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on January 19, 2002
I read this book at a very low point in my life, with depression and a variety of physical symptoms related to anxiety. This practical, straightforward book helped me gain some control of racing, negative thoughts (Borysenko calls this type of thinking "awfulizing"). Borysenko's rationale includes the fact that your body can actually help your mind to calm down. She provides simple, gentle stretching/breathing to help this happen. For me, it was most valuable to realize that even if my thoughts/intellect seemed beyond my control, my physiology is the same as all humans. Therefore, breathing/stretching has to affect my body/mind the same way as it does other humans. I kept the book on hand for bad moments, and I found that using the exercises helped me to bypass the downward spiraling thoughts and begin to get centered. She includes theory, psychology, and spirituality which supports the intellect as well. I still needed help after I found this book, but it absolutely put me on a safer, stronger path. I have loaned this book several times, to others in need. There are so many books out there, it's overwhelming. This one is worth it.
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on July 11, 1999
As far as self-help books go, this one is practical, informative, and easy to read. Joan Borysenko, I believe, is good at her craft, and gets her ideas across well.
This is a book that is based on the belief that the mind can help heal the body. There's physical exercises and stretches to relieve tenstion and anxiety, there's deep breathing instructions to initiate the relaxation response, meditation to calm the mind and expand the soul, and there's even a psychological evaltional of questions and answers to guide you in your stress, anxiety, and depression levels, which may be contributing to your physical illness.
Joan Borysenko presents her knowledge in a straight-forward, down-to-earth way that makes the reader sit up and listen.
Truly a helpful book to anyone who has a phycial illness, and wants to help the mind heal the body.
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on August 12, 2006
MINDING THE BODY, MENDING THE MIND by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., was recommended to me when I was trying to adjust to a new work environment. I found it tremendously informative and helpful in a number of ways.

Borysenko is the cofounder of the Mind/Body Clinic at New England Deaconess Hospital at the Harvard Medical School and has her doctorate in anatomy and cellular biology from Harvard. This book reflects her experience in the relatively new medical field of psychoneuroimmunology, which studies how the mind interacts with the body for illness and for healing.

The book is specifically about meditation and can be used as a how-to for self instruction in the practice. What I liked about it is that it provides a physiological case for the helpfulness of meditation while it teaches the reader how to use what Borysenko has pioneered in medical circles, that meditation and controlled relaxation have a positive impact on general health and, sometimes, on specific illnesses.

Borysenko explains how our bodies become conditioned to stress and respond accordingly with anxiety symptoms and that, through meditation practice, individuals can recondition themselves not to feel the physical manifestations of stress, which are so taxing to general health.

Borysenko's medical credentials are meaningful to me, and her ability to illustrate how the brain and the body are interdependent was helpful to me, as we are taught in our culture to keep the two separate and devalue our ability to impact our health through our mental reactions and proactiveness.

Even if one doesn't use the book to learn to meditate, Borysenko has a great deal to offer in terms of quality of life to her readers. The book really helps the reader to recognize harmful mental patterns and stop them, to exercise cognitive control, so that stress is diffused before the anxiety is felt in the body. She writes about "awfulizing," obsessing over something stressful, second-guessing ourselves, etc., and how to stop it through positive thought that is healing, rather than stress-making. The chapter called "Mind Traps" is especially helpful in this regard, and I find myself using her tips to diffuse tension AND improve the situation.

I strongly recommend this book, even for those who aren't interested in meditation. Borysenko provides evidence on how positive thought processes can be achieved and how they can make a difference. This book is considered a classic in the field, and it deserves the esteem that has made it so.
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on December 5, 1999
These are excellenct introductory lectures on theory and practice of healing. Joan Borysenko has the rare knowledge of mulitple fields: medicine, psychology and spiritual teachings. the lectures are an introduction to an integration of these three. Borysenko also reminds us of simple healing things: creativity, beauty, meditation and prayer.
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on January 12, 2003
When I first starting reading this book, I was like "thats my book, thats my life that she is writing about" I loved her writing and examples and stories that she told from other people's experiences. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in people's behaviors and everyday life.
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on February 4, 2003
If you're stressed out or overwhelmed, I highly recommend this book. It gives you simple, workable solutions that make a HUGE difference.
Only criticism is that parts of it are a bit too "new age-y", but overall, it's very good.
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on October 8, 2007
I now know three people who have benefited immensely from this book. Two of them because I bought it for them.

If you have panic attacks, depression, or anxiety, Dr. Borysenko offers practical exercises to help you manage.
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on June 2, 2014
This is a wonderful book for anyone who has ever felt anxiety or been confused about meditating and its benefits. Meditation is explained in a most easy to understand way. The book also makes an excellent argument for the importance of relaxation and meditation.
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on June 1, 2013
Have used this book for 20+ years. It was recommended to be by a pastor and I have purchased several over the years for others. The first time I read it I was told to skip the first chapter and read the parts in the following chapters that were of interest to me. After a few months read the book again from cover to cover and see how much you have learned, applied to your life and notice what does not apply to you. The auther has a gift to share.
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on December 15, 2013
Dr. Borysenko has written an extremely important book. She explains beautifully in a detailed yet easy to understand manner the biological underpinnings of anxiety and its relationship to the immune system and medical illness. Her recommendations have practical applications as she makes very concrete recommendations for remediating stress. I recommend it to every patient who presents with anxiety. This book is truly classic.
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