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on June 23, 2000
The senses of the wise man obey his mind, his mind obeys his intellect, his intellect obeys his ego, and his ego obeys the Self. -- Katha Upanishad
Thus, within this brief passage, we have the essence of Dr. Deepak Chopra's book Quantum Healing, which successfully seems to shed light for the uninitiated Western reader on the mind/body connection as it relates to medical healing. Although the ideas and techniques he discusses in his book may sound new to us, they are in actuality, as the Doctor demonstrates through his scrupulous tracing of the Western disciplines of neuroscience and physics back to the source of their beginings in the ancient Vedic traditions, as old as time itself. With the precision of an artist meticulously carving a statue, Dr. Chopra proceeds to chip away at Western medicine's physical approach to healing, asserting the point that "when the memory of health returns [it] brings with it enough power to last a lifetime."
These mind-based methods of healing, he tells us, are based upon Ayurveda, the ancient tradition of Indian medicine. The term "Ayurveda" is derived from its two Sanskrit roots, Ayus, meaning "life," and Veda, which can mean either "science" or "knowledge." Combined, the literal meaning becomes "science of life."
In describing how he came up with the term quantum healing, Dr. Chopra relates the moving story of one of his first patients to undergo Ayurvedic treatment. The patient, a woman who had lung cancer, had responded well to the traditional Western treatments which had been combined with Ayurvedic methods. The Ayurvedic method depended upon a "change of diet, some Ayurvedic herbs, a specific daily routine including simple yoga exercises, and instruction in Transcendental Meditiation." She was also "given two special mental techniques that went directly to the root of her cancer."
After nearly a year of this treatment, the woman had a sudden remission of her cancer. "They can't find any cancer cells at all--nothing," the woman's husband announced joyously over the phone to Dr. Chopra, who himself was surprised by the rapidity of the cure. Yet within a few weeks the woman's "miracle" began to teeter and stumble, not physically, but within the woman herself: "instead of being able to trust in her inexplicable recovery, she became conflicted, morbidly afraid that the cancer would return....It seemed that [her] cancer was easier to defeat than the sinister doubt that was creeping back into her life, defying her to be well....For her to be well again, she needed an explanation."
This, Dr. Chopra concedes, was the real starting point of his book. He continues, "Research on spontaneous cures of cancer...has shown that just before the cure appears, almost every patient experiences a dramatic shift in awareness. He knows that he will be healed, and he feels that the force responsible is inside himself but not limited to him -- it extends beyond his personal boundaries, throughout all of nature....The leap in consciousness seems to be the key....The word that comes to mind when a scientist thinks of such sudden changes is 'quantum.' The word denotes a discrete jump from one level of functioning to a higher level -- the quantum leap."
Throughout the remainder of the book, Dr. Chopra delves into an exacting and thorough discription of how this process is worked out in a physical way, using a style of language and an approach that is easily intelligible by both technician and layman alike. He quite effortlessly moves back and forth between the scientific and the more subjective metaphysical explanations behind how quantum healing takes place, in order to show, he asserts, the true nature of healing. The result is a delightful and convincing work, filled with many anecdotes and personal insights which enhance his arguments.
Quantum Healing hedges into the realm of being a contemplative tour de force, wherein the empirical and the analytical embrace with sublime warmth and intimacy the intuitive and the metaphysical. Indeed, one can almost "feel" a heightening in one's own awareness as he reads deeper into the book with a joy that only a discoverer has as he is breaking into new uncharted territory.
Dr. Chopra speaks with a clarity and confidence which is amply reinforced through his own personal experience. At one juncture he illustrates graphically the point that our minds create our reality. He relates an experience he had taking off from an airport in Bombay. The jetliner had apparently developed a problem shortly after take-off, and the "Fasten Your Seatbelt" sign flashed on overhead. The pilot made an announcement that they were having to return to the airport, and minutes later the jetliner bounced onto the runway. There was no fire or explanation ever given for the incident. Within minutes, the passengers were reboarded onto a different jet, but about half elected to stay on the ground.
"I didn't feel too disturbed during the incident," he writes, "and got on the second plane. The next time I caught a flight, about ten days later, my mind was at ease. However, as soon as they flashed on the sign, "No Smoking/Fasten Your Seatbelt," accompanied by that ding sound, my heart started to pound. At first I couldn't put two and two together; then I realized that I had created a small conditioned reflex in myself....I then noticed that as soon as this explanation dawned on me, my heartbeat went back to normal."
"For a few seconds I was present at the birth of one impulse that shaped my reality. It is plausible that I have unwittingly created myself by piling up millions of impulses just like it."
What Dr. Chopra had "unwittingly" stumbled onto is undoubtedly the key behind our human creation of reality and how to clear unbeneficial reactions from our beingness, in essence allowing our minds to react to the present moment rather than be drawn back into a negative past experience which we have previously "conditioned" into ourselves.
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on January 24, 2012
Deepak Chopra is an endocrinologist who starts doubting the supremacy of the western approach to medicine. That doesn't mean he denies his training altogether. But he cannot forget his Indian roots, either. In fact, when he finds out that mind and body are able to cure a person if they work together, or kill her if they work against each other, he returns to the traditional Indian medical approach that they call Ayurveda.

