Publisher: Harper Perennial
When I first read this compelling book by Dean Ornish, I was happily surprised because it was by far the strongest endorsement of Complete Wellbeing’s driving philosophy. The book highlights the strong interconnection and interdependence between our survival and the healing power of love. Dr Ornish has dissected the human heart in a manner that has never been done before. His findings, based on years of research and observation, are path-breaking and reveal the nature of the intangible in our lives.
Ornish writes, “Medicine today tends to focus primarily on the physical and mechanistic: drugs and surgery, genes and germs, microbes and molecules. I am not aware of any other factor in medicine—not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.” Elsewhere, he writes, “Love and intimacy are at a root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing.”
The author establishes, beyond doubt, that love and intimacy are not just important to our mental health, but also necessary for our physical wellbeing. Using real life cases and scientific studies, Ornish convinces us that love and intimacy have a powerful effect on our health, particularly the immune systems and the heart. He says that individuals who are share loving relationships live longer than those who don’t. In fact, he goes on to declare that the healing power of love and intimacy, and the emotional and spiritual transformation that often result from these, is even more powerful than diet and exercise, in healing certain physical health conditions.