The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity 1st Edition
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#1 Toronto Star Nonfiction Bestseller
Praise for The Brain’s Way of Healing
“Brilliant and highly original. Neurology used to be considered a depressing discipline with patients often displaying fascinating but essentially untreatable symptoms and disabilities. Drawing on the last three decades of research, Doidge challenges this view, using vivid portraits of patients and their physicians. The book is a treasure trove of the author’s own deep insights and a clear bright light of optimism shines through every page.”
—V. S. Ramachandran, MD, PhD, neurologist, neuroscientist, and author of The Tell-Tale Brain (W. W. Norton, 2011), Director, UCSD Center for Brain and Cognition
“A tour de force. In one of the most riveting books on the human brain and its mystery powers ever written, Doidge addresses the role of alternative medical therapies to reset and re-sync the dynamic patterns of ‘energy in our brain, whit the ability to restore relatively normal health to those whose fate seems hopeless. . . . These are people that traditional medicine all but abandoned as . . . untreatable. But they were rescued. . . . It’s possible to start anywhere in the book and be mesmerized.”
“An exciting overview of powerful new neuroscience theories that connect mind, body, and soul . . . In this age of distraction and unnatural environments and actions—like staring at screens all day—brain science offers all kinds of useful techniques to care for our infinitely complex selves. Norman Doidge’s work is a Michelin Guide to this hopeful new trove of knowledge and insight.”
—Boston Globe, USA
“Stunning . . . The Brain’s Way of Healing is another groundbreaking book by Norman Doidge. His style keeps you going into the deep dark secrets of how the brain works. . . . [H]is reframing of remarkable treatments that I had categorized as gimmicky left me fascinated and humbled. He brings a whole new level of insight into the body, brain, mind connection that will impact any reader.”
— John J. Ratey, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and author of Driven to Distraction
“Bold, remarkable . . . paradigm challenging. The Brain’s Way of Healing is brilliantly organized, scientifically documented, and a beautifully written narrative that captivates the reader, who is left with the profound message that the brain, similar to other organs, can heal.”
—Stephen W. Porges, PhD, Indiana University Bloomington and author of The Polyvagal Theory
“Doidge’s book is filled with compelling stories about the power of ingenious technologies and disciplined awareness methods generated by innovators who transcended their own brain challenges, and who now use them to help others make radical improvements in conditions often deemed hopeless. It points to a future of remarkable and unprecedented brain healing.”
—Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, Neurologist, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital, author of The Autism Revolution
“The Brain’s way of Healing is a stunner—the sort of book you want to read several times, not because it is difficult to understand, but because it opens up so many novel and startling avenues into our potential to heal. Norman Doidge enthralls us with a rich combination of lucidly explained brain research and pioneering new (and some not so new, but not widely known) approaches to recovery. With an eloquence reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, Doidge bolsters the latest advances in brain science with a series of extraordinary case histories of people for whom all hope seemed to be lost, but who healed as a result of great personal courage, and by changing the ways their bodies and brains processed sensations and movement. This hopeful book demonstrates that a variety of sensory inputs—light, sound, electricity, vibration, movement, and thought—can awaken the brain’s attention processors, and thereby allow even the most afflicted to (re)gain ownership of their lives.
—Bessel van der Kolk MD, Medical Director, the Trauma Center, Brookline MA; Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Author of The Body keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the healing of Trauma
“The book offers real hope to individuals suffering from diverse chronic conditions. It shows in terms of graphic personal stories that we truly do not yet know the limits of what is possible in rehabilitation. The book also has a number of creative integrations of the data that will be of interest to neuroscientists.”
—Edward Taub, Ph.D., Behavioral Neuroscientist, University Professor,University of Alabama at Birmingham, Director, UAB CI Therapy Research Group and Taub Training Clinic
“Everyone who has a brain could benefit from reading Doidge’s book.”
—The Columbus Dispatch
“A vivid, robust and optimistic read . . . an essential addition to our growing understanding of the mind-brain-body connection. Doidge argues quite convincingly that when the brain is damaged or incompletely formed, whether from stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, autism, ADHD or a host of other conditions, it’s entirely possible to “rewire” the circuits by training a different part of the brain to take over the task. . . . He's positively elegant in his crystalline explanations of brain science for a lay audience.”
—Toronto Star, Canada
“This is a book of miracles: an absorbing compendium of unlikely recoveries from physical and mental ailments offers evidence that the brain can heal. Fascinating . . . brings to mind Oliver Sacks.”
