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Medical Bookshelf

East and West Combine in an Uneasy Union

June 18, 1987|ROSELLE M. LEWIS

Creating Health: Beyond Prevention, Towards Perfection by Deepak Chopra MD (Houghton Mifflin: $15.95).

In the continued debate about mind over matter, Norman Cousins's "Anatomy of an Illness" popularized non-traditional medicine, encouraging people to heal themselves through laughter, right thinking and other techniques. However, Deepak Chopra, an Indian physician trained in his country who finds U.S. medical practices sadly wanting, takes matters one step further by insisting on the triumph of mind over medical traditions.

In short chapters, based on personal observations, Chopra discusses the joys of acupuncture, biorhythm, transcendental meditation and vegetarianism.

Most troubling are Chopra's attempts to correlate right thinking with case after case of cancer remission. Citing only one obscure 1975 statistical study, he relies on subjective experiences that fail to convince.

Dedicated to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is extensively quoted, this book, perhaps most useful in its poetic looks into Indian religion and philosophy, represents an uneasy meeting of East and West.

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