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100 Things Guys Need to Know1001 Solution-Focused Questions101 Ways to Meditate17 Lies That Are Holding You Back29 Gifts8 Keys to Stress ManagementA Layman's Guide to Managing FearA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeAddiction and ChangeAddiction Recovery ToolsADHD Grown UpAdolescent DepressionAdvanced Sexual TechniquesAfter SuicideAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAnswers for AristotleAnxiety, Phobias, and PanicAre You Fully Charged?Authentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeating the BluesBecoming OrgasmicBeen There, Done That? 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NaaahTen Minutes to RelaxThank You for Being Such a PainThe 10 Best Anxiety BustersThe 5 Reasons Why We OvereatThe 7 Secrets of the ProlificThe Anger WorkbookThe Antidepressant Survival ProgramThe Art of Becoming HumanThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Betty Ford Center Book of AnswersThe Bipolar Disorder Survival GuideThe Breakout PrincipleThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Chronic Pain SolutionThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Core Question: Who Am I?The Crowdsourced Performance ReviewThe Emotional Eater's Repair ManualThe Emotional RevolutionThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs 2005The Essential KamasutraThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Game of TruthThe Gift of FearThe Gift of ShynessThe Good Vibrations Guide to SexThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Happy Hook-UpThe Healing JourneyThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Healing Power of PetsThe Identity CodeThe Illustrated Guide to Extended Massive OrgasmThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Intuitive WriterThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Light of DiscoveryThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Yoga BookThe Magic of Thinking BigThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Male Stress Survival GuideThe Money WorkbookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Self-EsteemThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe New Rational TherapyThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe OCD WorkbookThe Passion PlanThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Pill Book Guide to Natural MedicinesThe Places That Scare YouThe Pocket Life CoachThe Porn TrapThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Power of Negative ThinkingThe Power of PlayThe Power of Self-CoachingThe Pursuit of PerfectThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Secret of LifeThe Secret Strength of DepressionThe Self ImprovedThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Self-Help SourcebookThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Stress CureThe Stress Less WorkbookThe Stress Owner's ManualThe Stress Reduction Workbook for TeensThe SuperStress SolutionThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Therapy for the SaneThe Truth About Chronic PainThe Ultimate Guide to Sex and DisabilityThe Van Gogh BluesThe Way of StretchingThe Way of the JournalThe Way of TransitionThe Weblog HandbookThe Why CaféThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThere's a Spiritual Solution to Every ProblemThings Might Go Terribly, Horribly WrongThink Confident, Be ConfidentThink NakedThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThis Is HowTotal PilatesTrain Your Brain to Get HappyTrain Your Brain to Get RichTransformation Trauma in the Lives of ChildrenUltimate SexUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUndoing DepressionUnhappy TeenagersUnlock the Genius WithinUntangling the WebVirtual AddictionWaking Up to What You DoWay to Be!What We Say MattersWhat Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? 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(Note that the hardback is titled Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy)
Dr. Ornish comes to this book from a well-known background of proving changing ones lifestyle can reverse heart disease. In his previous books, his emphasis has been primarily on changing ones diet. Because of his previous work, he will sometimes, still, be eating in a restaurant with others who will apologize for what they have chosen to eat, mistaking him for the food police. However, it is from looking beyond diet and the questions such study raises, how some foods and activities are harmful for one person but not necessarily for another that this book comes to be written.
From his further studies, Dr. Ornish states, "I am not aware of any other factor in medicinenot diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgerythat has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes." He is talking about the impact that love and intimacy have on us. It is a strong statement, well backed up by scientific research and his personal observations and experiences as a preventative medicine physician. However, the crux of the book, for me, was the statement, "Anything that promotes intimacy leads to greater joy and healing; anything that promotes isolation and loneliness leads to more suffering and illness." I try to apply that statement to questions and decisions in my life and find it true and helpful to me.
Roughly a third of the book is charts, graphs and the details of scientific studies, which I found boring after a while. Perhaps they could "prove" the points Dr. Ornish is making to skeptics and I read enough of those sections to see they are in fact very carefully built up to make their own convincing argument in support of love and intimacy. So, if you enjoy science and its arguments I can see this book would be a good starting place to get into some of the softer sciences and their arguments.
I have begun to find that my own experience is my most helpful guide in life. If an idea can engage my interest and convince me to try something, I can then perhaps be convinced beyond further swaying. I find an idea or point of view either works or it does not; it is either helpful to me or not. This book, by its very title, caught my interest. I grew impatient with the science because I did not need it; Dr. Ornish was preaching to the choir in my case. However, I am not sure what practical ideas I brought away from this book into my life. Knowing what is true is important but often I need more help with practicing what I know than this book gave me.