single cause. FM and CFS are complex, but at their core they represent a break down in a few major systems that give rise to a somewhat specific set of symptoms (although the number and intensity of symptoms can vary dramatically between different people). The author uses scientific evidence, his own and others' empirical evidence, and what appears to be a tremendous sensitivity in unravelling the mystery of these conditions. Building on, or working in parallel with Jacob Teitelbaum, he lays out the most common underlying causes and how to go about treating them, without feeling overwhelming. Because there is no single fix for FM or CFS many people get quickly discouraged and live in unnecessary pain and fear. This book is written to help guide people in their understanding and give them tools to move forward with their lives.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By afh55 on February 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
What can I say? The guy is brilliant. I had inexplicable fatigue and hair loss for 5 years. I'd make plans with my friends but couldn't keep them because I was so tired all the time. Understandably they got irritated about how unreliable I had become. Three doctors and mainstream tests showed my results in the normal range. Reading the section on thyroid (one of Dr Nathan's BIG SIX) helped me to go and get needed integrated treatment. I feel like Dr Nathan both explains the biochemistry (even if some of it is over my head) and has my back as a patient. Both his grip on the science and his care for people shines through every chapter.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By COcowgirl on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am halfway through this book and already know it was worth buying. There are many more references in the book to search for more information on some of the chapters and the supplements that the author is using in his practice are also listed in the book. I am purchasing the supplements and hope that it improves my health. Great read and one book that I will be referring to alot.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James S. Baumlin on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
[Note: the following readers' letters are taken verbatim from Dr. Nathan's blog site:]

I was spending some quiet moments ... reading a couple more chapters of your wonderful book, and just felt that I needed to let you know how much I have been enjoying it. What a fabulous gift you have provided for your former patients--to still have "you" close at hand, with all of your reminders, cues & prompts to keep guiding us towards our own healing paths. And ... hopefully ... it will provide a guiding light for the many, many others out there that need this wisdom as well...
I will try, as I always have, to do my part in sharing the lessons I have gained from you and my own rather intense health research. While I read along in your book, I keep thinking of several people that I know that desperately NEED the info in this book (,.. whether they are open & ready for it is a whole 'nother story ...) and will send in another order next week for a couple more.
All I can do is try to "water the seeds" that you have so patiently planted, and pray that some-one/thing comes along to help "fertilize them."
Thank you again, Neil, for trying your very best in guiding me all of those years ... and for taking the time, energy and love to put down your thoughts and knowledge on paper for the whole world to share in!
Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and your family!

Neil: I am slower at writing than at reading! Thank you for writing On Hope and Healing. The philosophy represented gives me great hope that the slow evolution of traditional medical thinking has some noteworthy challengers who are ready and willing to speak out.
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