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The Balance within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions

The Balance within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions

Paperback

By (author) Esther M. Sternberg

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  • Publisher: W.H.Freeman & Co Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 23mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 18 June 2001
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0716744457
  • ISBN 13: 9780716744450
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: illustrations
  • Sales rank: 71,705

Product description

This text explores the mind-body connection and what it means for health. Esther Sternberg provides accounts of the experiments that reveal the physical mechanisms - the nerves, cells and hormones - used by the brain and immune system to communicate with each other. She describes just how stress can make us more susceptible to all types of illness, and how the immune system can alter moods.

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Author information

ESTHER M. STERNBERG, M.D., is Director of the Molecular, Cellular and Behavioral Interactic Neuroscience Program at the [US] National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institutes of Health. She has written over one hundred scientific papers, reviews and book chapters about brain-immune connections, including articles in Scientific American and Nature Medicine.

Review quote

"Dr. Sternberg weaves historical perspective, recent lab results, academic rigor, and popular appeal into an engrossing book."--"Dallas Morning News" "One of the best books on emotions and health."--"Booklist" "A tour de force, a romp through centuries of scientific discovery written by an expert in the field who brings us to that point where mind speaks to body."--Abraham Verghese, author of "The Tennis Partner" ""The Balance Within" delivers the latest scientific advances in prose that is clear and arrestingly beautiful. Sternberg has a gift for the illustrating detail, the clarifying allusion, the telling metaphor. With "The Balance Within," Esther Sternberg joins Steven J. Gould, Richard Dawkins, and Edward Wilson in the current pantheon of great biology writers."--Francisco J. Ayala, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine "Few science books are a beautiful read but "The Balance Within" achieves exactly that. Esther Sternberg not only illuminates the connections between emotion and health with fascinating precision, but she manages to evoke the emotions themselves, from sunlight happiness to sheltering serenity."--Deborah Blum, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of "Sex on the Brain," Professor of Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison "This refreshing personal saga of research on brain-body interactions knits together historic vignettes with recent experimental approaches. The book is a welcome addition at a time when considerable puzzlement and confusion exists regarding alternative or complementary medicine. We learn to respect the powerful influences exerted by the brain on body function."--Joseph Martin, M.D., Dean of Harvard University Medical School "Many of the most pressing contemporary health problems are related to the everyday stressors of contemporary society. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Esther Sternberg charts the mechanisms by which everyday stressors affect health and well being as well as the means for minimizing their deleterious effects."--John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D., Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago

Editorial reviews

In the late 1960s psychiatrist Bob Rose began to study one of the most stressful occupations of all - air traffic controllers. He travelled the length of the USA to gather data on over 400 controllers and discovered that it was psychological variables like feeling alienated at work or abandoned by their employers that predicted most accurately who suffered from problems like high blood pressure. He followed up his sample again in 1993, and found that more than any other physical variable measured in their blood, blood pressure or urine, it was psychological factors measured decades earlier that best predicted the later development of illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, alcoholism and depression. It is research like this which establishes vital links between body and mind which, unfortunately, modern Western medicine and practice still glosses over. This is a weakness that perhaps alternative and complementary therapies do not suffer from, and could partly explain why they are so preferred. Sternberg is a senior medical figure in the science of neurimmunology, the interaction between the nervous system and immune systems, and seeks to remedy the lack of medical interest in how the mind can make you ill or well with this straightforward, readable account of the interface between medicine and psychology. Review by DR RAJ PERSAUD Editor's note: Raj Persaud is a consultant psychiatrist at the Maudsley Hospital in London. (Kirkus UK)

Table of contents

Emotions and Disease: Molecules and Ancient Myths - Where Do Emotions Come From? - The Dirty Soup Beyond Our Skin: How the Immune System Defends Against the Outside World - Putting the Mind and the Body Back Together Again - It's a Two-way Street: The Immune System Talks to the Brain and the Brain Talks Back - When the Brain-Immune Communication Breaks Down - Can Stress Make You Sick? - Connecting to Others: Relationships and the Course of Disease - Can Believing Make you Well? - How the Immune System Changes our Moods - Prometheus Unbound: What Does the Future Hold?