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Radical Healing: Integrating the World's Great Therapeutic Traditions to Create a New Transformative Medicine Paperback – February 16, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Radical Healing: Integrating the World's Great Therapeutic Traditions to Create a New Transformative Medicine--the title sounds like an impossible undertaking. Yet Ballentine, an American physician and psychiatrist trained in many of the world's healing traditions, succeeds. He introduces the principles of holistic healing and presents an integrated system combining the awareness, tools, and practices taught by a variety of healing disciplines, including Ayurveda, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. Ballentine explains the principles of "nature's medicinals," based on the herbal traditions of China, India (Ayurvedic), Europe, and Native America. He presents several self-assessment techniques, including body maps and mind/body types. He describes the use of exercise, nutrition and cleansing (detoxification), and holistic techniques for working with energy and consciousness. Extensive resources for integrating holistic healing approaches into your daily life let you continue after the book ends. Radical Healing is not a quick fix--it's intelligent, philosophical, and detailed, best for those who are interested in learning about different schools of holistic healing approaches, open to new insights and skills, and willing to devote time to learning to use them. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This detailed volume introduces a vast array of techniques?drawn from the ancient traditions of India and China, among others?intended to help readers achieve better health and richer lives. Ballentine, an M.D. also trained in Indian medicine, makes a convincing case against reductive and mechanical Western notions of diagnosis, disease and cure. Instead, his program focuses on openness to new ideas, self-exploration and awareness. Recommendations include not just regular exercise and sound nutrition but also detoxification, meditation, massage, breath and energy work, as well as the use of homeopathic, herbal and flower remedies. Significantly, Ballentine concedes that few holistic techniques are currently effective against many life-threatening problems. His approach focuses on prevention and less-severe diseases, and the appendix covering alternative visions and treatments of 100 common illnesses omits AIDS, coronary disease and cancer entirely (a detailed bibliography does direct the reader to other sources, however). Ballentine provides an informative and practical guide, hampered only by his remarkably encyclopedic knowledge, which can interfere with the book's readability. This is a guidebook for the highly motivated; it is notable for its unifying, often compelling vision of an integrative and self-directed approach to well-being.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 626 pages
  • Publisher: Himalayan Institute Press; 2nd edition (February 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0893893080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0893893088
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For over 600 pages Mr Ballentine makes a heroic attempt to put together a series of Alternative Healing Systems. I was afraid when I picked this book up that it was written by a novice who only copied introductions to these various systems, like many other books. But it is obvious that Dr Ballentine has used all of these systems to treat patients with varing conditions, rather than copying. And he has successfully combined them to treat patients.
But does he succeed to explain all? I would have to say in my specialty Homeopathy, he has not had room to go very deep. In Chinese medicine which I know little about, he introduces concepts of elements and then does little with them. On the other hand the book is a BRILLIANT treasure chest ideas and insights to the ultimate nature of health and disease and the interaction of mental states and subtle alternative to conventional Allopathic Medicine. I was high-lighting every other page! If he meerly shows people there are many many different ways to treat disease other than Conventional Medicine and that each of these has a separate domain of effectiveness, he will ultimately succeed. But the subject is so big, he could explore it in more books for years and not cover all of the subject.
Flower remedies are, as far as I know, totally without side effects.
Homeopathic Remedies, are MOSTLY side effect free. Most are available over the counter. Sure Homeopathy can produce miraculous, "soul-altering" cures, but Dr Ballentine does not state that these remedies are most effective if taken for a limited time, no more than a month, and sometimes less .
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Format: Hardcover
With a near saturation of books on various holistic healing modalities available, Dr. Ballentine's Radical Healing is uniquely refreshing. The book presents a unique integration of time honored eastern and western healing modalities such as Homeopathy, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Native American Herbalism, and Flower Essences. Ballentine presents numerous case studies and personal experiences throughout his decades of holistic practice, which add great depth to the theoretical aspects of the book. It is this combination--the hundreds or sometimes thouands of years of empirical science that healing traditions such as Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, or Homeopathy are based on--combined with Ballentine's awareness and use of intuition and the archetypes of nature, that make this book a cut above the rest. In this sense Radical Healing is truly "holistic," in that unlike overly specialized modern medicine, it addresses the entire physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of wellness and disease. Understanding that we need to view our health or disease holistically, i.e. as an interplay of all of these levels, rather than people who go to doctors to fix our "physical" problems, psychiatrists for "emotional" problems, and priests for "spiritual" problems, is indeed "Radical." However, I believe that Ballentine's vision provides an integrative model of healing for the future if we are to become responsible stewards of our bodies, minds,and our planet.
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Format: Hardcover
Radical Healing is sensational. Rudolph Ballentine uses clear, concise language, using lots of examples from years of clinical practice, to show how the body and the subtle energies (chi, prana, spirit)are interrelated, and how different modalities--homeopathy, herbs, breathwork, etc.--affect both the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic levels. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how various alternative traditions work--and why! It's a great primer for self healing, too.
The kind of medicine Dr. Ballentine practices may be "radical" by today's standards, but I hope not for long!
As Dr. Ballentine notes, "Resorting to a drug to correct a human problem is analogous to dealing with a computer glitch by grabbing a screwdriver and trying to rewire its circuits. . . . when a few judicious taps on the right keys could modify the operating system and reprogram the malfunction out of existence." Dr. Ballentine has done us a service by sharing what he has learned about healing. This is one of the best books on healing and "alternative" medicine around.
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Format: Paperback
The author, Dr. Ballentine, has had a very interesting journey. With a psychiatry background, he worked in a free clinic in New Orleans in the 1960s with "flower children" who introduced him to then "alternative" concepts like yoga, meditation, and vegetarianism. With these interests more and more compelling, he decided to travel to India and began training in homeopathy and Ayurveda. He set up practicing these newfound skills in Chicago and became so successful that he founded six clinics around the city.
While the unifying concepts to Ballentine's approach are unarguable - self-awareness, transformation, and wholeness - I found myself rather disturbed by the absence of a few things in this book. Namely, the author is so pro-alternative medicine that he doesn't even pay Western medicine the lip service it's due; namely, that its strength is crisis medicine and intervention. On a similar vein, on the chapter on herbal traditions, my hackles rose with the author's claim that the reader, upon completion of the section, would be able to walk into any health food store and select a "medicinal". This without the usual disclaimers of working with a reputable practitioner, be aware of interactions if you are currently taking other medication, etc.
With that in mind, I found Ballentine's knowledge of homeopathy to be truly comprehensive and one of the best historical discussions and practical applications I've found to date in any book. Other stand out chapters include the exercise and movement chapter as well as the "Healing as Transformation" chapter which concentrates on breathwork and chakras - very well written and good advice for everyone.
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