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When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress [Paperback]

Gabor Mate M.D.
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2004

In this accessible and groundbreaking book--filled with the moving stories of real people--medical doctor and bestselling author Gabor Maté shows that emotion and psychological stress play a powerful role in the onset of chronic illness, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis and many others, even Alzheimer's disease.

When the Body Says No is an impressive contribution to research on the physiological connection between life's stresses and emotions and the body systems governing nerves, immune apparatus and hormones. With great compassion and erudition, Gabor Maté demystifies medical science and, as he did in Scattered Minds, invites us all to be our own health advocates.

Frequently Bought Together

When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress + In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction + Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder
Price For All Three: CDN$ 49.71

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The potential for wholeness and health resides in all of us, affirms Dr. Gabor Maté in When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress. But disease is often the body's way of saying "no" to what the mind cannot or will not acknowledge, warns the author, who quotes the latest scientific findings about the roles stress and individual emotional makeup play in the causation of cancer and other chronic illnesses. Maté is a medical doctor and bestselling author of Scattered Minds. This work offers stories from his own patients in the belief that insight is more helpful to people than advice. Natalie, for example, develops multiple sclerosis after years of marriage to a drunken and emotionally abusive husband. In another case, a 74-year-old man diagnosed with cancer experiences spontaneous remission. His own body mobilized formidable immune responses to defeat the disease. "If we gain the ability to look into ourselves with honesty, compassion and with unclouded vision, we can identify the ways we need to take care of ourselves," says Maté, who invites us all to be our own health advocates by pursuing emotional competence in seven areas: acceptance, awareness, anger, autonomy, attachment, assertion, and affirmation. If a link exists between emotions and psychology, he says, not to inform people of it will deprive them of a powerful tool. --Carolyn Leitch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“His medical background and lucid writing style make complex biological processes accessible to non-scientific readers.” -- The Gazette (Montreal)

“Maté carefully explains the biological mechanisms that are activated when stress and trauma exert a powerful influence on the body, and he backs up his claims with compelling evidence from the field…. Both the lay and specialist reader 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.” -- Quill & Quire

“[An] enthralling exploration of the relationship between stress and disease. . . Maté probes deeply into the life histories and psyches of [his] many patients. . . . What emerges is nothing short of a revelation. . . . When the Body Says No has the power to change medical thinking.” -- The Edmonton Journal

Praise for Scattered Minds:
“Rare and refreshing. . . . Here you will find family stories, an accessible description of brain development and sound information. You will also find hope.” -- The Globe and Mail

“Maté has done us a great service. . . . People who do not yet know they have [ADD] will have their lives transformed.” -- Canadian Medical Association Journal

“An utterly sensible and deeply moving book written for a general audience.” -- The Vancouver Sun

“One of the most comprehensive and accessible books about Attention Deficit Disorder.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking May 4 2004
By A Customer
I hope anyone who wants to explore how the mind can adversely effect the body will find time to read this book. I would have wished for more discussion and illumination on the subject of healing - however, what there is, is good. Many times I found myself pausing and reflecting on new and different ways of seeing and approaching life.
There are many salient points worth re-reading. The authour discusses the physiology of stress, and explores psychological areas, such as assigning "blame." Often the reader is asked to consider the child that proceeds the adult. When all is considered: a thought provoking, disturbing, and illuminating work.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-saver Jan. 9 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I collapsed from burnout and a range of auto-immune disorders, Mate's book was the one resource that compassionately explained the emotional roots of these and many other illnesses, including cancer and MS, and offered practical directions for change. This one book gave me the permission to finally listen to my body and choose a less stressful life. I am now both healthier and far more relaxed than ever before.

Mate, a physician and former medical editor of the Globe and Mail, writes eloquently from his own experience and from his intensive work with patients. He offers a wholistic perspective, a refreshing alternative to the medical model and genetics. Throughout, his compassion, wisdom and self-critical humor shine through.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of information and insight Jan. 5 2004
By A Customer
Gabor Mate took a difficult subject (PNI, emotions, and the "cause" of illness) and made it understandable, readable, and very insightful. Whether you are just at the start of your journey in this field or if , like me, you have a library full of Myss, Hay, Chopra, and Brennan, you will find wonderful stories that you won't be able to forget and an adundant amount of research that will help you as you heal your life. I highly recommend it and am buying two copies to lend out, there is no way I will let go of my copy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent insight Feb. 28 2010
By aycee
Wonderfully written and insightful, Dr. Gabor Mate is both humble and knowledgeable. I work as a naturopathic doctor and professor, and regularly recommend this book to the patients and students that I work with. It helps to show how our unconscious belief systems are reflected in our bodies and is an excellent explanation of the mind-body connection. Dr. Mate is a gifted author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful, useful book March 23 2010
I first heard of this book because the author was interviewed on Democracy Now. I especially liked the humility of the author, an MD who referred to his own unconsciousness about the complex and multidimensional relationship between his body and his mind. I am enjoying the much enhanced experience of actually reading the book at a slow pace, not because it is dense or difficult, but because I find myself liking to reflect on each chapter before I charge on. I find that in the reflection process between chapters, I discover many curious ways that the personal stories and observations about his patients apply to me or to people that I know. This book has clarified and codified in useful ways my own observations about the relationships between the illnesses that I and others have and the abiding life assumptions that attend to them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent forward Thinking June 3 2010
I am still in the midst of reading the book, but thoughly agree with what the good doctor has to say. Too bad the medical profession as a whole is so slow to learn from their collegues. I am in an ongoing tussle right now with my own doctor (who incidentally teaches at the local med school) that things that have happened to me in the past can effect me now in a physical way. I am looking forward to reading the seven "A's" and how I can improve my life. In the end I think that is what it is all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mate is a true canadian treasure Sept. 1 2013
By Krays
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an eye opening book about the world that we live in and the impact on our physical being.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book July 22 2013
By unhappy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone suffering from a serious illness and wonders why, this book is an eye opener that helps explain the mind body connection and personality traits that set us up for that illness. This book played a pivotal role in my cancer reversal and has changed my life for the better. I strongly recommend the book, Dr Mate is a genius.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Gabor Mate gives me more answers to the questions I have long had...
Astounding research on the part of this good doctor. Heartbreaking in that it hits so close to home:(
Published 16 days ago by pauline
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A book that every person should read.
Published 3 months ago by Carol Sherin
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful
I heard Dr Mate speak last spring, left the auditorium and bought this book. I wasn't disappointed and since then in my job as a therapist I have recommended it to many clients. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard G. Schwindt
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabor Mate is a genius
This man knows the inside stuff we all wish we could put our finger on and put into words. He is an amazing mind and a compassionate heart... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tom P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing.
This book explains why my body was doing what it was doing. It was crashing just like my mind. It lead me it the direction to get professional help.
Published 5 months ago by Curtis Volk
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read...
This book should be required reading for health care providers, social workers, counsellors, coaches, and therapists - and also anyone who wants to create total health in their... Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. Bentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Read
This is well written, very informative and helpful. If you live a stressful life and wonder if it is impacting your health the answer is YES. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jamie
3.0 out of 5 stars a very good contribution
Dr. Gabor makes a very convincing case for the mindbody connection between the psyche and physical wellness. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Edward C. Labossiere
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I love the explanation of most of our diseases. Stress from childhood plays such a huge part in our life
Published 16 months ago by Pauline Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling sick and don't know why...
This man is a genius for taking the obvious and stating it so powerfully.
Western medicine sucks at acknowledging the mind/body connection.
Dr. Read more
Published 20 months ago by liberta
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