Cover image for Reinventing medicine : beyond mind-body to a new era of healing
Reinventing medicine : beyond mind-body to a new era of healing
Dossey, Larry, 1940-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 271 pages ; 25 cm

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R726.5 .D673 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In 1993, revered and respected physician Larry Dossey forever changed our understanding of the healing process with his phenomenal New York Times bestseller, Healing Words. Now the man considered one of the pioneers of mind/body medicine once more explodes the boundaries of healing with his most powerful book yet.

Reinventing Medicine is nothing less than a vision of the future of the practice of medicine. In his book, Dr. Dossey provides the scientific and medical proof that the spiritual dimension works in healing. Citing the work of scientists at such well-known institutions as Princeton, Harvard, and Stanford, he conclusively demonstrates that spiritual tools such as intercessory prayer, dreams, coincidence, and intuition have measurable, powerful, and profound effects on how we heal. His argument forces us to go beyond the practices of conventional medicine, which he calls Era I, and mind/body medicine, which he calls Era II, leading us to a new dimension, the spiritual, "nonlocal" dimension of Era III. What was viewed in the past as random or episodic events in healing are shown, through scientific evidence, to be related and connected to a higher force at work--Dossey calls this force the non-local mind. Through our understanding and recognition of the nonlocal mind, Dossey suggests ways in which it can be used for diagnosis and treatment, speeding the healing process, and giving clues for gaining information related to illness and pain. This vision of the coming era in medicine is one of promise and spiritual fulfillment that will surely change the face of medicine forever.

