The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, a nd My Life

The Last Best Cure: My Quest to Awaken the Healing Parts of My Brain and Get Back My Body, My Joy, a nd My Life

by Donna Jackson Nakazawa


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One day Donna Jackson Nakazawa found herself lying on the floor to recover from climbing the stairs. That’s when it hit her. She was managing the symptoms of the autoimmune disorders that had plagued her for a decade, but she had lost her joy. As a science journalist, she was curious to know what mind-body strategies might help her. As a wife and mother she was determined to get her life back.

Over the course of one year, Nakazawa researches and tests a variety of therapies including meditation, yoga, and acupuncture to find out what works. But the discovery of a little-known branch of research into Adverse Childhood Experiences causes her to have an epiphany about her illness that not only stuns her—it turns her life around.

Perfect for readers of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, Nakazawa shares her unexpected discoveries, amazing improvements, and shows readers how they too can find their own last best cure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594631283
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/21/2013
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 344,785
Product dimensions: 6.54(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.23(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an acclaimed journalist, public speaker, and author of the award-winning book The Autoimmune Epidemic. An alumna of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, Nakazawa is a graduate of Duke University.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I In the Beginning

1 The Joy Thief 3

2 A Bold New Idea 12

3 The Cost of a Childhood Lost 17

4 The PIN Response 31

5 Baseline 45

Part II Meditation: Coming to the Quiet

6 Mind-Full 57

7 Meditating: The Sweet Spot 67

8 A Little Self-Love Here 78

9 Playing Catch with Thoughts in Midair 95

10 So How Did We Get This Way? 101

11 Breath Works 107

12 The Compassion Cure 115

13 Staying Out in Front of Myself 128

14 The Black Ferret 140

15 More Than Skin Deep 147

16 The Loss That Lives Forever 153

17 Psychotherapy on Steroids 160

18 Shedding 169

Part III Bodywork

19 So Why Aren't We All Doing Yoga? 179

20 A Gentle Start 192

21 Oh to Be a Yogini 196

22 Body Love 202

23 The Life Force 212

24 The Oldest Medicine 218

25 Moving Qi 225

Part IV Landing in a Different Place

26 The Final Reckoning 241

27 Cells Tell 253

Epilogue: Into the Wind 256

Acknowledgments 258

Appendix: Finding Your Own Last Best Cure 261

Notes 278

Index 295

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for The Last Best Cure:

“The Last Best Cure will change lives; it may even save some. For all who travel through the dark and lonely landscape of chronic illness, here is hope and healing supported by solid science and first-hand experience. Hand extended, heart open, Donna Jackson Nakazawa is a seasoned, compassionate guide, pointing the way to the light at the end of the tunnel.”
–Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day

“This is a genuine page-turning science/non-fiction thriller! Nakazawa is endearing. Her situation is compelling. Her story-telling art is masterful. You will learn a great deal of up-to-the-minute neuroscience research all the while hoping that Nakazawa’s disciplined quest for health succeeds.”
–Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life

“Donna Jackson Nakazawa has written a moving account of her recovery from severe autoimmune disorders and her success with innovative mind/body therapies. It will certainly inspire others suffering from chronic illness to use integrative medicine to activate their innate healing potential.”
–Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Spontaneous Happiness

“As both a science journalist and someone struggling with serious health issues, Donna Jackson Nakazawa offers clarity, heart, and hope for recovery and well-being. Funny, fast-moving, honest, insightful, and always helpful, her story of her journey to wellness brings together mind and body, East and West, solid research and the upper reaches of human potential.”
–Rick Hanson, Ph.D., author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

“Our seasons of serious illness can be scary, lonely and deeply depressing. Now, with The Last Best Cure we have a window into another possibility. Donna Jackson Nakazawa made discoveries about stress, disease and the role of meditation and yoga that led her to profound healing. Grounded in scientific research and presented with great lucidity and warmth, Donna’s story will guide, comfort and inspire you as you journey toward full aliveness and wellbeing.”
–Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

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