Bernie Siegel and Yosaif August have based their book on three main principles:
1. You have the right to heal, no matter what your life experience has been.
2. You can create a healing team.
3. You can learn to become the master of your life's time.
This book is divided into three main sections:
Part I: A Patient's Survival Guide - This section explains how you can form a healing team, protect yourself in a variety of ways (including making sure the people caring for you wash their hands) and speaking up about anything you feel might be a mistake. Chapter 3 explains what you need to know to prepare for a hospital stay. I liked the list of healing objects you can take into the hospital to make you feel less stressed. This could range from a favorite quilt to favorite music, photos, healthy snacks and your laptop computer. This section addresses issues like having a private room or sharing a room, dealing with aromas and intrusions.
Part II: Healing Strategies for Family, Friends, and Caregivers - This is a section for those who are looking after someone who is healing.
Part III: Healing Ways - An interesting section on bedside yoga, breathing exercises, stretching and massage. Instructions are given for helping the healing process with the healing power of touch.
There is an extensive resource section with ideas like "bedscapes" that can be put up on a wall to help patients feel less closed into a room.
Bernie Siegel and Yosaif August have created a beautiful gift for patients and caregivers. I also hope doctors and nurses will read this book so they can observe care from the patient's perspective.