W. W. Norton & Company, 2001 - Health & Fitness - 192 pages
Norman Cousin's enormously influential best-selling book illustrates the concept at the heart of the holistic health principle: that the human mind is capable of promoting the body's potential for healing itself even when faced with a seemingly hopeless medical predicament. Recounting his personal experiences of working in close collaboration with his doctor to overcome a crippling and supposedly irreversible disease, Cousins outlines the life-saving and ultimately life-prolonging benefits to be gained by taking responsibility for one's own well-being. "I have learned," the author writes, "never to underestimate the capacity of the human mind and body to regenerate -- even when the prospects seem most wretched." This remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit is inspirational reading for anyone contending with a serious illness.
Laughter Makes Your Blood Flow More Freely
Have you had a good laugh yet today? Call up a good friend or family member, stat! Recent research from the University Of Maryland School of Medicine presented at the 2011 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual conference found a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow and lead to atherosclerosis. Laughter, however, had the opposite effect. So get the pals you love most together for a good chuckle more often. For the study, participants watched segments of a funny movie, like “There’s Something About Mary” on one day and a stressful movie such as “Saving Private Ryan” on another day. The stressful film caused vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels, while the comedy caused the vessels to expand. “The magnitude of change we saw in the endothelium [blood vessel lining] after laughing was consistent and similar to the benefit we might see with aerobic exercise or statin use,” Michael Miller MD, a professor of medicine and lead