Brave New Medicine
A Doctor’s Unconventional Path to Healing Her Autoimmune Illness
by Cynthia Li, MD
Pub Date 01 Sep 2019
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In this revelatory memoir, Doctor Cynthia Li shares the truth about her disabling autoimmune illness, the limitations of Western medicine, and her hard-won lessons on healing—mind, body, and spirit.
Li had it all: a successful career in medicine, a loving marriage, children on the horizon. But it all came crashing down when, after developing an autoimmune thyroid condition, mysterious symptoms began consuming her body. Test after test came back "within normal limits," baffling her doctors—and baffling herself. Housebound with two young children, Li began a solo odyssey from her living room couch to find a way to heal.
Brave New Medicine details the physical and existential crisis that forces a young doctor to question her own medical training. She dives into the root causes of her illness, learning to unlock her body's innate intelligence and wholeness. Li relates her story with the insight of a scientist, and the humility and candor of a patient, exploring the emotional and spiritual shifts beyond the physical body.
Millions of people worldwide are affected by autoimmune disease. While complex conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are gaining attention, patients struggling with these mysterious ailments remain largely dismissed by their doctors, families, and friends. This is the harsh reality that doctor-turned-"difficult patient" Li faced firsthand.
Drawing on cutting-edge science, ancient healing arts, and the power of intuition, this memoir offers support, validation, and a new perspective for doctors and patients alike. Through her story, you can find the wisdom and heart to start your own healing journey, too
“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