Author Notes

Larry Dossey, M.D., is an authority on spititual healing

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Dossey is the foremost physician advocate of prayer, thanks to the best-selling Healing Prayer (1993). Now he expands upon his concept of nonlocal mind, which denotes the character of consciousness that seems necessary to account for why prayer aids healing, why one can have premonitions, why one can experience sympathetic pain and distress when a loved one is injured, and a host of other occurrences that defy present scientific logic. He contends that mind is spread throughout space and time and even between species, including between plants and animals. To support the contention, he cites study after study, well prepared by reputable researchers, to establish that "impossible" and "miraculous" phenomena can be verified, if not explained. The evidence indicates at least that, though greatly separated by distance and without previous acquaintance with or knowledge of one another, a person can physically and mentally influence another person. Dossey further asserts that medicine is poised for a third stage in its modern development. Recapping that development, he says that scientific medicine was the defining characteristic of Era I medicine, which lasted until the 1950s. Then, after a half-century of psychotherapy and its formulations, especially the idea of psychosomatic illness, medicine accepted the mind-body connection, initiating Era II. Era III will begin when the idea that mind is not confined in the body is accepted. Dossey stresses that Era III will not overthrow the discoveries of Eras I and II, which helps make his new medicine easier to swallow, as does his clarity and tact as a writer. With Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, he is one of the most approachable healing gurus--and he doesn't vend a self-help program. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Always in the vanguard, physician Dossey (Prayer Is Good Medicine, etc.) makes a fascinating case for the next revolution in medicine beyond the current era of mind-body healing. Rather than signaling an entirely new direction, he defines a larger, more humane vision based on incorporating advances in integrative medicine. His brief, persuasive work is bound to attract attention from the general public and medical professionals alike, especially in light of his pioneering work on the connection between prayer and healing. Rendering his argument in simple language and illustrating it with many individual stories as well as scientific studies, Dossey contends that we are entering an era of the "non-local mind"Äthat consciousness can accomplish healing outside the confines of one's brain and body, influencing distant events, people and circumstances. He does not discount the efficacy of medical intervention so much as he anticipates an enlightened model of partnership between patient and healer. While some readers may resist the idea of prayer influencing such events as cell development, many will accept the more familiar examples involving animal behavior (e.g., pets traveling thousands of miles to reunite with their owners). Addressing such major conduits of nonlocal healing as dreams, prayer and being in "the zone," Dossey offers moving examples of human healing that seem inexplicable by other means. He is at his most eloquent in his concluding chapter on "Eternity Medicine," or the compassionate treatment of the dying. Agent, James Levine. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In his Recovering the Soul, physician Dossey first introduced the idea that there have been, so far, three eras of Western medicine: physical healing, mind-body healing, and a new era he focuses on here, continuing his investigation/description/ validation of alternative healing. He challenges physicians and others to look beyond the now-accepted mind-body component of healing (pioneered during what he calls Era II) and to embrace what he terms nonlocal medicineÄa worldview incorporating consciousness as a healing agent, where events are unaffected by space or time. Dossey summarizes research supporting nonlocality and then examines it in the context of ordinary, day-to-day medical practice. Although some of the material included here is repeated from previous works, much of the research he cites is recent. An interesting and unusual approach to health studies; recommended for public libraries and health science centers.ÄAndy Wickens, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. of the Health Sciences (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Reinventing Medicine Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing Chapter One The Eras Of Medicine Man's perceptions are not bounded by organs of perception: he perceives far more than sense (tho' ever so acute) can discover. William Blake "snowing and about three inches deep ... wind at northeast and mercury at 30.... Continuing snowing till one o'clock and about four it became perfectly clear.Wind in the same place but not hard.Mercury at 28 at night." These were the last words George Washington, the first president of the United States, wrote. On the morning of December I3, I799, at age sixty-seven, Washington had gone on his long daily ride at Mount Vernon.He was an obsessive horseman, and not even foul weather could keep him out of the saddle.When he returned later that day, his greatcoat was soaked through, and snow hung from his white hair.He sat down to dinner without changing his damp clothes, and by evening he had a sore throat.On trying to read parts of the newspaper aloud, he was hampered by hoarseness.When his secretary, Tobias Lear, suggested he take some medicine, Washington declined, saying, "No.You know I never take anything for a cold.Let it go as it came." Between two and three in the morning, Washington woke his wife, Martha, and complained that he had a very sore throat and was feeling unwell.He could hardly talk, was shaking with chills, and had trouble breathing.At George's request, Martha sent for his lifelong friend Dr. William Craik, who had been his companion in the French and Indian War and a fellow explorer of the frontier.In the meantime, Washington asked Rawlins, the overseer who usually took care of sick slaves, to bleed him.He bared his arm, and Rawlins made the incision, but Washington complained that the incision was not wide enough."More," he ordered.When Craik arrived he applied Spanish fly to Washington's throat, to draw blood into a blister, and bled him again.Washington was. given sage tea and vinegar to gargle and nearly choked.Craik sent for another doctor and bled him again. Between three and four in the afternoon, two more physicians, Gustavus Brown and Elisha Cullen Dick, arrived.Craik and Brown agreed on a diagnosis of quinsy, what we today would call acute streptococcal pharyngitis, or strep throat.They decided on more bleedings, blisterings, and purges with laxatives.But Dick, a thirty-seven-year-old graduate of the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine (also Craik's alma mater), dissented.It was his view that Washington was suffering from "a violent inflammation of the membranes of the throat, which it had almost closed, and which, if not immediately arrested, would result in death." Dick urged that a radical new surgical procedure be performed that he had learned about in Scotland for cases like this--a tracheotomy below Washington's infected, swollen throat to allow him to continue to breathe.But this was too much for the senior physicians Craik and Brown, and they would not agree. Dick took another tack.At the very least, he pleaded, do not bleed Washington again."He needs all his strength--bleeding will diminish it." Again Craik and Brown ignored the younger doctor. They asked for and obtained Washington's consent to bleed him a fourth time. Washington rallied briefly, long enough for Craik to give him calomel and other purgatives. Shortly thereafter, George asked Martha to come to his bedside.He requested that she bring his two wills and burn the old one, which she did. Washington continued to defer to the advice of Craik and to refuse the suggestions of the younger man.He had convinced himself early in the day that he was going to die."I find I am going.My breath cannot continue long," he whispered to Lear, to whom he gave instructions for the arrangements of all his military papers and accounts.Then Washington smiled and said with perfect resignation that death "is the debt which we must all pay." To Craik he whispered a little later, "Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.My breath cannot last long." A lifelong stoic, he did not complain, although he must have been in terrific pain. "'Tis well, he finally whispered.These were his last words.Five hours later, with his beloved Martha at his side, George Washington died. Washington was hard to kill.At a muscular six-four, he was a giant for his day.His ironlike constitution enabled him to survive a volley of illnesses that would have killed weaker men--dysentery, influenza, malaria, mumps, pleurisy, pneumonia, rickets, smallpox, staph infections, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever--not even counting all the lead shot at him.It is ironic that in the end he succumbed to an illness that today is regarded more as a nuisance than a disease and that can be cured by a single injection or a handful of pills: strep throat. It is easy to find fault with the way America's first president was treated in his final hours, but retrospective criticism is unfair.Washington's physicians were doing the best they could with the knowledge they had.To senior physicians Craik and Brown, young Dick's suggestion of a tracheotomy probably sounded like assassination.They were unwilling to make Washington, the most revered man in America, an experiment for an unproved, unfamiliar surgical intervention.Washington himself declined Dick's advice.A true man of his time, he got what he expected and what he wanted--bleeding, blistering, and purging. The Eras Of Medicine Washington's deathbed therapies show a gruesome side of medicine, which has prevailed for most of our Western history.His final hours reveal both the helplessness of the physicians of his day and the fact that by and large the techniques in use at the time either did not work or were actually harmful.In the early nineteenth century, there was no getting around the fact that doctors were dangerous. Reinventing Medicine Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing . Copyright © by Larry Dossey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing by Larry Dossey All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 The Eras of Medicinep. 13
Chapter 2 The Case for Nonlocalityp. 37
Chapter 3 Dreams, Prayer, and the Zone: How We Experience Nonlocalityp. 85
Chapter 4 Era III in Everyday Healingp. 119
Chapter 5 Reinventing Medicinep. 161
Chapter 6 Eternity Medicinep. 203
Postcriptp. 227
Notesp. 231
Indexp. 257