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Excerpted from Self-Nurture by Alice Domar. Copyright © 2000 by Alice Domar and Henry Dreher. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"What is mind-body medicine? Any method in which the mind is mobilized in the treatment of a physical disorder."

Alice Domar, Self-Nurture, Part 4

So take a month or two to work on each of these issues, skipping any areas that are not relevant to you, while spending additional weeks or months on facets of your life that call out for care and attention. As you shift your focus to different realms of your life (i.e., from the body to spirituality to creativity), try to sustain transformations you’ve made from previous realms. Imagine that you are adding layers of positive change to your life; that is how self-nurture can become a natural, on-going process. Once you commit to self-nurture, you become empowered to solve stubborn problems and relieve your own suffering.

I have seen it time and again: women who five with passive, self-negating thoughts such as "Who will love me?" "Who will solve my problems?" Whether they suffer from job burnout, marital discord, loneliness, infertility, financial pressures, boredom, flagging self-esteem, chronic pain, or illness, problems are resolved and pain is relieved once they commit themselves to self-nurture. Our work together empowers them to shift from this external orientation to an internal one: "How can I nurture myself?" It's a profoundly healing transformation. This book is a hands-on guide enabling you to make this shift in every facet of your life.

For the past decade, I have led the women's health programs at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Division of Behavioral Medicine at Harvard Medical School. I have directed research and group programs for women dealing with infertility, menopause, and PMS. On a group or individual basis, I have treated women with every type of women's health problem. I currently head Harvard's newly formed Mind-Body Center for Women’s Health, at the Mind-Body Medical Institute, a unique effort to study and provide mind-body medicine to women.

What is mind-body medicine? Any method in which the mind is mobilized in the treatment of a physical disorder. The most common mind-body techniques are relaxation (including varieties of meditation, imagery, yoga, and deep breathing); cognitive therapy (transforming negative thought patterns); emotional expression; skills for communicating and coping; and spiritual practices, including prayer.

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