Ayurveda means "the knowledge for long life" in Sanskrit. Because it combines science and philosophy / spirituality, the approach is holistic. Chopra insists that the universe is not a force that surrounds us. Not only is there a whole universe within our cellular body, but we are part of the universe, we are the universe. By accepting this fusion --more, embracing it-- chances are we will be able to face disease, fight it, and eventually destroy it. Such is the premise of Quantum Healing.

What fascinates me first as I read the pages of this book is the man of science patiently explaining the intricacies of our physical entrails, so to speak, and telling his readers how intelligent the body is. How when, say, the common cold starts doing its nasty little act, a whole cellular system gets into action, with millions and millions of microscopic little workers transmitting messages to each other, and doing everything in their power to kill the invader. In other words, Chopra states that our organism contains everything that it needs to heal itself.

Then why do we die of cancer? Of AIDS? Of a heart attack? Why do we need medicine?

Perhaps because we are disconnected. Perhaps because western medicine with all its specialization has become disconnected from itself. Chopra has shown us that the body doesn't understand that language, since cells all over the place never cease to communicate with each other. When a specialist treats a problem, she will look only at a specific area. A satirist could write a piece about a patient sending his eye to the eye doctor through the mail and asking for its return when it's cured. It sounds absurd, but it's basically what specialized medicine does these days. Fragmentation. Looking at details without looking at the whole picture. That's part of the problem. The other part is also about division. We have been taught in western civilization to separate the body from the mind. And yet, last time I checked, I saw my head well attached to the rest of me. There is a reason for this. The mind and the body must listen to each other. We have heard cases of patients who cured themselves with laughter. Scientists have talked about it. Casey, the greatest medium of all times, has talked about it. See? Science and spirit agree here.

Chopra gives examples of some of his own patients who were able to improve their health, or even return to a complete healthy state simply because they had decided they would get better. They changed their mood, their attitude. Pessimism, of course, had no part in this. (Optimism is a healer. Pessimism can be a killer.) Their mind had created antibodies, energized the system so it could fight better.

While deeply spiritual, Chopra doesn't give up on western medicine, as mentioned earlier. There, too, is his sense of fusion. Denying the extraordinary discoveries of western science would be foolish. But just as foolish is the rejection of ancient practices such as ayurveda, acupuncture, yoga, meditation. East and west must get together here. In some cases, they have, but this fusion needs to be more systematic. Because out of fusion will come balance. And if there is balance, then the door can be locked on disease.

As far as the literary qualities of the book are concerned, I would say it is about eighty percent successful. Sometimes Chopra himself is the victim of that lack of fusion and balance and gets into a vagary of philosophy and spirituality. But the fog goes away as soon as he lets the man of science and the man of spirit within him join forces. And for that alone, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic of healing without reservation.
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on July 22, 2012
I am so thankful for this book by Chopra.

What I especially enjoyed was his description of the quantum intelligence within us.

He explains that our bodies cells naturally regenerate over time--time and time again. A traumatic event that he/she experiences at one point in time can be relived dozens of years later--and can be truly re-experienced emotionally as if the trauma has just again occurred. Chopra poses the question ' if the cells that were present during the actual traumatic event have since died and have been regenerated--where then is the being drawing the emotions from the past from?'...(I ask not to be quoted as I am not quoting Chopra word for word).

This idea stirred within me a great sense of awareness.

Our bodies truly are extensions of something much much greater than what our physical senses are able to reveal. If our eyes could sense radiation, our physical experiences and thus perceptions and thus realities would change...What then is our reality?

I was left feeling fully content and satisfied with knowing--we know nothing--not really anyway...

