Healing Journey

The Healing Journey – book by Alaistair Cunningham

Alastair Cunningham:

I had two main groups of people in mind while writing this book. The first were cancer patients and their families. In particular, the book is aimed at the thoughtful patient, the person who wants to consider the evidence and make his or her own decisions about what can usefully be done to aid in the struggle to stay well. It will not appeal to someone who simply wants to adopt a scheme of self treatment that is advocated strongly but not supported by any proof or rationale for its effectiveness; there is, unfortunately, a great deal of this sort of advice on the market. The book should also help xiv x Preface to the First Edition family members and friends of patients who want to be informed about possible additional modes of care for their loved ones.

The second main group for whom this book is written includes the many physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, pastoral care counsellors, members of other helping professions and laypersons who are interested in trying to help people with cancer or other chronic diseases. For those members of this group who are sceptical about nonmedical interventions, I hope this book demonstrates that many of the things patients can do to help themselves make good sense. For those who are already persuaded of this, I hope it provides a touchstone against which to evaluate your own

Will this book be useful to people with problems other than cancer? I think so, although my own clinical experience is largely with cancer patients and their families. Rational self-help is mainly about strengthening the body’s defences against disorder by promoting a balance between all parts of oneself and the environment.

These principles apply to all of us, whether or not we have a “disease”; indeed, most of us could improve this balance, and enjoy better health than we usually do.

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