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When exploring the fascinating stress-disease connection, Dr. Gabor Maté's insightful book "When the Body Says No" offers a profound examination of how our bodies communicate with us.

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection – by Dr. Gabor Maté

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We know that chronic stress is bad for us because of what it does to our cortisol levels, so what is the rest of this book about?

Dr. Gabor Maté is a medical doctor, heavily specialized in the impact of psychological trauma on long term physical health.

Here, he examies—as the subtitle promises—the connection between stress and disease. As it turns out, it’s not that simple.

We learn not just about the impact that stress has on our immune system (including increasing the risk of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis), the cardiovascular system, and various other critical systems fo the body… But also:

  • how environmental factors and destructive coping styles contribute to the onset of disease, and
  • how traumatic events can warp people’s physical perception of pain
  • how certain illnesses are associated with particular personality types.

This latter is not “astrology for doctors”, by the way. It has more to do with what coping strategies people are likely to employ, and thus what diseases become more likely to take hold.

The book has practical advice too, and it’s not just “reduce your stress”. Ideally, of course, indeed reduce your stress. But that’s a) obvious b) not always possible. Rather, Dr. Maté explains which coping strategies result in the least prevalence of disease.

In terms of writing style, the book is very much easy-reading, but be warned that (ironically) this isn’t exactly a feel-good book. There are lot of tragic stories in it. But, even those are very much well-worth reading.

Bottom line: if you (and/or a loved one) are suffering from stress, this book will give you the knowledge and understanding to minimize the harm that it will otherwise do.

Click here to check out When The Body Says No, and take good care of yourself; you’re important!

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