Cover image for Healing beyond the body : medicine and the infinite reach of the mind
Healing beyond the body : medicine and the infinite reach of the mind
Dossey, Larry, 1940-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Shambhala, [2001]

Physical Description:
369 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R726.5 .D669 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Here is a new collection of writings on health and healing from a leader in the field of alternative medicine. Larry Dossey has transformed both the practice and teaching of modern medicine by demanding that they encompass two subjects that many in the scientific establishment would rather ignore. The first is meaning, a concept many scientists flatly declare to be beyond the realm of science. The second is nonlocality, a term indicating the infinite reach of human consciousness, or, more prosaically, the ability of one being to affect another-through prayer, for example-at a distance and through no known medium. A third concept connects and embodies both meaning and nonlocality: mind. It's a subject that Dossey quickly persuades us we know far too little about. Dossey is one of the most influential spokespersons for the role of consciousness and spirituality in modern medicine, lecturing to hospitals, medical schools, and lay groups around the world. The wide-ranging essays gathered in Healing beyond the Body exemplify consciousness without boundaries. Time and again, Dossey explores research that demands that we expand our view of healing to include elements well outside the standard medical modalities. He examines alternatives such as prayer, love, laughter, creativity, dreams, hypnosis, and more. Some of the essays are lighthearted and whimsical, such as those dealing with the impact of humor or fishing on health. Others are more challenging-for example, the essay on the "evil eye" and his Maggie Award–winning "War: A Vietnam Memoir." Some are visionary, such as those dealing with the infinite reach of the mind, and some are genuinely inspirational, such as the concluding essay, "Immortality." Each essay in its own way will challenge and inspire readers to examine themselves and their health in new and different lights.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

These 14 essays originally appeared in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, which nonspecialist readers aren't likely to see. Their reappearance here promises them the wider audience that Dossey's fame as the doctor who believes in the efficacy of prayer has attracted. Dossey sees meaning as vitally important in the practice of both orthodox and alternative medicine. If a physician doesn't understand the meaning a patient is trying to convey, nor a patient what a physician's words and actions mean, the effectiveness of their relationship will be minimal; indeed, that relationship may become misleading. Healing often lies beyond the body, Dossey holds, and he illustrates the manifold aspects of that concept for caregivers and patients. He discusses relations among body, brain, and mind, and shows the many roles that consciousness plays. His concept DNA (Distant Nonlocal Awareness) helps explain the possibility that thinking and emotions can be transferred over long distances to communicate and to heal. Thought-provoking cogitations from a much-discussed practitioner. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

Internal medicine physician Larry Dossey has been a proponent of alternative medicine since the 1970s, and in Healing Beyond the Body: Medicine and the Infinite Reach of the Mind, he collects writings on health and unique ways of healing. Among the subjects these essays cover are prayer, love, laughter, creativity, dreams and hypnosis all meant to be alternatives to standard medicine. These pieces originally appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; now they will reach a much wider audience. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Dossey, a popular author (Reinventing Medicine) and lecturer, again explores the potential of the healing mind in these essays, first published in the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Organized around broad themes, the pieces explore topics such as the individual meaning of illness; the effects of love, humor, prayer, and trout fishing on disease; and, in an interesting essay that nevertheless does not seem to fit, the author's experiences in Vietnam. Dossey continues to challenge physicians, particularly medical educators, to temper their reliance on scientific principles with an appreciation for consciousness and the mind. His numerous anecdotes are based on extensive clinical experience and cited from various sources, spanning the gamut from science to parapsychology (several appear to be urban legends). For alternative health collections where Dossey is popular. Andy Wickens, King Cty. Lib. Syst., Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The major theme of this book by physician Dossey is that consciousness and spirituality, interwoven in the fabric of human thinking, feeling, and activity in the panorama of modern life, are important determinations of the health and healing of the physical body. The book contains 14 chapters with engaging titles, divided into three subdivisions. It is distinguished by its scope--which encompasses the range of human capacities as well as multiple societal influences; by its foci--ranging from elevation of the human spirit to a penetrating modernistic philosophical examination of the mind-body relationship; and by its tone--simultaneously joyous, amusing, insightful, profound, and challenging. Taken as a whole, it is serious and distinguished scholarship as well as pleasurable reading. It is unique, with its artful interweaving of the historical and cultural foundations of Western civilization with modern theoretical concepts and empirical knowledge related to consciousness, spirituality, and healing. An important acquisition for libraries that serve the needs of all health care professionals and that support the study of philosophy, psychology, sociology, religion, and American culture. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. R. E. Darnell University of Michigan--Flint