“It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease
than to know what sort of disease a person has.
-- Hippocrates

There have been many (perhaps too many) books published on alternative medicine and mind-body therapies in the past two decades. But they have all missed an essential element: how do these approaches work for each person as an individual? While physicians and scientists have been preoccupied with the symptoms of illness and how a given treatment works, Your Emotional Type matches those treatments with your individual personality type, explaining how they can work for you.

Using the personality dimension of boundariesand the spectrum of thick-thin boundary types, Your Emotional Type illustrates that different people are sensitive to different stimuli and are susceptible to different ailments. Thick boundary people, for example, are prone to hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ulcers whereas thin boundary people are more susceptible to migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and allergies. Likewise, not every alternative and complementary therapy will work equally well for each person. Hypnosis is ideal for thin boundary types, for instance, whereas meditation is better suited to the needs of thick boundary people. 

The book begins with a crucial yet common-sense declaration: there is no real separation between the brain and the rest of the body, between our heads and our hearts. Every human being is a unified entity, thinking and feeling as one. Our “psyche” (the mental, emotional, psychological aspects) and our “soma” (our biological, physical, material aspects) are merely two sides of our commonality. This reality is also why the so-called placebo effect may be so powerful. But beyond the placebo effect, alternative therapies can work wonders for certain chronic conditions – as long as they are appropriately matched with your boundary type. This breakthrough, for a dozen common medical conditions, is what Your Emotional Type uniquely addresses.   

Patients today are largely overlooked by a health care system that puts each of us into a box based on a disease or disorder, diagnosis, and treatment – what we might call “one size fits all” medicine. This approach works well for the drug companies that develop and dispense medications on a large, industrial scale, designed for a fictitious “standard” person (and designed to maximize profits). But no individual is standard in this way. Everyone reacts to different levels of different stimuli – and each person processes his/her feelings differently. “One size fits all” medicine clearly does not well serve the tens of millions of people today who recognize their own distinct needs by actively pursuing alternative and complementary medical treatments. 

Here’s a case in point. Iwas interviewed in 1995 on Good Morning America by host Charlie Gibson when my textbook, Fundamentals of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (the first US textbook on the subject, now in a fourth edition) was first published. Co-host Joan Lunden told me she was bothered by shoulder pain from an injury suffered horseback riding. She had tried acupuncture, but it hadn’t worked – though she wanted it to work, believedthat it would work, and had many friends for whom it did work. If acupuncture were merely a placebo, Ms. Lunden should have derived benefit. The fact that she did not illustrates the individualized nature of our physical and emotional well being – and that even alternative medical therapies documented to be effective work better for some people and not as well for others.

In Your Emotional Type, you will discover, through an easy-to-take boundary questionnaire, your boundary type and which alternative and complementary treatments will work best for you. It is a true “first” for many common conditions for which modern medicine has had no answers.

Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD
Rockport, Massachusetts

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