The Magic Feather Effect publishes this week!
This book is the result of a fascinating, unpredictable three-year journey into the world of alternative medicine. After writing about food and nutrition for many years, I became interested in this particular area of health when I realized how polarized the debate over different types of alternative therapies was. I was curious: Were popular practices like acupuncture, chiropractic, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, and energy healing capable of seemingly miraculous cures, as believers often claimed, or were people being largely duped, as the skeptics insisted? I decided to see what the science had to say, which led me to the placebo effect, some incredibly smart neuroscientists, and a surprising number of serious researchers studying some of the aforementioned practices.
The book tells stories of people's personal experience with illness, delves into the counterintuitive neurobiology of chronic pain, explores the nature of healing, and tries to define what a placebo effect really is. What I hope emerges is a small window into some of the pieces still missing from standard medicine. I also hope you'll check it out and share any thoughts you might have.