How Your Body Heals Itself: Proven Tips for Self-Healing

Behavioral drugs can have lasting side effects on your mind and body. Furthermore, drugs can be addictive.

In talk therapy, the psychologist takes you into your unconscious mind, which is a long and tedious process.

Then, how to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression?

David Servan-Schreiber has the answer.

The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy by David Servan-Schreiber is one of the most widely read self-help books. In The Instinct to Heal, Dr. Servan-Schreiber shares his personal and professional experience in dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression, and gives insights into alternative ways to deal with stress and stress-related conditions.

The Instinct to Heal by David Servan-Schreiber

Dr. Servan-Schreiber suffered from brain cancer for 20 years. He has shared his experience and knowledge in numerous books, audiobooks, lectures, journals, and articles. The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy is a critically acclaimed book by David Servan-Schreiber. First published in 2004, it has now been translated in numerous languages and millions of copies sold worldwide. The Instinct to Heal is a fascinating account of the author’s research.

Many people opt for anti-depressant drugs and talk sessions with a psychologist while dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. Dr. Servan-Schreiber gives alternative treatments to psychological conditions of the human mind and provides easy to follow steps to balance body and mind, and live happily.

The Instinct to Heal is about the brain’s natural predilection to heal. The therapeutic approaches to mental health and quality of life elucidated in the book go beyond traditional psychology. Most importantly, alternative medicine explained in the book is backed with neuroscience research. The Instinct to Heal explains the role of the body and mind in the healing process. Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s arguments are not baseless, he gives evidence from true accounts and scientific research along with diagrams.


  1. Founder, Doctor without Borders, USA
  2. Founding Director, Centre for Integrative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  3. Founding Board Member, Environmental Health Trust
  4. Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh
  5. Lecturer, Université Claude Bernard Lyon, the Faculty of Medicine


  • Healing Without Freud or Prozac
  • Anticancer: A New Way of Life
  • The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy

About David Servan-Schreiber

Physician, psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author of numerous books and journals, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, was born in France, in 1961, and died of brain cancer in 2011. He has been instrumental in promoting mental health and quality of life. He is remembered for his contribution to the prevention and treatment of cancer and self-healing approaches.

David Servan-Schreiber taught in many universities and regularly contributed to magazines. He also volunteered as a physician in Iraq, Guatemala, Kurdistan, Tajikistan, India, and Kosovo. His books have been translated in more than 35 languages and millions of copies sold worldwide.


Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society Presidential Award for Outstanding Career in Psychiatry, 2002

The Instinct to Heal Book Review

In The Instinct to Heal, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber does not offer a magic wand to heal your mind but explains healing methods that will have positive effects on your mental health. The alternative approaches to healing explained in book are drawn from scientific research and author’s findings. Dr. Servan-Schreiber analyses non-traditional healing techniques and explains about the connection of the brain and the body, and the heart and the brain. He gives detailed analysis of logical brain and emotional brain from the neurobiology point of view.

Author offers numbers of healing techniques. Some of the methods explained in The Instinct to Heal are:

Contents in The Instinct to Heal

  1. Caveats
  2. The Heart and Its Reasons
  3. Living with Heart Coherence
  4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  5. EMDR in Action
  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Feed the Emotional Brain

Logical Brain and Emotional Brain

The human brain is composed of two basic structures: Logical brain and Emotional brain. Logical brain and emotional brain tries to dominate each other. The main thesis in The Instinct to Heal is to reprogram the emotional brain. Dr. Servan-Schreiber explains how to reprogram the emotional brain to make it adaptive to new social and emotional conditions, and get away from the painful past and acclimatize to the present situation. According to the author, the emotional brain contains natural mechanisms for self-healing.

Cardiac coherence: According to the author, the heart affects mental well-being. When you are showered with love and appreciation, your heart experience warmth and the heartbeat becomes coherent. By instigating warm feelings in the heart, stress level can be lowered.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a Chinese healing method in which sterilized needles are used on different points of the body to release self-healing hormones.

EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique uses REM (Rapid Eye Movement) to heal emotional problems quickly.

Exercise: Brain is connected with the body. Healthy body promotes healthy brain. Author explains how exercise helps to cure stress, anxiety and depression.

Fish oil: Eating Healthy food is necessary to remain healthy. Fish oil contains Omega-3 Fatty Acid, which has wonderful healing properties. Omega is beneficial to the heart and the nervous system.

Meditation: Meditation is a mental exercise to empty thoughts. When the thoughts are emptied, mind becomes calm. Author gives insights on how to practice relaxation meditation.

Fostering social connections: Social connection is necessary for mental health. Author explains how communication can be used to decrease stress.

The Instinct to Heal: A Must Read Self-help Book

Little bit of motivation inspires people to live life better. That is why self-help books are the best sellers in many cultures and societies. The methods explained in The Instinct to Heal are practical and can be practiced by anyone without needing an expert. The book will teach you how to take care of your mind and body.

After reading the book, you will not remain confused about where to begin, because the author provides a practical guide on how to begin healing process. At the end of the book, Servan-Schreiber gives a nine-step approach to healing.

How do you cope with stress, depression, and anxiety?

  • Behavioral Drugs
  • Talk Therapy
  • Alternative Medicine

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