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★★★★★ A Wonderful and Deeply Spiritual Book on Healing by a Medical Doctor,
Melita Marshall (July 27, 2009)

Reading The Heart of Healing came as a huge surprise and deep relief. I have long despaired at a medical culture, driven by financial profit motives, which favors the quick fix of symptoms with medication and/or surgery, discouraging patients from taking responsibility for their own long term health and healing. So I was thrilled when a friend sent me Dr. Wallace's wonderful book and to learn that she founded and ran a healing center attached to a large regional hospital where she and her colleagues treat patients holistically. In her book Dr. Wallace lays out in an exquisitely readable way how the thoughts of the mind and energetic patterns held cellularly influence the health of the body. She tells us how mindfulness practices such as meditation and visualization, energy release and balancing with treatments such as acupuncture, together with herbs, good nutrition and self-care, help us take back our power from the doctors and to really heal.

But Dr. Wallace goes beyond mind-body, eloquently articulating deep spiritual truths, pointing out that life is paradoxical. She encourages us to look for the deeper meaning of physical symptoms without blame or shame. She asks us to let go of our stories and allow ourselves to discover who we are moment by moment. She asks us to drop our resistance, to surrender and accept what is - even our resistance! Somehow these truths, which I have heard from spiritual "gurus" take on a new groundedness and authority coming from someone with long experience in mainstream medicine. That Dr. Wallace has bridged the two worlds, teaching across the country, speaks volumes about her dedication, communication skills and patience. 

I was delighted recently when my friend introduced me to Dr. Wallace and I discovered that she is the real thing - a wonderful, warm and joyful woman, a true healer who is committed to her work, her spiritual path and practices. As a healer myself I am grateful to have this book as a reference when I need help articulating what I know and feel. Please read this book and introduce it to everyone you know who is struggling with conditions that mainstream medicine fails and to those who try to help them.



By E. Sperling

This book changed my life. It is absolutely amazing in the true sense of the word.

From my own perspective, it helped me identify when I was causing my own pain and anguish, and release it. It wasn't easy work for me, but I have to say that my life and my path have benefited immensely. I don't necessarily think that just reading a book should solve all my problems, but that it does indeed take some dedication and inner work to get to the source, and then the healing, of troubles.

I receive a new message from this book each time I read it. [...] She is an amazing soul, doctor, counselor, mind-body teacher, and more.


By Daniel J. Benor, MD, Editor in Chief of The International Journal of Healing and Caring

Mary Ann Wallace is a board certified physician specializing in internal medicine, who also holds a master's degree in psychology with an emphasis in holistic health. She has extensive training and experience in a variety of mind-body healing modalities. Dr. Wallace had led workshops and classes on spirituality in medicine and mind-body issues for over 25 years. She developed Heartspring Wellness Center, a bustling Integrative Medical Clinic, and served as the Medical Director for a Division of Integrative Medicine in Corvallis, OR. She is a gifted teacher with a wonderful, healing presence. Her book is a distillation of her experiences in running mindful eating classes over several years for people dealing with eating issues of all sorts

In her clear and direct style, Wallace explains that many people's eating disorders stem from feelings of emptiness inside themselves that they are stuffing with food:

The empty places inside yearn to be filled, and we spend an inordinate amount of energy both trying to get those needs met and hiding the fact that they exist. (p. 1)

If, as part of the overall experience of getting fed we also learn to expect anger, impatience or any other possible tension-provoking element, this association becomes a deep-seated part of our system. If, on the other hand, we find that the only time we experience the necessary sensations of being cuddled, held, cooed to and loved is when we are being fed, we learn to link our hunger sensations with that imprint by association. Eating, then becomes that which equals nourishment of many types. (p. 2)

I start every series of Mindful Eating classes with a simple questions: “Why do you eat – what is it inside that prompts you or propels you?” After a minute of confused looks and a couple of titters, the class invariably engages. The list usually has more than 30 items by the time we’re done, and only seldom is “hunger” even mentioned.

The aspect that all items on the list have in common is that they provoke a sensation in the belly, whether it be emptiness or tension, that in some way mimics the sensation of hunger. (p. 2)

Wallace reviews research identifying problem aspects of eating, including cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating. She discusses how each produces its own variety of eating disorder and invites specific forms of interventions. Her approach is not about dieting, but rather about learning to understand what drives people to crave food, how food became an unhealthy, guiding metaphor in people's lives, and how they can constructively deal with these issues.  Illustrative case examples demonstrate the benefits of her approaches.

One of the points I make in the Mindful Eating classes is that although we expect a certain toileting ritual for the elimination process of our bodies, we don’t formalize such a thing for all we’ve consumed mentally or emotionally.

The long-ago patterns stuck in our craw need even deeper evacuation. Letting go of past patterns often generates fear, but if we realize that we are letting go of what is toxic, not what is nourishing, then the task becomes much easier.

This book is warmly recommended both for caregivers and care-seekers wanting to deepen their understanding of eating problems and how to deal with them.

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