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on 30 June 2014
This is an enormously interesting book for anyone who wants to know how we cause our own illnesses. The communication between your thoughts and your body is really important and if it is all negative, the whole system is thrown off balance. It is written in a style in which the discoveries the author makes are set alongside her life events and is an honest look at her foibles as well as her strengths. Nevertheless it will not always be an easy read for someone with limited vocabulary or education as there is a wealth of technical detail here. Having a medical background I found it relatively easy.
With this in mind, the book would have benefitted from some flow-charts enabling readers to have an alternative way of seeing how the immune system "listens" to our emotional thoughts and responds accordingly. If you are already invested in the quantum aspect of life and know something about consciousness and The Field (Lynne McTaggart) and Bruce Lipton's The Biology of Belief, you will enjoy this. If not, you might find it hard going and it would be best to start with something easier, like The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart.
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on 13 May 2014
I met this NEURO SCIENTIST at a Westminster University Conference.
She is so knowledgeable about the HUMAN CONDITION and the neural network
peptides, and cells ... BEYOND just BIOLOGY... she pioneered the connection and molecules and peptides that our EMOTIONS create, and fought long and hard to be heard by the establishment in USA. She won eventually by sticking her head above the parapet.

LOVE this brave lady. She understands emotions in biological / physiological terms and consequences thereof.
QUITE Un common for a scientist to have a deep understanding and Passion also for an
"ALTERNATIVE " viewpoint. Difficult in parts to grasp if you are not interested in MIND BODY
it is NOT a book for whizzing through for a quick fix... it is TRUTH in essence but need a grasp
of... or interest in... all THE ABOVE. It should be in every University 1st YEAR reading.
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on 21 February 2013
I first came across Pert's work due to a fairly throwaway reference in Tom Myers' manual of movement anatomy, Anatomy Trains. As the biological basis of emotion has long interested me, but I have not previously found anything of real value on the subject, and, undeterred by some negative reviews on Amazon (though overall it is well rated), I decided to take a look.

My first surprise was that the book had been written in 1997! That it took me fifteen years even to hear about it, despite an interest in the subject, is astonishing. That the original research goes back to the 1970's is even more so.

The book has been criticized as too autobiographical with not enough hard science take-aways. It is true that it is autobiographical, and doubtless I also hoped to understand more of the subject at the end of it than I do, though I did learn quite a bit. However, it is also very well written and, except for the last couple of chapters which disappoint, as hard to put down as a good detective novel. So the entertainment value and the broader insight into how the neuropharmacological research community works more than compensated for this failing, and in fact I do not know if there was, at the time of writing, more to be said on the subject than is contained in the book. I do have a couple of more recent books on similar subjects lined up for reading, so check this space.

Where I would fault the book, however, is its tendancy to wild generalization, containing as it does a wide range of claims about body-mind interactions with no effort to discriminate between them. As such, it is more suggestive than authoritative. Certainly, Pert's work lends weight to the validity claims of many non-pharmacological therapies. A picture emerges from the book as to why these therapies may be successful, and I have no doubt that broadly she is on the right lines. However, there are so many gaps in explaining how these bodymind linkages work that there is really nothing in the book that counts as an explanation. The only things on which she sheds real light are the action of psychedelics and a treatment for AIDS based on blocking the CCR5 receptor, used by the virus, with a molecule based on an endogenous ligand, which still today is struggling to gain official acceptance. The view that the brain is not merely a neurological but also an endocrine organ is doubtless, by now at least, well established, but even the links she shows between emotions and the immune system, which are persuasive at the conceptual level, are difficult to disentangle. Lastly, Pert's meanderings into alternative and new age therapies tend more to discredit than buttress her thesis - and I say this as someone with plenty of sympathy for some of these therapies.

I did take from the book a real sense of the biochemical unity of life. It is extraordinary that the "molecules of emotion" are so widely distributed in nature, with analogues even in plants. Plus she quotes approvingly Reich and Lowen, which is courageous enough, though whether her research actually provides support for the idea of somatically stored emotions is not clear.

Although it is not intended, and does not function, as a textbook, Pert is a relatively unknown but important scientific pioneer and her work deserves to be read for this reason as well as for its broader sociological interest.
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on 4 August 2013
there is a lot of people saying how this book is more of a story than hard science and that is exactly what it is. it is a really refreshing approach after reading so many books on science. and the story is important as it shows how Candace was driven by her own experiences. it also highlights the problems in how scientific research is run by drug company's and how there are real solutions out there to the disease but are not backed by funding. look at coconut oil and how its reversing dementia, but it will never get any research as no one can patent it and make money. it also shows how greedy scientists are in wanting to get accredited for work and get awards instead of trying to solve the real issues about disease and healing. I agree she could have gone into the science a little bit more but definitely not a one star.
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on 6 February 2018
Really good to pick up some of the excitement of science. She's not a shrinking violet about sharing her achievements. If this book had been written by a man that 2nd sentence wouldn't be noteworthy?
Engaging read but I've stopped for a breather halfway through!
I'll return but I need a rest!
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on 2 September 2012
This is the story of neuroscientist Candace Pert's work in the field of molecular biology, the remarkable new discoveries and her struggle with the establishment to see the benefits of working across different disciplines. Her cross-disciplinary approach resulted in the creation of a new area of science, `psychoneuroimmunology.' Over a 25 year period, her work resulted in a new understanding of how the network of chemical communication in the body is vastly more complicated and subtle than was ever previously suspected. Her discovery of the numerous chains of amino acids called peptides that have individual types of receptors in the surface of cells all over the body has brought a new understanding of the mind-body relationship. These chemicals are information carriers, instructing cells to react in certain specific ways, and are not just produced by brain cells, but in many places in the body, including cells of the immune system. What is now clear is that the body communicates with the brain, and information can be stored in various parts of the body. What is more, this information communication in intricately linked, and generates, our emotions. Anger, joy, sadness, stress, etc all produce, or are produced by, floods of peptides in the body being received by cell receptors and creating physiological changes. These are the molecules of emotion in the book title.
It is a fascinating read of her struggles with the establishment but also the amazing discoveries and their implications. A bit over-scientific in places, but if you skim some bits it is well worth it.
It ties in well with my book, Blue Sky God: The Evolution of Science and Christianity
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on 1 June 2018
This brilliant book was recommended by a friend and has turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. It clearly demonstrates the link between body and mind. It is accessibly written.

If you are thinking of ordering it - DO!
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on 7 December 2015
This book is by Candace Pert and not by Deepak Chpra... but he would highly recommend it.

I f you want to understand how our feelings affect our health - it is one of the best books to read

Although a Scientist she has the gift of communication and can write so that we can all understand this important subject.
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on 27 September 2017
The science is worth reading and pretty convincing. I struggled a bit with the author's ego in the opening chapters but am glad I persisted. Could have done without being introduced, near the end, to her religious beliefs but again the science is the main purpose of the book, so a worthwhile read.
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on 10 February 2012
I was a little overwhelmed by the science of pshychoneuroimmunology at the beginning but I knew it was leading somewhere so I tried not to get bogged by the details of our internal biology because I don't process that material very well. I was encouraged by Candace Perts bravery and enthusiasm for, not only her gifts as a scientist and her desire to contribute to the wellbeing of humanity, but her audacity to challenge the traditionally accepted role of men in medicine taking all the plaudits. I loved her many insights and breakthroughs, her experiences as she adjusted her life from left brain thinking to right brain and the expansion of her consciousness, and the impact of our mind on body and body on mind. For me, it was a winner, bringing science and mind, body, spirit closer together.
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