The Magic Feather Effect

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

This is an educational read regarding alternative medicine. I liked how it showed things from a scientific perspective. I would recommend it to anyone interested in alternative medicine. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
Was this review helpful?
Acupuncture, chiropractic, tai chi, qi gong, and energy healing are investigated by an author with a background in journalism to determine their medical efficacy, contrasting and comparing to accepted western medical options. Speaking with patients and practitioners, at times receiving treatment, she considers the placebo effect on psychosomatic pain, and finds that western doctors are becoming more accepting of the mind / body connection. American hospitals are incorporating reiki into their recovery programs, and German hospitals are adding Psychosomatic Centers as part of their rehabilitation programs. Through observation, interviews, demonstrations, and studies, Warner does not prove or disprove effectiveness of various alternative treatments, but allows people to share their success stories, leaving dear reader open to the possibilities, by the end of the book.

I received a digital copy of this enlightening book from the publisher Simon & Schuster through NetGalley. I highly recommend this book by a reputable journalist if you’re at all interested in alternative medicine for pain management or wellness in general, or learning more about our world.
Was this review helpful?
This book provides a fascinating, clearly written discussion of a journalist’s exploration of alternative medicine. The author provides a very balanced view of what works based on a combination of interviews, personal experiences, and review of relevant scientific literature.

I don’t want to discuss the well-reasoned conclusions she draws because part of the fun of reading this book is seeing how she unravels the mysteries of various claims about healing. I loved the distinction she made between illness and disease. 

Reading this book has given me a much better understanding of the placebo effect and of which conditions might benefit from alternative medicine and which conditions are likely better treated conventionally. It also reinforced something I had already noticed—my outcomes are much better when I work with doctors or healers who seem confident and kind and with whom I have a good rapport. 

The author discusses many scientific studies throughout the text, and she provides generous references for each chapter in the Endnotes. An index is also included at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in biopsychosocial medicine, alternative healthcare, the placebo effect, or healing. I think it would be very helpful for both practitioners and patients.

I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review. Because I have not seen the final published version, I cannot comment on the final editing and formatting.
Was this review helpful?
Alternative medicine has always interested me. I believe doctors are too quick to prescribe drugs (and then more drugs to counteract the side effects of those drugs) rather than suggesting lifestyle changes and less invasive, holistic treatments to their patients. This book discusses several alternative medicine methods and how they developed, including stories from practitioners and patients. While I don't personally believe in all of the methods covered here, I do believe positive effects can come from alternative medicine, even if those are at times a result of placebo effect. 

Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Magic Feather Effect.

This was a fascinating and informative look at alternative therapies that include acupuncture and tai chi and how these less traditional methods of healing promote therapeutic benefits and positive mental health.

The author is honest about her skepticism; she's pro-science all the way, but she's open to the possibilities of such alternative methods. She meets patients who have benefited and medical doctors who are pushing to include such therapies alongside traditional medicine.

She meets healers who can see and mold 'healing energies;' she speaks with survivors of traumatic injuries who have healed themselves using non-traditional methods and she even journeys to the religious shrine of Lourdes and speaks to those who have been healed by the curative waters.

In the end, the author realizes traditional doctors can learn from alternative therapy, to listen to their patients' concerns, to be more patient and kind. She is quick to point out that the kindness alternative therapists provide may also provide influential healing effects that are difficult to measure but no less important.

I am a proponent of proven alternative therapies like acupuncture and tai chi and just like the book states, positive mind-body connection and behavior conditioning is just as powerful in healing and well-being, in many ways, more so than just drugs and physical therapy alone.

It is vital to point out that most of these therapies have helped those with chronic pain, not with terminal or progressive illnesses like cancer.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the mind-body connection, not just for chronic ills but to better understand the importance of taking care of one's mental health.

You don't need to feel pain to be in pain.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

This book offers an interesting look at a few types of alternative medicine from both patient and practitioner perspectives. I appreciated how the author presented interviews and information on conventional and alternative practices. She clearly states her biases but does a great job offering research and patient stories so readers can develop their own opinion. I enjoyed reading about her experiences and openness to try different therapies.

Readers will learn a lot about the placebo effect and the brain's role in pain. I finished the book with more questions than answers about why conventional medicine programs don't incorporate information on how to honor a patient's healing journey. I would have liked to see more statistics about alternative medicine, interviews and patient experiences with naturopathic doctors, and the role of functional medicine.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
An important eye opening look at alternative medicine an path many follow.This is a book that requires us to keep an open mind and learn to be a seeker of new forms of medicine.An important enlightening read .#netgalley
Was this review helpful?
Melanie Warner has written a fascinating book on alternative medicine. It will challenge your ideas on alternative medicine and you should have a open mind when you read this book. It was written well and I enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?