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Summary

In When the Body Says No, physician and writer Gabor Maté explores the mind-body link and the connection between stress and disease. Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a relationship between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality?”

Drawing on scientific research and years of experience as a practicing physician, Maté provides answers to these and other important questions about the role that chronic stress and one’s individual emotional make-up play in an array of common diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBS, and multiple sclerosis.

Maté carefully explains the biological mechanisms that are activated when stress and trauma exert a powerful influence on the body. He illustrates his ideas with interviews of famous people who've experienced chronic illness (Ronald Reagan, Gilda Radner, Stephen Hawking, and Pamela Wallin), interspersed with intimate life stories collected through his years of practice. Chapters deal with stress, emotional repression, hormones, the "cancer personality," the biology of relationships, and the power of negative thinking. He backs up his claims with compelling evidence from the field, citing many controlled studies that have demonstrated correlations between psychosocial factors and disease.

Maté emphasizes that to decipher the hidden factors in chronic illness is not to blame the victim, and the book is free of assumptions that all illnesses are the result of ego issues. Rather, he provides the opportunity to address the unintentional transmission of stress and anxiety through the body and across generations.

Dr. Maté has a gift for making complicated medical findings accessible for the lay-person, while still relevant to the professional. Both will be grateful for the final chapter, "The Seven A's of Healing," in which Maté presents an open formula for healing and the prevention of illness resulting from hidden stress.

©2003 Gabor Maté (P)2011 Post Hypnotic Press, Inc

Critic reviews

“This is a most important book, both for patient and physician. It could save your life.” (Peter Levine, author of 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 of The Biology of Belief)
“When The Body Says No is full of startling insights and hard won poetry.” ( Toronto Star)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

stress will kill

Written by a doctor, this book is complex but compelling. Mate convinced me to make changes to how I lived and gave me some insight into my own health problems. Recommend for auto-immune disease sufferers who want to make life changes.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss
  • Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
  • 25-12-16

Wow!

This book is amazing. Everyone should read it. It is at the cutting edge of joining psychology (which when I did the a level I found distinctly unscientific) and biology to explain the previously unexplainable.

So many diseases I have been taught were inherited or caused by some carcinogen agent, but really, the things doctors often pronounce with such confidence are so poorly understood. This book actually fills in the gaps and shows why certain people get certain illnesses.

Keep reading to the very end. If you have one of the diseases mentioned in this book, you may start to feel blamed if you don't make it to the final chapters which explain beautifully that disease is basically a psycho-social phenomenon, where the person is a product of many factors previously out of their control.

The good news is once there is knowledge and insight, healing can begin.

Fascinating stuff.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting factual descriptive book without it being too heavy

I found this book extremely interesting. I found it engaging and extremely informative. It is written in a way that allows you to understand the biological content without simplifying it.

I learnt a lot from this book and found it very helpful

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Perhaps my Audible app was being glitchy, but...

...there were several moments throughout the book where I was hearing the exact same passages more than once. Maybe the book was just repeating itself but it left me feeling like the audio was corrupted or something since the audio passages I heard repeat themselves were exactly the same (I mean, they weren’t the same passages being read a second time, they were copied and reused it seems)

Aside from the repetition problem (?), the book was very interesting and would still recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow!!

This book is FANTASTIC!!! I highly recommend it, a MUST READ for greater understand how stress, childhood trauma and development can lead to disease! Eye opener. Grateful to the Author! 🙏💜❤💜

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gabore Mate is Amazing

A book full of wisdom wonderfully narrated by Gabors Son Daniel. I loved every minitue of this wonderful book thank you.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A really great book!

This book is like a breath of fresh air offering useful information regarding the mind-body connection and its links to disease and sickness, a topic very much ridiculed and seen as unimportant by most so called 'modern' medical and scientific organisations and academics, in spite of the overwhelming studies & researches about trauma & stress and their effect on the human body and human health (mind-body connection right there!), studies which, ironically, are published by these same 'modern medical & scientific' organisations & academics.

As a childhood abuse survivor and someone who's had a lot to deal with in terms of mental & physical illness (anxiety disorder, depression, autoimmune disorders, GERD etc.), the hearing about the connection between childhood trauma its effect on my adult physical health is eye-opening and life-changing!

I really really recommend this book!

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Excellent content but too many chapters repeated

Valuable content, narrated in an engaging style. The only downside is that mid-way through the book, it seems like entire chapters have been re-recorded verbatim, which makes for inefficient listening. It would do with a good edit to remove the repetitive content.

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wonderful

I loved it.i really connected with this book,i think this is the future of medicine,I hope to put this into my life and make the changes.i highly recommend this book for everybody.

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repetitious

I so wanted this book to be helpful, for anxiety, I made a mistake it wasn't, It's more a book about cancer.So repetitious I finally gave up on it, Found it totally boring. sorry I just don't agree with the other reviews.

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  • MMH Toronto
  • 21-03-17

Finally a wholistic view of humans ...

The book discusses the duplicity of humans as mind and body and elaborates on the impact of suppressed emotions on our physical health. Stress will express itself in disease if not dealt with effectively.

An interesting read. I felt the author only went 2/3 of the way though. The spiritual and religious side of us and the interaction with God need to be considered in researching this topic. That - in my view - is what makes a "whole" person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • YANIV PERETZ
  • 20-05-18

Very good book.

The narrator explain both on intuitive and medical forms the impact of stress on general health.
just wondering if it could be shorter book.

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  • Rebecca O.
  • 14-06-17

A bit long but redeemed in the end

Enjoyed it at first, a bit long winded in the middle section - too many chapters with nothing much new. But loved the end - worth reading to the end, could skip a few middle chapters!
Excellent narration.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful