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Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

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Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

Da Capo Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Want to deal better with life’s curve balls? Nurture both your body and your mind.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


When it was first published in 1987, this self-help New York Times bestseller by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., catapulted the importance of the mind/body connection into mainstream consciousness. The foreword by natural health guru, Andrew Weil, M.D., introduces you to Borysenko and her comprehensive techniques for managing stress. Although the book’s sections could be better organized, overall it remains relevant, useful and thought provoking, particularly for hard-charging Boomers who are aging in stressful times. Borysenko shares her personal journey (starting with an excessive stress reaction that landed her in the hospital), and includes examples from her patients. She provides relaxation, exercise and meditation techniques, and addresses the challenges of trying to incorporate these methods into your life. She also details common “mind traps” that can compromise your wellbeing. Her approach is creative, flexible and forgiving, and she includes an excellent recap of key points at the end of the book. getAbstract recommends this book wholeheartedly to those who want to optimize their health and be more effective.


Some Emotions Are Risky

Researchers work to understand the roots of stress and the seemingly magical mind-body connection that enables hypnosis, acupuncture and other techniques to help people. The new interdisciplinary field of “psychoneuroimmunology” (PNI) explores the triggers and interactions that cascade stress reactions through the body’s organs and immune system. Feelings and emotions can directly affect “the body’s ability to defend itself and to function optimally in response to the continually changing moment-by-moment demands of life.”

Your feelings matter to your body. Studies show that depressed people are more susceptible to heart disease and other medical conditions. Inflammation is the immune systems’ response to many threats and it is known that chronic inflammation can cause ill health. When people feel helpless, their biochemistry suffers and, in turn, this erodes their sense of well-being. By contrast, people who feel able to influence their world positively understand that change is to be expected. They are meaningfully engaged with life, and more psychologically and physically resilient. People are conditioned to respond to unpleasant tasks with...

About the Author

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. is a graduate of Harvard Medical School; a licensed psychologist; a founder of Mind/Body Health Sciences, L.L.C., in Boulder, Colorado; host of the radio show, Your Soul's Compass; and author of The Power of the Mind to Heal and Inner Peace for Busy Women, among other titles.

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