Anatomy Of An Illness By Norman Cousins

1498 Words6 Pages
The book, Anatomy of an Illness, by Norman Cousins is a story of his self-prescribed treatment to his collagen illness; ankylosing spondylitis which causes the breakdown of the connective tissue in the spine. Norman was a member of the New York Evening Post, Current History, and a staff member of the Saturday Review of Literature. After suffering horrible reactions to the drugs he was given, Norman was determined to find an alternative to heal his body and took matters in his own hands upon approval from his physician. He did his research and found that when you have negative emotions in the body it produces negative chemical changes in the body. This lead Cousins to believe that positive emotions in the bodies would produce positive chemical changes in the body. After Cousins was told that he had little chance of surviving, he worked hard to develop a recovery program that incorporated mega doses of Vitamin C. Other than hope, love, and faith, he concluded that there should be laughter in his positive emotional therapy. He reported that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter has an anesthetic effect and would give him at least two hours of pain-free sleep. Watching the television show “Candid Camera,” viewing movies, and listening to books being read to him, would all lead to another pain-free interval by stimulating his laughter. With time, Norman experienced gradual improvements and the loss of some symptoms. He even began to regain most of his lost movement in his
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