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Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment Hardcover – February 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Dr. Perlmutter and Dr. Villoldo bring together the long-separated disciplines of science and spirituality to help us gain access to the parts of the brain that define us as human beings. This book applies leading-edge science to our quest for enlightenment and gives us practical tools, including specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations, to improve our well-being.”
Andrew Weil, M.D., author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health and Healthy Aging

“The shaman and physician for millennia were the same person until the 19th century when they were split apart in the name of science. Now through the lens of 21st-century science, Villoldo and Perlmutter bring them back together, illuminating the web that links together our physical and metaphysical energy. For anyone feeling a loss of energy of body or soul, Power Up Your Brain is your guide to restoration and rejuvenation of your deepest energies.”
Mark Hyman, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of  The UltraMind Solution

“This is the book we’ve been waiting for! With leading-edge information that’s easy to understand, Alberto Villoldo and David Perlmutter have masterfully woven 21st-century science with the indigenous wisdom of the past to reveal the ‘missing link’ in the modern story of life—the role of our brain’s health in the quality of our spiritual experience. In doing so they offer us a practical wisdom that we can use to empower our lives immediately! This book is a must for anyone seriously interested in moving beyond the con­ven-tional ideas of what enlightenment is and how to achieve it.”
Gregg Braden, New York Times best-selling author of The Divine Matrix and Fractal Time

“This book is a treasure. It is a guidebook to enlightenment filled with the wisdom and experience of the authors. It relates the practical aspects of science to the spiritual and mystical realities of the nature of life. It clarifies what our potential is as human beings and directs us in the steps we need to take to achieve our potential and utilize the healing energy available to us all.”
Bernie S. Siegel, M.D., author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and 365 Prescriptions for the Soul

“I seldom use the word ‘brilliant,’ but this book is. It expands our awareness of the untapped potential of our brain,
offers cutting-edge neuroscience, and is written by two experts with decades of hands-on clinical practice. See for yourself why Dr. Perlmutter is my personal neurologist and mentor.”
Naomi Judd, singer, songwriter, and author of Naomi’s Guide to Aging Gratefully

“This is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Combining modern scientific knowledge and shamanic practices, it lucidly explains how to restore the health of the brain at the cellular level.”
David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., author of How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN, is a board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He serves as medical director of the Perlmutter Health Center and the Perlmutter Hyperbaric Center in Naples, Florida and is also an adjunct instructor at the Institute for Functional Medicine. He is the author of three books and numerous journal articles. Dr. Perlmutter has appeared on 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, the Today show, The Oprah Show, and The Early Show on CBS.

Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., has trained as a psychologist and medical anthropologist, and has studied the healing practices of the Amazon and the Andean shamans for more than 25 years. While at San Francisco State University, he founded the Biological Self-Regulation Laboratory to study how the mind creates psychosomatic health and disease. Dr. Villoldo directs The Four Winds Society, where he trains individuals in the U.S. and Europe in the practice of shamanic healing. He directs the Center for Energy Medicine at Los Lobos, Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781401928179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401928179
  • ASIN: 140192817X
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I found this an easy, captivating, and believable read. It entrances the reader with the arguments - until you consciously appraise the book when you will release that there is no information at all on counter arguments. And therein lies the problem. This is a book which puts forward a solution which, if you literally read everything in it - will (note there is no consideration in the book that these remedies might - or might not work) make the lame walk again; solve the low energy which so many of us have today; and prevent Parkinson's and many other age related mitochondrial problems. Yet there is no critical peer review of the solutions proposed. Do they work for everyone? How many people have followed the regime and not benefited from it? To be honest - even though that rings loud warning bells in itself - I'd still be tempted to try the programme of lifestyle / diet / supplement changes proposed. I've had serious life long problems exercising aerobically; had mitochondrial analysis by muscle biopsy as its been screaming out to me that the mitochondria are the problem; have very low energy; had complex PTSD; have a parent who suffered from Parkinsons.... This book therefore seemed to resonate so strongly and offered The Solution...

