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When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection Paperback – January 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470923350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470923351
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Gabor Maté, M.D., skillfully blends recent advances in biomedicine with the personal stories of his patients to provide empowering insights into how deeply developmental experiences shape our health, behavior, attitudes, and relationships. A must read."
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Belief

"The interviewees' stories are often touching and haunting. . . . Maté carefully explains the biological mechanisms that are activated when stress and trauma exert a powerful influence on the body. . . . Readers will be grateful for the final chapter . . . in which Maté presents an open formula for healing and the prevention of illness from hidden stress."
Quill & Quire

"In this important book, Dr. Gabor Maté combines a passionate examination of his patients' life histories with lucid explanations of the science behind mind-body unity."
Richard Earle, Ph.D.

Modern research is confirming the age-old wisdom that emotions are inseparable from our health and physiology. Repressed emotions bring on stress that can lead to disease. In this internationally bestselling book, Gabor Maté draws on cutting-edge science, his decades of experience as a physician, and the stories of famous people including those of Lou Gehrig, Lance Armstrong, Gilda Radner, and Ronald Reagan to examine the role hidden stress plays in an array of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and cancer.

When the Body Says No provides transformative insights into how disease can be the body's way of saying no to what the mind cannot or will not acknowledge—and how we can heal.

About the Author

Gabor Maté, M.D., is a physician, public speaker, and award-winning author. His most recent book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, expresses his groundbreaking perspective on addictions, while his unique take on ADD is found in his first book, Scattered. When the Body Says No has been published in over twelve languages on five continents.
www.drgabormate.com

More About the Author

Gabor Maté, MD, is a physician, author, seminar leader, and acclaimed public speaker. His bestselling books include Scattered, When the Body Says No, and Hold onto Your Kids. A former medical columnist for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail, he lives in Vancouver, BC.

Customer Reviews

This book is written for the non-medical person and easy to understand.
Janita
Dr. Mate makes a very convincing case for the connection between chronic and debilitating conditions, and the stress of repressed emotions.
Jan A the CPA
I am one of those people who needed to read this and hopefully avert troubles.
B. Michael

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Vines on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
For me this brilliant book has been one small, though crucial, part of a 14-year process of trying to understand ulcerative colitis and the impact it's had on my life. Repeatedly, I've read that stress does not cause this condition, and I would agree with that assessment when I think only of the stresses we encounter in everyday life. But "When the Body Says No" is based on the premise that CHRONIC stress causes auto-immune diseases and that in order to promote physical healing, one must go back to the causes of that long-term stress. My life's experiences, my own intuition and my body have been teaching me that those causes are rooted in childhood, and mine was terribly traumatic, so much so that, after reading Mate's theory, I understand the meaning and process of repressed emotions.

"When the Body Says No" does not delve into solutions. It does not suggest any concrete tools to promote healing save this: the understanding that chronic stress arising from childhood can and does cause auto-immune illness. This book beautifully explains how this happens. If you're looking for solutions, you won't find them externally. Just as our emotions and bodies alert us to danger and imbalance, they also lead us to healing. We have the answers inside and with a little, or a lot, of help (like reading this book) we can access them!

I've tried all sorts of alternative health care and have found the most effective results toward healing myself - my WHOLE self - with the Ayurvedic system of healing. In my very first Ayurvedic consultation, I was told that the colitis in and of itself wasn't as important as the imbalances in my Self that led to its manifestation in my body. I was then asked about my past.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Seven on July 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I work at a pain clinic and this book was eye opening. I have always recognized the stress connection in pain and dysfunction but Gabor Mate explained everything so simply and in such detail. I purchased a few of these books to give to my family and have recommended it to several patients at the clinic. We are a product and a chemical mixture of our life experiences. When we don't recognize that component, we certainly miss an important factor in attaining wellness and health.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Martin on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up this book at my local bookstore due to the title...I was experiencing some unexpected and inexplicable physical challenges at the time and my body was literally saying "No" when it never had before. I read this book and for the first time was able to see how I was allowing stress to have both short and long-term negative effects in my life. This book helped me become more aware of mental habits and choices that were disempowering and gave me the framework to begin to change my mind and my life for the better. I recommended it to a mentor and bought it for my partner and both began to recommend it to people in their life as well. A powerful read.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Happy Buyer on November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a brilliant book! It is an excellent depiction of how our bodies function, and that most of us in the Western hemisphere are cut off from the neck. In that, we don't feel our emotions. The answers lie in our bodies, and that illness is not a random condition that affects people. Rather there is a pattern of who gets sick and who doesn't. And most of the reasons lie in our childhood and how we were programmed to deal with our emotions and stress. His teachings closely mirror Alice Miller's theories, who wrote about the exact same teachings in her books: "The body never lies and the Drama of the gifted child., etc." I firmly believe in what Dr. Mate writes, as well as Alice Miller's teachings. In the end, we need to learn to be true to ourselves, and that means feeling our emotions all the way through. It's not stress or emotions that cause sickness, but rather the suppression of our feelings. The energy doesn't go anywhere, but stays in our bodies. And if we aren't conscious of it, and don't deal with the emotion, then it manifests itself in illnesses. If you liked Alice Miller's teachings, then Dr. Mate is the perfect sequel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Diehl on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Like many people, I have always believed that stress has a great deal to do with people getting sick, from the common cold to cancer. Dr. Mate offers convincing evidence of that link, as well as the way family dysfunction and damaged or non-existent personal boundaries can make us more vulnerable to disease.

More extensive review on my blog, here: [...]

What I especially liked about this is while pointing out that the things we do - such as repressing anger - can make us more vulnerable to disease, the tone isn't that of blaming the victim, and there are concrete suggestions for becoming aware and working toward emotional competence. EVERYONE should read this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By CHRISTOPHER BURNETT on March 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Matte makes his point with careful, touching examples
Carefully argued, very well written.
This book takes illness out of the hands of the drug companies and forces us to look at how we live our lives in relation to our health. It is revolutionary stuff.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Vladimir Prus on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a topic that surely deserves attention. Unfortunately, the book is not quite as good as I hoped.

There's too much emphasis on interviews with people. I understand that each story is unique, but when they are put together between (virtual) covers, each successive one adds very little. In fact, pretty much every story features either alcoholism, workagolism, or family abuse. Most of them are palliative care patients. Is this actually random selection of subjects form the population? Probably not, and probably we don't need a book to know that drinking heavily, while working 80-hour weeks, is not particularly healthy.

While there's a fair bit of references in the text, they tend to be rather vague, with the general tone of "Dr. X believes there's connection between stress and disease Y". Fine, but how strong is the connection, and how certain are results? And where numbers are present, they are rarely discussed. Say, somebody managed to predict medical test results with 75% accuracy based on psychological tests. That's almost fantastical result, it would seem, but it's presented without further discussion. It does not help that reference notes are not actually clickable.

This brings us to the biggest problem of this book. Chapter after the chapter it lists diseases which, according to the author, predominantly affect people with psychological problems. It quickly seems that if we stay calm, and get rid of unresolved conflicts, there will be nothing to die from. There is brief passage towards the end that maybe stress just uses up our adaptive potential, used to prevent diseases, but this thought is not developed much.

The last chapter makes some practical suggestions, in the tone of self-help books.
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