“Dazzling . . . In friendly vignettes reminiscent of Oliver Sacks’s case studies, Doidge chronicles the heroic efforts of patients with a wide variety of apparently intractable ailments, from chronic pain to multiple sclerosis. . . . Each of Doidge’s examples suggests tangible treatment ideas for patients who may have thought they were out of options. Doidge’s penchant for considering unconventional approaches to healing offers hope for all.”
“Beautifully written . . . inspiring . . . merging scientific information into timeless and fascinating personal stories . . . The Brain's Way of Healing grabs onto the reader at once and compels them to keep reading. This is an important and encouraging book.”
—The Vancouver Sun, Canada
“Exhilarating science . . . In an era of ever-increasing medicalisation of the human mind, and the medication of it, the appeal of neuroplasticity outlined by Doidge is addictive. It is inspiring, page-turning stuff.”
—Sunday Times, London
“A fascinating study on brain science that shows the way to major therapeutic discoveries.”
About the Author
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My life is an example of neuroplasticity. I was 40 when I found out about the Tomatis Method, described in Chapter 8 of Dr. Doidge's book. I had never graduated college. I was born with a cleft palate, had speech therapy, and was developmentally slow. I was a traumatized child based on my childhood experiences. In my early 20s, I had cancer and was treated with chemotherapy and radiation at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In my mid-30s, I married a wonderful woman from the Philippines whom I met in the States. She was a doctor, and she did not care that I was less accomplished career-wise. It was her sudden death via car accident that plunged me into a phase that I could not pull out of. I was like an old fashioned record player where the needle got stuck in a groove. I traveled to the Listening Centre in Toronto, Canada in 2003. This is the same centre that Dr. Doidge talks about in his book. After doing Tomatis, the needle lifted, I wanted to live again, and I returned to college and finished a degree program within three years after completing my initial treatment. It's important that I share that none of this happened overnight, and mine was not a one-time, cure all treatment. I have received Tomatis sound boosts over the years. The point remains, I went from a phase where I was not functioning to one where I was renewed and not only got back on my feet, but accomplished a task - finishing a 4-year university program - that I had been unable to do at an earlier age.
I'd recommend Dr. Doidge's book to anyone. It's well researched and well written, and I feel for those in pain who might think his tone is too positive and optimistic. In the beginning, we have to allow a crack of optimism to break through. We are fortunate to live in an age where alternative therapies are already established and neuroplasticity is acknowledged. Mine is among the many stories of people getting help where they previously felt helpless. We know what we know, and what's difficult to acknowlege is our ignorance. I'd hope that readers of Dr. Doidge's book consider if any of the therapies he describes so well might help themselves or others. Norman Doidge's book is a welcome sign of the times, a beacon of light and hope that gives these alternative therapies the respect and consideration that they deserve.
People suffering from chronic pain, MS, Lyme Disease and Parkinson's in particular should all read this book. I have recommended it to a number of colleagues and friends, ranging from a neurologist, who was unaware of these studies (!), to a friend suffering with severe, intractable pain as the result of an accident.
Doidge, an excellent writer, has done much to translate these adventures in neuroscience into a language that laypeople can understand and appreciate. Thank you, Dr. Doidge.
Concussions are rather disruptive to "normal" mental processing...
Not one to run to doctors - take medication - prefer to understand whatever may be the medical issue - then ID and pursue the most natural, yet effective approach to addressing.
The book was quite informative - and helped me understand, identify, and address the complexities associated with healing.
It ISN'T a "How To" book on sefl-treatment of all brain-related issues - but... is a decent reference of what's going on up there - in a way you should be able to then understand and partner with your medical professionals on deciding on your treatment options, in a more informed capacity.
Top international reviews
Dr. Doidge writes about neuroplasticity of the brain and the mind/body connection in a holistic way. The topics are so intriguing you cannot put the book down. This is important information for each one of us to read and understand to be the best health advocates for ourselves and the people we love.
Fascinating case histories are well written by the author of The Brain that Changes Itself.
This new book describes the possibility of using low level lasers to help heal and possibly even grow cartilage that wears out in osteoarthritis.
It stretches beyond the first book, The Brain That Changes itself' and gives hope and motivation for recovery of function for people with a variety of medical problems.For the layman or the professional, a second read would be well worthwhile.
one wishes to be able to sit down and read from cover to cover in one long go....but for most of us there are other things that take us away from the book, that need our attention....but we will go back to it again and again. The book answers many of my questions and is in my case extremely helpful ......