And then I looked at the cost of the supplements. Very cheap working out at pence per day if you buy some of them individually, green tea extract; curcumin; sulforaphane etc - and this I may do. But buy these combined from the official source XYMOGEN as suggested in the book and its over $100 a month.... which energetically feels so very very wrong to me. Why such an excessive mark up?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being familiar with and appreciative of the past work of both authors I was interested in what they had to say. I am a medical professional and use natural and affordable foods, supplements and techniques to help people to heal their brains everyday, I know it does not have to be an endeavor only for the financially elite. Perhaps the good men writing this book have come into hard times, the gist of the book reads "come to my institute, attend my school, take my trips, and for goodness sake please buy our vitamins". Yes, there are a few nuggets of wisdom offered in the book but overall a very superficial, one-sided and greedy presentation of the amazing work that exists in healing and keeping the brain functioning optimally.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Power Up Your Brain in one sitting, and recommend it highly. It is a wonderful balance of "right brain" and "left brain" information and philosophy, so it will appeal to - and speak clearly to - a huge and diverse audience. It is a clear prescription for health on many levels, presented with integrity by two excellent writers who know their material exceedingly well.
I purchased this book from Amazon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have about 20 books on the brain, a subject I have felt especially passionate about after I got memory issues from six years as a vegan. I also have several dozens of books on enlightenment. So I was thrilled when this book came out, combining the two topics.

In fact, as a health author myself, I have been convinced that there must be a physical component in the brain for advanced stages of consciousness. I have also noted and written about the effect of food on my mood! According to the authors, "enlightenment is the condition of optimal mitochondrial and brain functioning that allows us to experience both well-being and inner peace AND the urge to create and innovate." The book details the role of mitochondria--the feminine force, since we inherit the mitochondrial DNA strictly from the mother's lineage. The authors explain that, "The mitochondria are influenced by the foods you eat, the amount of calories you ingest, the extent to which you exercise your body, and the inclusion of specific nutrients."

In the first chapters we learn about the brain, old reptilian parts vs. new advanced parts: the prefrontal cortex is deemed "the key to enlightenment." The old brain, worried about survival, "gave rise to the belief that the spirit world is populated with fierce gods who demand sacrifice."

The book also details the influence of mitochondria on our health and brains. I was surprised to learn that "a human adult possesses more than ten million billion mitochondria, making up a full 10 percent of the total body weight." Also "it is the mitochondrial DNA that directs the production and utilization of your life energy. It determines the fate of every cell, tissue, and organ in your body and the energetic fate of your being as a whole.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are at all interested in the connection between the mind, body and the spirit, then this is a must read! There are no new herbs or techniques here (at least not for the experienced professional), but this is the first synthesis of how the various parts come together I have read. This is a book that truly speaks to our time, needs, and has answers. Not just hypothetical answers, but answers from a physician putting these concepts into daily practice.

To be honest, I might not have read this book had it not been given to me by Dr. Perlmutter after attending his lecture at an integrative health conference in NYC. While MDs typically get press, book deals and TV shows when they start talking about herbs and vitamins, this is the bedrock of naturopathic medicine (ND/NMD) and I had some of the greatest instructors during my years at Southwest College in Arizona. Also, if I had a dime for every Shaman I have met, as they say...I'd be rich! However, I was taken by Dr. Perlmutter's powerful presentation, sincerity and humbleness. While traveling home from the conference, I had plenty of time on my hands. I started reading the book anticipating skimming it and giving it to someone who might be interested. It wasn't long before I had my pencil out making notes in the margins-- something I only do with books I really treasure--and turning page after page!

After years of experience, I can tell you what really works in medicine--natural or pharmaceutical! The basics: Diet, exercise, and prayer/meditation/ relaxation. This book tells you why and how to maximize results!
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