Brave New Medicine
A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness
by Cynthia Li
Pub Date 01 Sep 2019
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In this revelatory memoir, doctor Cynthia Li shares the truth about her struggle with a disabling autoimmune illness, the limitations of Western medicine, and what sufferers need to know to truly begin healing-mind, body, and spirit.
Cynthia Li had it all: a successful career in medicine, a loving marriage, children on the horizon. But it all came crashing down when, within months of having her first child, she developed mysterious symptoms that baffled her doctors. After two years of "normal" test results with no relief from Western medicine, Li was no longer well enough to practice. Her quest for health became a solo odyssey-she had to find a way to heal herself.
Brave New Medicine details the disabling autoimmune crisis that forced Li to question her own medical training and embrace the integrative principles of functional medicine to unlock her body's innate healing capacity . With the insight of an MD who was able to dissect and heal the root causes of her own autoimmune illness-one that conventional medicine said was incurable and irreversible-Li relates her story, including the emotional and spiritual shifts that occurred while investigating her true self, beyond illness and the conditions of the body.
Millions of people are affected by chronic health conditions in the United States. But while issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) and fibromyalgia are receiving more and more attention, patients struggling with these mysterious autoimmune conditions are still dismissed by doctors and scientists in the established medical community. This is the harsh reality that doctor-turned- "difficult patient" Li faced firsthand when she developed autoimmune thyroiditis and chronic hypothyroidism (or Hashimoto's).
Drawing on ancient healing arts, cutting-edge science, evolutionary biology, and the power of laughter and pleasure, this memoir offers support, validation, and a new perspective for anyone dealing with chronic illness or another health crisis. By sharing her own autoimmunity struggle, Li reveals the insider knowledge you need to start your own healing journey.
“I love this book, a harrowing and somehow also charming account by a brilliant doctor of how she healed her body, mind, spirit and soul from a debilitating autoimmune disease. After her doctors had given up on her, with a husband and two little children at home, she broke out of the constraints of Western medicine, and found her way home to health, renewal, and her own true self. This beautifully written prescriptive book is going to change and even save people’s lives.”
—Anne Lamott, is The NY Times bestselling author of Bird by Bird, and Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
“Eat, Pray, Love meets The Anatomy Of An Illness meets a Deepak Chopra workshop in this engaging, exquisitely written doctor-as-patient memoir. Dr. Li humbly, humorously, and honestly unearths the roots of her debilitating illness, but the gifts don't stop there. With 15 practical, grounded tips for How To Heal, this book also serves as an unconventional, whole health prescription sure to facilitate the healing journey of others. With raw transparency and the kind of courage we need among both doctors and patients, Brave New Medicine charts a new terrain, bridging conventional medicine with functional medicine, nutrition, environmental health, intuition, and spirituality, all through a highly entertaining, hard-earned miracle story.”
—Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine and The Daily Flame and founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute --
“Each year brings a new stack of “how-to” health manuals, but Dr. Li's book is different. It’s a moving, personal—and sometimes unsettling—investigation into the deepest questions surrounding chronic illness. What makes us sick? How do we live with the uncertainty of a mysterious condition? How do we define health in an age when conventional medicine focuses almost exclusively on disease management? The answers Dr. Li arrives at in her exploration changes her as a person, and the way she practices medicine. Her book is full of wisdom for both healthcare practitioners and those suffering from chronic illness.”
—Chris Kresser, MS, LAc, New York Times best selling author of Unconventional Medicine