When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress
About the Book
Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”?
Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress — published in the U.S. under the subtitle Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection, and also available in audiobook format — provides answers to these and other important questions about the effect of the mind-body link on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in an array of common diseases.
When the Body Says No:
• Explores the role of the mind-body link in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, and multiple sclerosis
• Draws on medical research and the author’s clinical experience as a family physician
• Shares dozens of enlightening case studies and stories, including those of people such as Lou Gehrig (ALS), Betty Ford (breast cancer), Ronald Reagan (Alzheimer’s), Gilda Radner (ovarian cancer), and Lance Armstrong (testicular cancer)
• Includes The Seven A’s of Healing: principles of healing and the prevention of illness from hidden stress
An international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, When the Body Says No promotes learning and healing, providing transformative insights into how disease can be the body’s way of saying no to what the mind cannot or will not acknowledge.
Read from WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO
The following chapter is available to read online:
Listen to an excerpt from WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO
Praise for WHEN THE BODY SAYS NO
“This is a most important book, both for patient and physician. It could save your life.”
Author, Waking the Tiger
“Gabor Maté, M.D., skillfully blends recent advances in biomedicine with the personal stories of his patients to provide empowering insights into how deeply developmental experiences shape our health, behavior, attitudes, and relationships. A must read.”
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.
Author, The Biology of Belief
“In this important book, Dr. Gabor Maté combines a passionate examination of his patients’ life histories with lucid explanations of the science behind mind-body unity.”
Richard Earle, Ph.D.
“When The Body Says No is full of startling insights and hard won poetry.”
“I was deeply drawn into this compelling and meticulously researched book, particularly by the transcribed interviews in which patients are allowed to speak in their own voices. If you have ever doubted the link between childhood pain and organic disease, these deeply poignant stories might just convince you. There is something about Maté, perhaps his ability to listen respectfully and react compassionately, that makes his patients open up their souls to him. What he hears is a cri du coeur, a lifetime of unexpressed psychic pain erupting through the body in fatal disease… His book is a plea for understanding of the deeper dynamics that contribute to disease. His ‘seven A’s of healing’ (acceptance, awareness, anger, autonomy, attachment, assertion, affirmation) provide a blueprint for greater emotional and bodily health. Full of complex and powerful truths, When the Body Says No has the potential to change medical thinking – and perhaps even save lives.”
“The interviewees’ stories are often touching and haunting. . . . Maté carefully explains the biological mechanisms that are activated when stress and trauma exert a powerful influence on the body. . . . Readers will be grateful for the final chapter . . . in which Maté presents an open formula for healing and the prevention of illness from hidden stress.”
Quill & Quire
“Your book unequivocally changed my life by giving me a new lease on it… You allowed me articulate a complex problem that had exhausted my mind, and then my body. So, from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul, thank you for that.”
“After reading [When the Body Says No] I bought six more, one for each of my siblings. I told them that it was the best gift I could ever give them. And it would be the best gift they could ever give themselves to read it. Even if they don’t maybe someone in some future generation will read it and carry on the healing.”
“…I have just finished reading When the Body Says No and have been absolutely blown away by the personal significance it has for me. Parts of this book have been like reading a personal history of my childhood and my subsequent life…the stories are different, but the feelings I had and their impact are identical. I now have a crystal-clear picture of why, at age 33 and in very good physical health, I have developed breast cancer. Your book has helped me to better recognize behaviours and patterns of which I have been aware my whole life, but only vaguely. Until now I have been masking so many things and while knowing this on some level, have at the same time chose to believe that I was doing just fine… My body is most certainly speaking to me, and I am now prepared to fully listen. I feel so empowered and grateful for this experience, as crazy as that may sound.”
“I’ve never written a fan letter to an author before, but I just finished When the Body Says No and want to thank you for it… I appreciate the way you use scientific studies and anectodal stories to back up your arguments, and the way you explore the questions that arise, for example, positive vs. negative thinking and anger vs. rage. I found both those discussions extremely useful… I’ve still got lots of work to do. But how liberating it is to let go of the pressure to think ‘positively’ all the time — even if my friends and family don’t always like the new me!”
“…I believe this book has to go farther than just being recommended (which I have to a number of my patients and colleagues). It seems to me this book should be a study guide, a basis of small group discussion… I’d love to see your book as required reading for every health care provider, with short videos made to educate patients as to the importance of nurturance in their lives and that of their children. I know I’m sounding highly enthusiastic and evangelical, yet I feel your book for me has shed a light on what is possible.”
