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Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment Hardcover – February 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Dr. Perlmutter and Dr. Villoldo bring together the long-separated disciplines of science and spirituality to help us gain access to the parts of the brain that define us as human beings. This book applies leading-edge science to our quest for enlightenment and gives us practical tools, including specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations, to improve our well-being.”
Andrew Weil, M.D., author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and Healthy Aging

“The shaman and physician for millennia were the same person until the 19th century when they were split apart in the name of science. Now through the lens of 21st-century science, Villoldo and Perlmutter bring them back together, illuminating the web that links together our physical and metaphysical energy. For anyone feeling a loss of energy of body or soul, Power Up Your Brain is your guide to restoration and rejuvenation of your deepest energies.”
Mark Hyman, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of  The UltraMind Solution

“This is the book we’ve been waiting for! With leading-edge information that’s easy to understand, Alberto Villoldo and David Perlmutter have masterfully woven 21st-century science with the indigenous wisdom of the past to reveal the ‘missing link’ in the modern story of life—the role of our brain’s health in the quality of our spiritual experience. In doing so they offer us a practical wisdom that we can use to empower our lives immediately! This book is a must for anyone seriously interested in moving beyond the con­ven-tional ideas of what enlightenment is and how to achieve it.”
Gregg Braden, New York Times best-selling author of The Divine Matrix and Fractal Time

“This book is a treasure. It is a guidebook to enlightenment filled with the wisdom and experience of the authors. It relates the practical aspects of science to the spiritual and mystical realities of the nature of life. It clarifies what our potential is as human beings and directs us in the steps we need to take to achieve our potential and utilize the healing energy available to us all.”
Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul

“I seldom use the word ‘brilliant,’ but this book is. It expands our awareness of the untapped potential of our brain,
offers cutting-edge neuroscience, and is written by two experts with decades of hands-on clinical practice. See for yourself why Dr. Perlmutter is my personal neurologist and mentor.”
Naomi Judd, singer, songwriter, and author of Naomi’s Guide to Aging Gratefully

“This is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Combining modern scientific knowledge and shamanic practices, it lucidly explains how to restore the health of the brain at the cellular level.”
David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., author of How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN, is a board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He serves as medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center and the Perlmutter Hyperbaric Center in Naples, Florida and is also an adjunct instructor at the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is the author of three books and numerous journal articles. Dr. Perlmutter has appeared on 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, the Today show, The Oprah Show, and The Early Show on CBS.

Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., has trained as a psychologist and medical anthropologist, and has studied the healing practices of the Amazon and the Andean shamans for more than 25 years. While at San Francisco State University, he founded the Biological Self-Regulation Laboratory to study how the mind creates psychosomatic health and disease. Dr. Villoldo directs The Four Winds Society, where he trains individuals in the U.S. and Europe in the practice of shamanic healing. He directs the Center for Energy Medicine at Los Lobos, Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House; F First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401928179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401928179
  • ASIN: 140192817X
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

191 of 210 people found the following review helpful By Miss T Fied on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I found this an easy, captivating, and believable read. It entrances the reader with the arguments - until you consciously appraise the book when you will release that there is no information at all on counter arguments. And therein lies the problem. This is a book which puts forward a solution which, if you literally read everything in it - will (note there is no consideration in the book that these remedies might - or might not work) make the lame walk again; solve the low energy which so many of us have today; and prevent Parkinson's and many other age related mitochondrial problems. Yet there is no critical peer review of the solutions proposed. Do they work for everyone? How many people have followed the regime and not benefited from it? To be honest - even though that rings loud warning bells in itself - I'd still be tempted to try the programme of lifestyle / diet / supplement changes proposed. I've had serious life long problems exercising aerobically; had mitochondrial analysis by muscle biopsy as its been screaming out to me that the mitochondria are the problem; have very low energy; had complex PTSD; have a parent who suffered from Parkinsons.... This book therefore seemed to resonate so strongly and offered The Solution...

And then I looked at the cost of the supplements. Very cheap working out at pence per day if you buy some of them individually, green tea extract; curcumin; sulforaphane etc - and this I may do. But buy these combined from the official source XYMOGEN as suggested in the book and its over $100 a month.... which energetically feels so very very wrong to me. Why such an excessive mark up?
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Atma on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being familiar with and appreciative of the past work of both authors I was interested in what they had to say. I am a medical professional and use natural and affordable foods, supplements and techniques to help people to heal their brains everyday, I know it does not have to be an endeavor only for the financially elite. Perhaps the good men writing this book have come into hard times, the gist of the book reads "come to my institute, attend my school, take my trips, and for goodness sake please buy our vitamins". Yes, there are a few nuggets of wisdom offered in the book but overall a very superficial, one-sided and greedy presentation of the amazing work that exists in healing and keeping the brain functioning optimally.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an uplifting book for many reasons. It added to my belief that we are on the edge of an evolutionary leap in consciousness, and backed this up with scientific evidence. It also reinforced my belief that anything is possible and bolstered my hope that the Western medical community will wake up and realize we are integrated beings with a body, mind and soul. It encouraged my commitment to take care of my body by eating well, taking supplements, exercising and meditating.

The one area where the authors seemed slightly unenlightened was that they seemed unsure of who their audience was. For example, although it is interesting to know that hyperbaric oxygen therapy "empowers mitochondrion to energize the brain," this is not useful information to the average Amazon or Barnes & Noble reader since we cannot go to the nearest spa for a treatment.

Also, some of the recommended supplements are not readily available and exorbitantly expensive. Dr. Perlmutter specifically recommends Xymogen.com, for whom he is Chairman of the Board of Medical advisors. This was not disclosed in the book, but is listed on the Xymogen website. The lay person cannot order from Xymogen. One must be a medical professional. So again, this is not helpful information for the average reader.

Lastly, the authors recommend cutting out caffeine, sugar, alcohol, wheat and dairy during the initial weeks of the program. On page 177, it states, "If you have been aggressively consuming sugar, caffeine, or alcohol, you may experience significant withdrawal symptoms. The range of withdrawal symptoms is quite wide and can include everything from headaches, depression, fatigue, and mood swings to nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and fever depending on which substance you've given up...
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Curt on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Power Up Your brain is an attempt by the authors to wrap up some half-baked psuedoscience and spiritualism into a package and sell it to Westerners. Portrayed as a union of science and the spiritual, the authors instead fail to use or explain either accurately or meaningfully.

This book promises to teach you how to attain enlightenment, which the authors define as "a condition of optimal mitochondrial and brain functioning that allows us to experience both well-being and inner peace and the urge to create and innovate." This is their first mistake. Enlightenment is not the same from religion to religion, or from tribal shaman to tribal shaman. Enlightenment is not even the same thing between different sects of Buddhism! To attempt to unify and describe what is recorded in thousands of manuscripts and oral traditions in one sentence like this is not just bad anthropology and science: it assumes that the readers are idiots. Most traditions that teach some kind of enlightenment consider it to beyond any description at all!

The keystone of their book is their 5-week program for attaining enlightenment through mitochondrial health and meditation. I am willing to grant that many of the author's recommendations will, indeed, probably improve your health--but only because they have been studied and recommended by actual scientists who are completely unconnected to the book itself. Many forms of meditation also bestow benefits. But you are not going to attain any kind of enlightenment from this 5-week program. You are not going to reach a state that takes Zen monks months or years of intensive meditation to reach, nor a state that shamans attain through the use of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms.
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