The instinct to heal

Following on from the anticancer new way of life book, I’d like to share another powerful book from David Servan-Schreiber. You can tell I am a fan!

This time, he is talking about his experiences as a psychiatric doctor. Isn’t it enlightening that a psychiatrist would advocate a message that rather than taking prozac, there are other natural ways of improving our mental health? I personally think his words bear a lot of meaning. It’s not just because he is a doctor but clearly his professional background would contradict all his beliefs. He has obviously been trained to prescribe strong drugs but he is looking beyond that and he is telling us what we can do besides prozac. I can imagine that it is a huge risk to preach something that your peers would brush off as not wellfodunded.

From his experiences abroad, including countries like India, he cites many cases where he learnt and observed the wonders of natural healing. Simple things like getting enough sunlight, owning a pet and taking omega-3 fish oils would really go an extra mile to fight against depression, stress and anxiety.

The book has been translated into several languages. My hubby obviously has a copy in German but I couldn’t have possibly understood everything and be able to reap the benefits. So I’ll stick to my English version for now.

All in all, I have been glued to this book. It really helps to put things into perspective. It takes you far beyond the effectiveness of pills and explores the natural and simple things which give us inner satisfaction. I’ve come to appreciate simple things that I could do improve the inner me. It doesn’t have to involve big spendings neither. Simply by going out to get fresh air, doing sports and getting a good dose of sunshine would do a world of good for the body and mind. Equally important for our human nature is the feeling of being needed, to have a sense of purpose. I hope that you’ll get a copy to fully understand the benefits.

I wish you a healthy state of mind.



  1. Oh dear, I would love to get a copy of this. I always amaze my husband because taking a painkiller is my last resort. I grew up with my grandmother who taught us to be tough when we’re sick or having a headache. She would just tell us to drink a lot of water and eat a vegetable soup or she would give us a cup of hot herbal tea which I hated the taste but it really helped. And even until now, I have this belief that our body has a capability of healing itself. When I delivered our daughters, my nurse told me my pain tolerance is so high for refusing to take some pain medication. I think having a healthy diet is always the key and lots and lots of water.

  2. I’m like you, taking medicines is a last resort. You are are trooper for withstanding the birth pain to that degree, hat off! And yes, grandmothers are the best with those traditional natural healing ways. And isn’t western medicine from plants anyway?
    Hope you get the book. You will love it. And you are right, we have such a great defence mechanism. We just need to treat it right. Thanks for sharing Gladys. I love your captivating stories.

  3. Dear Marie, I’m sure I will get this book, I will check if there’s a Portuguese version.
    I totally agree with this approach : taking pills it’s not my thing and I always try to do avoid it (me and my kids).
    What really makes me feel good when I need a boost of energy is jogging and go to the beach 🙂 when I came back home there’s a new me!
    I say all the time that I don’t need pills to sleep because my boys keep me exhausted during the day and I do the rest by my own!
    Great post my dearest, your blog is such a piece of heaven!!
    Sending you lots of love!


  4. Hey Isabel,
    I’m glad to hear that jogging does bring the ‘feel good factor’ in you. And what a great approach not relying on pills, that’s great! I really hope that you will find a Portuguese version. If not, I’m sure you’ll cope just fine with the English version. Your English is so good Isabel. And btw, I’m an English teacher, just in case you ever need help. Obrigado. xoxo

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