“In trying to think why I found this book so moving, I come back again and again to the word ‘compassion’. The book is full of it. Every page seems to speak of a deep understanding of the vulnerability and fragility of the human psyche. I am currently working through the darkest time in my life and I recognize more and more the need for deep compassion (for myself, for others) as the essential lever for healing. Your writing speaks so richly of that, and I thank you. It has given me much to think about, especially in terms of my own life-long patterns of dealing with stress…”
“I began reading When the Body Says No this morning and have had to put it down after three chapters as my heart is pounding so and I keep crying and feeling scared and mostly ever so grateful to have found you and your book. To find a doctor who hears me is a blessing. Thank you, even after only three chapters I am comforted. I will read on and reread and reread and soon be well. I so appreciate the support.”
“Only this, that I have waited fifteen years to read these words that articulate so concisely and compassionately all I have learned as therapist and now program director in a cancer support centre.”
“I have just begun to read your latest book. On page twenty you sum up much of my thesis on this relationship between trauma and Alzheimer’s disease with the words ‘The fundamental problem is not the external stress but an environmentally conditioned helplessness that permits neither of the normal responses of fight or flight.’ I believe that Alzheimer’s disease could frequently be avoided were we to pay attention to our, and others’, emotional pain, seeing it as the precursor of physical pain. Thank you for writing your book. I believe that it is a groundbreaking offering to the public, the medical profession…and to those working in psychoneuroimmunology!
“I’ve just finished reading When the Body Says No and think that I must have set some sort of land speed reading record, which is helpful since it’s a library copy and I want to read it a second time before returning it… I have rheumatoid arthritis. It both amused and bemused me to see the struggles I wrote about — feeling reticent about seeking help, resistance to taking meds, not voicing complaints — as being ‘rheumatoid characteristics’. I had a funny jostling of my ego on reading that description — a combination of ‘Oh, thank God! It’s not just me!’ and ‘Hey, you mean I’m typical?!’ It was a definite relief to read that something I have believed all along about the biochemical components of emotions, illness and healing has a basis in scientific fact. I’d like to give your book to my rheumatologist, who has yet to ask me anything about my personal life or family history. Again, thank you for writing the book. It’s already had a powerful effect in my life.”
“I am a pharmacist who is very interested in how biography creates biology. I have always believed that disease is the body’s way of telling us something. Even as a pharmacist I believe medication is rarely the first choice to heal yourself (of course I keep that thought to myself at work). Your book confirms my belief. I will be recommending your book to people I see at work and also my family. You will help a lot of people.”
“You entered my life as I was seeking help. Your book has been a catalyst of change, of growth, of self-awareness and self transformation for me. Thank you. I weep as I write for all those you mentioned in your book, who now provide insight for those of us who follow. You’ve honoured their lives.”
“After losing my sister to breast cancer when she was only 37, eleven years ago, I was left stunned with only vague ideas and theories of howthis disease could have drowned my boisterous, energetic, young sister. Your book helped me to partially unravel the mystery as to why I was left standing (weakly), while she lay in the ground. Her life reads much like a case history of one of your patients….I witnessed and experienced the early troubles at home, her choice of an unsavory husband, and the terrible decline and pain she suffered… I miss her more than ever, and just wanted to tell you how much your wisdom, intelligence, and kind warm heart have meant to me. You see the emotional truths and are able to express them. I’m just starting to grasp the ideas about anger, and how it can be expressed in a healthy way.”
“I cannot tell you how this book hit home. I was just recently diagnosed with MS and every personal account I read in your book sounds like me. Although I spend my life lecturing, writing and teaching others how to get well using nutritional medicine, lifestyle changes, spiritual growth etc., your book has touched my heart.”
“I have just finished reading your book and I feel like I have once again found my centre… I am so appreciative that you listened to your call to write. Reading your book affirmed many of my values, brought them into awareness for me. A sort of personal inventory. And so I say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ To myself I say ‘go for it, go for it, go for it.’”
“Thank you for sharing your words and wisdom. I’m on the very last chapter and don’t want to read any further for fear that it will end.”
“Wow. This book of yours has been one of the best if not best pieces art/literature/insight into health and humanity I’ve ever read… It was the first time that I considered seriously the mind body connection… I had never heard of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) and found this to be very interesting. I found it very difficult to read parts of your book at times, not because the content was hard to understand, but because I could see myself reflected in the stories. Which is exactly why I needed to read it… My body was screaming ‘no’ at me my whole life but I never listened until recently. I felt like these changes are helping to transform me and continue to every day. Your book was very beneficial for me and I am very grateful that it is available for others. I hope that it helps many other people.”
“Thanks for writing this book, for you have helped to save my life, the lives of generations in my family, and the lives of many communities I serve or influence. I would be remiss if I did not express my gratitude for the great wisdom you shared.”