Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body
By Jo Marchant
Crown. 300 pages.
Science journalist Jo Marchant opens her new book, Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body, with a confession. Until she began investigating the intertwined ways mind and body can work together to enable healing, she’d dismissed most alternative medical treatments and mind-based therapies as unscientific nonsense. After all, for centuries, conventional medical wisdom had held tight to the assumption that mind and body were separate entities and never the twain would meet. Yet being scientific, Marchant realized, also means being open-minded to exploring and testing new hypotheses. She decided to find out what the evidence showed—and what it didn’t.
The result is a state-of-the art tour of mind–body medicine. Marchant’s research-based assessment appears at a tipping-point moment, when even the most mainstream medical institutions (Harvard, among others) and media stalwarts (think The New York Times) are increasingly studying, accepting of, and reporting on, the improvements in both mood and medical status that such treatments can bring.
That means that many psychotherapists are already familiar with some of the ground Marchant covers, especially practitioners who for some time have been successfully using mindfulness, meditation, and similar techniques for clients suffering from ailments…