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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 92 likely feel you have been treated to an aca- demic course in the history of mind–body medicine, and indeed, you will have been. Harrington taught a large lecture course on mind–body medicine to enthusiastic students at Harvard and transformed the course materials into this book. Notably, Harrington’s The Cure Within is the first comprehensive history of mind– body medicine. Daniel Goleman, in his 1993 consumer-oriented Mind/Body Medicine: How to Use Your Mind for Better Healing, helped popularize the term, writing that “more and more people are looking for medical care that takes into account their thoughts and emotions as well as their overt medical problems—in short, mind/body medicine.” In Where the Mind Meets the Body (1991), Harris Dienstfrey, who cre- ated the quarterly mind–body health jour- nal Advance, investigates seven mind–body phenomena, from Type A personalities and heart disease to guided imagery. While nei- ther of these volumes is concerned with how cultural norms shaped the history of mind– body medicine, both are informative precur- sors to Harrington’s book. Harrington’s oth- er single-author books, Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler (1996), and Medicine, Mind, and the Double Brain (1987), have been widely praised as masterly. I would be surprised if The Cure Within did not become a classic. At the outset of her book, Harrington invites the reader to embark with her on “a fresh historical exploration.” Her departure from more conventional forms of historical discourse through the vehicle of narrative is refreshing. At the heart of this discourse is a personable, empathic narrator who seeks to have as authentic and connected a relationship with the reader as she wishes for our ongoing East–West dialogues. ♦ The placebo effect, Harrington suggests, is “the key to making sense of all faith cures, past and present.” MAR 78-107.indd 92 MAR 78-107.indd 92 12/19/07 2:43:38 PM 12/19/07 2:43:38 PM