Healing from the Heart: How Unconventional Wisdom Unleashes the Power of Modern Medicine

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9780452279551: Healing from the Heart: How Unconventional Wisdom Unleashes the Power of Modern Medicine

Dr. Mehmet Oz, celebrated heart surgeon and co-founder of the Complementary Care Center at New York's Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, is spearheading the health-care revolution that is yielding powerful new healing tools that will forever change the way we think of medicine. In this ground-breaking book, he describes his pioneering work--combining cutting-edge Western medicine with such Eastern techniques as acupuncture and chi-gong, as well as such controversial therapies as hypnosis, music, massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, and energy healing. The inspiring and affecting stories of his patients are the heart of this book--from the extraordinary discipline of Frank Torre, who used his professional sports training to "psych" himself into healing after heart transplant surgery, to the "impossible" recovery of blues great Johnny Copeland, who was roused from a seemingly impenetrable coma through the force of his own music. In recounting his patients' experiences, Dr. Oz forges a blueprint for the radical new medicine of the next millennium--drawing on the best from Eastern and Western therapies and empowering patients to become partners with doctors in promoting their own recovery.

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Review:

Mehmet Oz is a Renaissance man of cardiac care, combining yoga, aromatherapy, hypnosis, energy healing, music therapy, acupuncture, and visual imagery into his surgery practice at the Complementary Care Unit of New York City's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He's adamant that the relationship between traditional and alternative medicine should be symbiotic, not mutually exclusive. His patients are proof of this: when treated holistically, not as just "another transplant patient" with a plaque-addled heart, they perceive less pain during surgery and recuperation, are less likely to suffer depression, and heal more quickly.

While med school at the University of Pennsylvania didn't expose Oz to the holistic healing methods he employs today, his upbringing in Turkey and exposure to cultures worldwide did leave him open to new ideas. Oz helped develop the LVAD, or left ventricular assist device, which helps the heart of a patient awaiting a transplant keep pumping. Piqued when he was asked about his patients, "But has restoring their hearts restored their health?"--and he had to respond, "No"--Oz started incorporating one alternative method after another into his practice. He started with massage after seeing how it rejuvenated his wife after childbirth.

Healing from the Heart is not for the weak of stomach; Oz occasionally gets graphic, such as in the opening heart-transplant scene: "I finished closing the last tiny bleeder, then called for the electric saw, which was plugged in and handed to me by its metallic handle ... the saw cut through the bone like soft pine." If there's anything that might inspire you to pass up greasy French fries, this book is it. Current cardiac patients and their families will be enthralled by the tale of Oz's holistic revolution and his patient-success stories, and other health practitioners would do well to pay attention to what he advocates. --Erica Jorgensen

About the Author:

Dr. Mehmet Oz, a highly respected cardiovascular surgeon, is the director of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center's mechanical heart-pump program and is cofounder and director of the hospital's breakthrough Complementary Care Center. As part of the innovative surgical team at Columbia-Presbyterian, he also helped to develop the left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a complex, high-tech artificial heart that keeps patients alive while waiting for a heart transplant. Dr. Oz recently won the 1998 Books for a Better Life award. As a native of Turkey, he sees himself as a bridge between the healing ways of the West and East. He lives in New York City.

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