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Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine Paperback – March 7, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Santorelli, director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, offers a collection of inspirational essays and the meditations he uses in his eight-week course at the clinic for both healing professionals and patients. The key to improving the relationship between the two, he believes, is mindful awareness, a spiritual concept borrowed from Eastern mysticism. To achieve mindfulness, he recommends a series of breathing exercises. Santorelli suggests that within every health care practitioner is a Wounded One, in every patient an Inner Healer. Patient and doctor are bound together, and may embrace "an indelible opportunity to drink from the deep well of [their lives]." Interspersed throughout the essays are a series of eight chapters describing the weekly sessions of one of Santorelli's courses, with anecdotes relating to the students' gradual awakening to the possibilities of better healing relationships as "they share the essence of life with one another." Class activities include yoga exercise, silent meditation and an all-day retreat. Santorelli's approach to the relationship between caregivers and patients will surely provide food for thought for anyone interested in exploring the personal dynamics of health care.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"In prose, poetry, and poignant case examples, Saki evokes for us the mutuality of the healing relationship and reclaims for medicine and all who work within it the wisdom and power of its lineage. Heal Thy Self is a clear mirror in which we can find that freedom which is at the heart of all authentic healing and through it reconsecrate ourselves to our work and to our lives."
--Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom

"Saki Santorelli's words have the gentle strength of a bird's wings, beating softly as they gradually bear us aloft. Brave, beautiful, and disturbing, his book reminds us of the healing that conventional Western medicine has all but forgotten. I wish it had been available when I was in medical school."
--Mark Epstein, M. D., author of Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

"Rarely does a book speak so eloquently to those of us who struggle with illness in our own lives, as well as to those who join with us in the project of healing. In sharing his involvement in the lives of patients and his own personal journey of mindfulness, Saki Santorelli gives us startling insights into what it means to heal and be healed. This book is a gift that will change your life."
--S. Kay Toombs, Ph.D., author of The Meaning of Illness, associate professor of philosophy, Baylor University

"A simply beautiful book. A full body/mind/heart contact between that which is healing within and that, a bit further in, which promotes that healing. A most necessary book for any medical student or healing library."
--Stephen Levine, author of A Year to Live

"Saki Santorelli shows the fruit of his dedicated effort in presenting mindfulness as not just the stuff of meditation retreats and stress reduction seminars. His accounts of everything from counseling a depressed woman to watching his six-year-old daughter encounter a homeless person bring the reader up against basic truths of our lives. It is honest, clear, and very helpful."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of A Heart as Wide as the World

"This is a remarkable, helpful book. Its genuine and warmhearted teaching gives us a real glimpse of the path of healing. Recommended to everyone, new or old, on the path of life."
--Charlotte Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (March 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609805045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609805046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From the beginning it is clear that this isn't business as usual; this is personal, deeply personal. Saki weaves a fine tapestry with rich imagery, familiar poetry and robust recollection. With great depth of heart the reader can see into the core of MBSR work.
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Format: Hardcover
I am just beginning graduate study in psychology, but I already consider this to be one of the truly indispensable books in the field. Saki is a brutally honest reporter of his own perceptions and feelings as he engages in the "healing relationship" as he teaches the MBSR program at UMassMed, and takes the reader deep into his view of what it means to "practice the healing arts", and invites us to consider the depth and meaning of our own journey into the field, as well as to begin our own journey into mindfulness.
See also "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn for a more practical, informational view of the MBSR program, and for the finest practical guide to mindfulness meditation yet written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Santorelli is a colleague of Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This book was written at the 20th anniversary of the Stress Reduction Clinic, where ten thousand patients had been through an eight week training program. The book follows one class of thirty (most of whom have serious medical conditions) as the author leads them through that program.

Key to the program and to Santorelli's manner of teaching is that he teaches out of his own meditation practice, that is, his own unique being, intuition, and experience, always sensitive to what is happening in the present moment. He and his colleagues avoid falling into the common problem of creating distance with their expertise.

The combination of meditation practice, yoga, and listening to one another's sharing of their lives, with Santorelli's skillful and gentle guidance, creates a healing dynamic. Most of us most of the time retreat rather than simply be with another person when nothing can be done. But it becomes clear in reading this book that to allow someone to touch their pain, their helplessness, is to allow them to experience their stability and strength.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saki Santorelli was my meditation guide and teacher for three years+. This book holds a signifant portion of those lessons. inside, you'll find the words needed to begain to heal from the inside. Hey, it worked for me. The healing didn't happen over night but, this healing is for real. I had been in 3 car accidents and was very close to drowning in a class 4 river. The canoe held me down and I was unconciouss for 10 hours. The migraines were pain beyond reason. Both my body and mind needed to heal. Others may need the meditation lesson or another form of healing. Saki Santorelli's book holds his teaching. let it be yours too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saki Santorelli wrote that "We are all seeking solid ground." We fear that the ground is not solid and we spend a great deal of time and energy seeking to make order out of our world. In this manner Saki tells us to let go of fear, and find our peace trough personal healing. He shows us by example after example how we can use the idea of being mindful to ease our pain. I recommend this book for all who looking for an alternative to traditional medical practice. You will find your own ground and peace of mind.
William Calhoun, Ph. D. and author of The Fall and Beyond published by Author House in 2008.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simple, profound and poetic. "Heal Thyself" gently touches the 'bandaged places' with insight, compassion, warmth & humour. I hightly recommend this book for those interested in the process of working within mindfulness based therapeutic interventions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intimate look into the mind and heart of one of America's most important MBSR teachers. Saki Santorelli leads by example and teaches by revealing his own weaknesses and mistakes. His success are in the changes he brings to people's lives with his gentle attitude to the challenges they and we all face. I am moved and inspired by this book. Or, as Saki would no doubt say - shattered yet whole. A must read for MBSR teachers in training.
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Format: Paperback
This book provides an anecdotal overview of the impact of mindfulness in medicine by walking and talking the reader through the experience of a full course. It teaches about mindfulness in the context of healing, or living with disease, via the experiences of the participants and the course leaders. It's a great resource for anyone exploring the use of mindfulness exercises or programs as a healing aid. It also provides a lot of self help lessons for anyone who would like to try out the concepts without committing to a full class, or for someone without access to a mindfulness program.
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