Khatri seamlessly blends the scientific and the spiritual in an unflinching look at MS and its effect on the minds and bodies of patients.
In Healing the Soul: Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope, and the Power of Mind, Bhupendra O. Khatri shares important lessons he has learned from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and their caregivers over the years. Khatri is convinced that a healing touch and a positive attitude are the two most important tools a physician can utilize. With powerful storytelling skills, he offers poignant and unforgettable tales of patients who maintained a strong spirit even as their bodies were failing.
Khatri, director of the Regional Multiple Sclerosis Center at the Center for Neurological Disorders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said he felt compelled to write a book containing his patients’ stories in the hope that they would inspire others. A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit MS research. MS is a disease of the central nervous system with symptoms like loss of vision, loss of balance, and paralysis that come on quickly—often attacking healthy, active young adults. Although researchers have come far in understanding and treating the disease, the cause is still unknown.
Each chapter of Healing the Soul is organized around a story of a particular patient with some information, personal stories, or anecdotes to enhance the main theme. The most powerful story is about a woman named Chris who was part of a double-blind study for a new drug. She began to experience a miraculous recovery. After the pharmaceutical company recalled the drug, Khatri discovered that Chris had been one of the subjects receiving a placebo. This convinced him of the power of positive thinking in the healing process.
Khatri believes that the current health-care system pressures physicians to take on too many clients and to become overly dependent on technology for answers. He urges young physicians to take time to connect with patients. Healing the Soul provides a “reminder that there is no substitute for observation, listening and touching if you truly want to heal your patients’ souls, as well as their bodies.”
Khatri seamlessly blends the scientific and the spiritual. The section exploring how drugs are used in the treatment of MS is heavy with medical jargon; however, the language in the book is accessible overall. Some of his stories about his own family seem disconnected from the main themes and his professed purpose for writing the book. The depth of research is excellent. Khatri brings together information from his own observations, thorough interviews, and additional research.
Healing the Soul provides an unflinching look at MS and its effect on the minds and bodies of patients. Khatri shares information about the disease and how physicians and other caregivers can pay special attention to the spiritual needs of people living with MS. Healing the Soul would be a perfect supplement to the education of neurologists and others in medical fields. The book would also be beneficial in pastoral care and counseling courses for clergy, and in training sessions for staff and volunteers in hospice care.
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