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Vital Healing: Energy, Mind and Spirit in Traditional Medicines of India, Tibet and the Middle East - Middle Asia Paperback – 28 Feb 2013

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Dr. Marc Micozzi, a physician and anthropologist, promotes the notion that insights "have been converging on a new... understanding of energy in human physiology as related to [healing]." He explains Ayurveda's Indic roots, South India's Siddha healing, yoga, Tibetan and Sufi healing, and the Unani Greco-Arabic Tibb system. Common threads in these "lesser known Middle Asian ethno-medical traditions" affirm ancient wisdom, expand the healing spectrum, and offer practical alternative care. -- ForeWord Reviews This book offers a great outline/overview of multiple healing traditions - including also the larger context of how Western medicine went astray from this understanding and the results of that distorted allopathic focus (wasteful healthcare spending and chronic illness). Readers from many backgrounds can appreciate this scholarly work. This book is suited to both professionals in the healing arts as well as laypersons. If medical students were to read this we might have a much more effective health care workforce, where people would have a better understanding of health and the forces that govern our well-being. This book is well-researched and it even includes an appendix of Asian medicine treatment approaches for common health concerns. -- Jed Shlackman, Licensed Mental Health Counsellor and Certified Hypnotherapist

About the Author

Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD, was the Founder and Director of the Policy Institute for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He is former Executive Director of the College of Physicians, and Director of the National Museum of Health and Medicine. For many years, Dr. Micozzi has pioneered vital health information to professionals and consumers, collaborating with former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and other leaders in the growing wellness movement. He has frequently shared the speaker's podium and the radio and television airwaves with leaders such as Drs. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Mehmet Oz, and Dean Ornish. Dr. Micozzi has a consulting medical practice in Bethesda, Maryland, and Rockport, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
More of a historical review, less current use information 19 Feb. 2011
By K. Salinger, Holistic Nurse Practitioner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading the general description on Amazon I had expected this to discuss the energy medicine aspects more in-depth as well as how it is currently applied, outcomes compared to current conventional western medicine and so on. That's not really what this book is about.

The first chapter was most interesting as it did cover the energy concepts of the discussed healing traditions. However, as the book moved forward it became more and more of a historical perspective on the traditions with only a cursory discussion regarding their current use.

This book won't be of much interest to a layman unless they are writing a school report on these styles of traditional healing. There isn't much information that is of use to people "here and now". It won't help anyone make decisions on whether they ought to consider or use one of these healing modalities and it doesn't give information regarding efficacy, types of issues they are particularly good for, etc. (which is more of what I had expected to find).

In my opinion this book is most useful for those doing some sort of research which requires background information on these healing modalities and only a cursory description of what they are about.

If you seek more information about Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda,or other such healing modalities for current life applications you will do better to look elsewhere. If you seek more of a historical perspective, this may be the book for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Like a reference book... 12 April 2011
By BettyBoop - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Well, I was very hopeful about this book until I read it. It's not good, but it's not bad. I will say, for a medical student or someone who loves to read textbooks, this is a great read, but for a normal person just trying to self-educate, it is not very good.

I thought this book would offer alternative medical advice along with the origins of medicine history. Instead, it serves as a reference book-teaching us the historical facts of medicine, but not explaining how to apply the medical techniques to our lives.

It has a lot of information about alternative medicine practices around the world and that's nice to read. It's a plus to see that other countries heal their mind, body and spirit in a natural way vs. the American way of medicating with pills and chemicals. I just wish the book taught us how to use the natural techniques. I really enjoyed the section about physically healing through a spiritual place. I too believe that if you put out positive energy, you bring it in and the same for negative energy. I like that in other cultures around the world, God comes first. In America, we tend to rely on our doctors to save us, but in other cultures they rely on God to do His will-whether that means you live or you die. I also like the Ayurvedic medicine section, but it would have been nice if the book explained how to use it in our lives.

Overall, if you have a passion for medicine history, you are in the healthcare field or you are doing research for school, buy this book. If you are looking for a how-to on applying alternative medicine techniques to your life, look elsewhere.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Selective audience will appreciate this book 31 Jan. 2011
By Jijnasu Forever - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Using his background as a physician and pioneering work in integrative medicine, Micozzi articulates the foundational component of medicine as practiced in the East. Growing up in Kerala, India, I have been exposed to the Ayurveda and Siddha methods Micozzi discusses in the book - it was fascinating to read the philosophical underpinnings of these techniques. For each of the ancient methods discussed in the book, Micozzi provides a description of its core principles, diagnosis methods/components and intervention principles. Depending on your level of exposure to these topics, these discussions are likely to come across as superficial or as an excellent introduction. In some sense, the book has a feel of a large Wikipedia article - tons of information, organized quite well, and its import is not going to be felt until one needs to recall that information.

Perhaps the most important contribution of the book is his discussion of Physics in deriving/contextualizing the notion of "vital energy" prevalent in all the traditions he discusses in the book. That provides a theoretical foundation for the "exotic" traditions and helps reduce any impression of "black magic". The book also rightly points out the emphasis on prevention than cure in all these traditions. One wishes that Micozzi had focused on perhaps one of the traditions and its manifestations - for example, he alludes to Ayurveda and yoga. That intersection could have been a book that could cater to a wider audience and highly educational. The book will serve as a (slightly dry) introduction for the general audience while as an insightful interpretation of the core components of traditional medicine for those already familiar with them. 3.5*
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Scholarly work on ethnomedical traditions of Asia and the Middle East 30 April 2011
By Edward Alexander Gerster - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author is both a physician and anthropologist, which is readily apparent in his appreciation and understanding of these ethno-medical traditions. It is a fascinating survey of the healing practices and their interrelated strategies of diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Micozzi makes a compelling case that there is a unifying concept that connects all of these traditions and that there is further interconnection with the traditions of traditional Chinese medicine. It is a fascinating read that should appeal to healing practitioners and anthropologists as well. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Probably Mere Words Are Inadequate 5 Mar. 2011
By Entronaut - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is nothing less than an outstanding tour de force of the background and practice of Integrative Medicine. I regard it as a "must" for every conscientious healthcare professional and for any and all who wish to know what genuine healing (as opposed to mere symptom abatement) is.
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