When The Body Says No by Gabor Mate

When The Body Says No By Gabor Mate is an enlightening work that provides a strong case for the mind-body connection and its influence on disease and illness. Mate presents evidence using case examples from both his own patients as a Canadian physician as well as autobiographies of well-known individuals. Some of the main points that a reader will take away from this book are:

  • The major flaw in our modern medical system that concentrates only on the illnesses and does not take
    into account an understanding of the individual in which the illness developed in
  •  The crucial role that stress plays in the onset of chronic illness
  • The majority of stress stems from emotions, however it manifests itself physically by disrupting all of the major bodily systems and thus causes disease
  • Your body will react with a physical consequence to suppressed emotions
  • It is possible to live with chronic stress without actually being aware of it, and thus be powerless to control it


Mate presents his case studies in a very eloquent, easy to take in manner that keeps the reader interested while at the same time informed.

This book was not dry at all, non-fiction can sometimes be difficult to fully engage in because it is often a series of facts that do not evoke any emotion out of its readers. When The Body Says No was not this way at all, Mate tells stories, but uses them as his main source of evidence.

He succeeded in drawing an array of emotions out of me and I was very impressed. At the end of every chapter (each chapter is one case study) he provides an insightful conclusion that ties in with the main points of his work.

The last seven chapters of his book are devoted to informing the reader of just how crucial the mind-body connection is and sheds light on a number of studies conducted that support his overall argument.

In his last chapter, Mate provides reader with The Seven A’s of Healing that gives hope to those who may be suffering from chronic stress as well as guidance to those who simply want to live a more fulfilling life.

I really like Mate’s approach to illnesses, rather than just bandaging a physical issue, he focuses on healing individuals and restoring them to a healthy, balanced state.

This was a wonderful read that really opened my eyes to just how much my thinking and emotional state will affect my overall health, and how bad things can really get if am not mindful of it.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the mind-body connection and improving the overall quality of their life.


There are many books of simple prescriptions of one sort or another–physical, emotional, spiritual–that appear each year. It is not my intention to write yet one more. Prescriptions assume that something needs to be fixed; transformation brings forth the healing–the coming to integrity, to wholeness–of what is already there.

– Gabor Mate

If you have read this book, or something similar to it and you would like to share some feedback about it, leave a comment below.



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