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Midwest Book Review

Mental Mastery of Chemotherapy: A Guide to Meditation and Positive Mental Imagery is written by a cancer patient who successfully used and developed visualization and meditation techniques to combat the side effects of chemo over a period of six months, and is especially recommended for cancer patients new to meditation.

Coming from a survivor, the account carries with it the authority of one who tried numerous approaches to cancer and pain management before successfully handling the effects of chemotherapy.

Now, one might not believe meditation and mental imagery could make much of a difference to chemo's side effects. And that's part of the problem: without an understanding of how this works (and at least some confidence that it will work), much of the beneficial possibilities of meditation can be lost in uncertainty.

So, ideally, Mental Mastery of Chemotherapy should be consulted early in the process for maximum benefit.

And lest you think this is only a subjective story, be advised that David Nethero includes contributions by psychologist Dr. George Pratt, who lends his expertise in mind/body techniques to supplement the story of how Nethero maintained a positive, effective mindset during the battle against his cancer.

Introductory chapters consist of autobiographical reflections on Nethero's life (both pre-cancer and after diagnosis); but readers will be especially interested to learn that 'nuts and bolts' guidance is intrinsic even in these chapters, which move quickly into how to work with doctors and segue neatly into later chapters covering Nethero's introduction to meditation, its applications and discoveries, and how meditation actually affects the entire body and mind.

To this end chapters juxtapose Nethero's insights with blank lines and direction inviting reader reflection and self-inspection, encouraging readers to analyze their own feelings surrounding the process of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Because the chapter covering 'My Meditation' is deemed the most critical part of his book, a YouTube link to a video is also included to visually supplement the written word. Here are actual exercises personally tested by Nethero that blend positive mental images with advice on how to 'customize' the process. Thus, readers almost receive personal one-on-one instruction in tailoring techniques for their unique needs and personalities.

Central to this approach is the fill-in blanks (titled 'Self-Reflection') throughout each chapter. Be advised: if you don't intend on considering this read an interactive experience, you should look elsewhere: its primary value lies not just in providing information (other books already cover these basics), but in developing an approach that leads cancer patients to create their own successful meditation and visualization routines.

In this, Mental Mastery of Chemotherapy excels, creating a set of customizable, tested exercises that any reader can easily absorb and apply to their own unique experiences and needs.

No health collection should be without this practical, accessible key to gaining control over what might seem an uncontrollable situation!

Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Copyright © 2014 David Nethero. All Rights Reserved.