I am comfortable and even more excited about life--because I know for certain this physical life is simply just one form of that which we human beings call 'physical life.'

We are quantum beings having a dense physical experience...and our perceptions--or shall I say--what we choose to perceive alone dictate our realities.

What we focus upon--will ultimately define that which we define as reality....

Namaste...
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on January 30, 2004
To those reviewers that claim this book is nonsense are completely missing the point. In my opinion the author is expanding traditional Western thinking around healing. Not that we can actually study and manipulate the quantum level of our own bodies, but rather entertain new ways of enhancing our own healing through the power of our own minds
Scientists can prove that being depressed, angry, or generally negative causes a negative biological reaction. Why can't the inverse be true?
I recommend if you're searching for a way to better understand how your state of mind might impact your health, or are searching for alternative therapy, pick up this book.
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on October 28, 2011
QUANTUM HEALING: EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF MIND/BODY MEDICINE is an enlightening book that I enjoyed reading. I read it during my university years and still remember it. I met with author Dr.Deepak Chopra and took a corecourse on Ayurveda (Ancient Indian health science) during my university studies at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield/Iowa, USA. Although I was a Business Administration major student with various Education courses, I enjoyed this course immensely! The book is generally about mind-body cooperation and how to be more blisssful, healthy, young-looking, successful and enlightened in our lives. If we have a mind-body cooperation; we can be more healthy, enlightened. For a perfect mind-body cooperation; the first thing we need to do is to live transcendence, meditate, live the coherence and restful alertness (Cosmic Consciousness). The more we contact with the UNIFIED FIELD which is the field of all possibilities; the more we will be healthy, successful, enlightened and live the absolute bliss (Sat Chit Ananda). I also strongly recommend and urge you to read Sufi author AHMED HULUSI's enlightening, magnificent, fascinating Sufi wisdom books. I've been reading them for 6 years now and doing Islamic meditation for enlightenment. It's wonderful! I am certain that, you will just love them!
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on March 24, 1997
Dr. Chopra's thoughtful book summarizes recent advances in neuroendocrinology that are helpful in explaining why the mind is not simply located in the brain, but is to be found throughout the body. He gives a cogent explanation for the mechanism by which an individual can 'think' themselves sick, and 'think' themselves well again--a proposition that I believe most people instinctively credit but cannot explain. His writing style is very compelling, and his book is filled with personal stories and stories of his patients that make it hard to put down. Unfortunately, Dr. Chopra seems unable to believe that the miraculous series of chemical reactions that we call the mind could have arisen by itself, and he therefore resorts to some distorted concepts from quantum physics to give a 'why' explanation. My advice: pay attention to the endocrinology and ignore the physics. The book will make you think long and hard about traditional 'Western' cancer treatment protocols
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on December 19, 2010
Clearly book has good content - and I believe educating oneself is vital in dealing with disease. However, Dr Chopra's credibility totally vaporises when he tries to give a physical explanation for the link between mind and body; his scientific/spiritual jargon is well chosen to snow-blind the reader. He makes vague, untestable (nonsensical) assertions to sew his his work into a reasonable sounding and *marketable* form. I am not in the pay of big pharma - I have no particular axe to grind - and the book is certainly not all bad - but as someone who knows physics I can tell you that Dr Chopra is abusing it. Also, while you are still thinking for yourself, google the 'appeal to antiquity' fallacy.
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on March 12, 2006
Dr. Chopra is personally responsible for my complete change in beliefs on being sick. In his book, he states clearly and simply that the natural state of the body is health, not illness. And after reading that, something in my mind locked onto it, believed it and for the last 10 years my body has been living it! I no longer think I need to be sick to build antibodies to various diseases, I simply allow my body to be healthy- even in the midst of coughing and wheezing people. It is a mindset for which I am extremely grateful! A highly valuable read.
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on March 30, 2016
I have a tattered copy of the original and am enjoying re-reading some of its parts along with the updating. Chopra's metaphors make even the most complicated medical explanation easy to understand. It is one of my top ten self-help books and I have recommended it to many happy readers as well.
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VINE VOICEon December 6, 2014
This book made me a Chopra fan. I have read other books on quantum physics and how it relates to reality and spirituality but none that adapt it to health. This is not the easiest book to pick up and start reading if you don't already have some passing familiarity with quantum physics; however, it may change the way you view your body and how you approach your own healing. All science is decades old by the time it is in useful practice by the mainstream. This book can help you make a "quantum leap" forward and inform your decisions. It's highly recommended.
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