Love and Survival

Love and Survival : The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy

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Love and survival. What do they have to do with one another? This book is based on a simple but powerful idea: Our survival depends on the healing power of love, intimacy and relationships. As individuals. As communities. As a country. As a culture. Perhaps even as a species.

For the past 20 years, Dean Ornish, M.D., has directed clinical research, demonstrating -- for the first time -- that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse severe coronary heart disease without drugs or surgery. Now, this "impossible" idea has become mainstream.

Although most people tend to think of Dr. Ornish's program as being primarily about diet, he has found that perhaps the most powerful and meaningful intervention is love and intimacy and the emotional and spiritual transformation that often results. Yet those factors are largely ignored by the medical profession, which tends to focus primarily on the physical and mechanistic: drugs and surgery, genes and germs, microbes and molecules.

Dr. Ornish is a pioneer once more as he persuasively argues that love and intimacy are a root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing. If a new drug had that same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be recommending it for their patients.

There is a deep spiritual hunger in this country as we approach the end of the 20th century and a new millennium. According to Dr. Ornish, the real epidemic in our culture is what he calls emotional and spiritual heart disease, the profound sense of loneliness, isolation, alienation and depression that is so prevalent today as the social structures thatused to provide us with a sense of connection and community break down. We are only now beginning to appreciate what the radical shifts in our society in the past 50 years really mean.

"Love and Survival" also chronicles Dr. Ornish's personal journey along with his experiences as a physician and scientist. He also provides a comprehensive review of research supporting the powerful role of intimacy in health and illness, reveals in very personal terms his own struggles with intimacy and meaning and describes strategies and techniques for enhancing intimacy and communication.

"Love and Survival" is filled with powerful stories from Dr. Ornish's clinical and personal experiences. He takes his examination a step further by talking with eminent healers, scientists, theologians, psychologists, physicians, therapists and authors, each of whom provides a fascinating perspective on why love and intimacy are such powerful determinants of health and survival. In addition, Dr. Ornish's photographs, reflecting isolation and connection, illustrate the book.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 134.62 x 198.12 x 22.86mm | 249.47g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0060930209
  • 9780060930202
  • 202,561

Back cover copy

The Medical Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy

We all know that intimacy improves the quality of our lives. Yet most people don't realize how much it can increase the quality of our lives-- our survival.

In this New York Times world-renowned physician Dean Ornish, M.D., writes, "I am not aware of any other factor in medicine that has a greater impact on our survival than the healing power of love and intimacy. Not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery."

He reveals that the real epidemic in modern culture is not only physical heart disease but also what he calls spiritual heart disease: loneliness, isolation, alienation, and depression. He shows how the very defenses that we think protect us from emotional pain are often the same ones that actually heighten our pain and threaten our survival. Dr. Ornish outlines eight pathways to intimacy and healing that have made a profound difference in his life and in the life of millions of others in turning sadness into happiness, suffering into joy.
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Review quote

"Dr. Dean Ornish, who was the first to prove the reversal of heart disease by changing lifestyle, now turns his attention to the heart in a more profound sense and identifies love and intimacy as the most powerful healing forces that exist. I could not agree more. This book is filled with sparkling insights and practical wisdom about protecting health and enhancing wellness by attending the nourishment of our real hearts."-- Andrew Weil""Love & Survival"is an emotionally intelligent guide to good health and well-being. Everyone should read it."-- Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of "Emotional Intelligence" and science correspondent to the "New York Times"intelligence"Relationships bring freedom and joy. In"Love & Survival, " Dr. Dean Ornish powerfully demonstrates that intimacy also can heal. I am thrilled about this book!"-- John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus""Revolutionary results....Dr. Ornish's work could change the lives of millions."--"Newsweek"
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Rating details

109 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 24% (26)
4 43% (47)
3 27% (29)
2 5% (5)
1 2% (2)
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