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Embrace, Release, Heal Book Review

written by Head Health Nutter March 12, 2011

After a short break to announce the winners of our latest contest, we continue Live Lighter’s Holistic Spring Cleaning Series with a review on a book about healing. We covered some practical tips and info for cleansing our bodies with food, now let’s look at cleansing our minds, hearts and spirits.

Leigh Fortson was “doing everything right” when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. For decades she learned about and practiced healthy lifestyle habits but even so, by 2008, Leigh was given her third cancer diagnosis. She set out to discover the missing elements of conventional medicine – and found them.

Embrace, Release, Heal illustrates the value and significance of holistic healing and cleansing. It highlights the effectiveness of recognizing humans as multidimensional beings and treating (at it’s basic, this means cleansing) all of our human aspects: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Who will benefit from Embrace, Release, Heal?

As the sub-title suggests, An Empowering Guide to Talking About, Thinking About, and Treating Cancer, this book was written for those whose life has been impacted by cancer. As you’ll find out later in the review, it successfully fulfills this promise through real-life stories, information, practical tools and a litany of resources.

It’s these very aspects which make it just as relevant and powerful to anyone who holds an interest in health and healing. Specifically for people who wish to deal with the real roots of illness to provide potent healing – not just band-aid solutions.

Also just as fascinating are the revelations of modern medicine insufficiencies and a money-hungry, ineffective, multi-billion dollar cancer industry. Thankfully Leigh’s research also indicates positive change is already happening!

About Embrace, Release, Heal

From the book description:

…her doctor offered few treatment options and little hope. Unwilling to believe there was nothing left to do, Fortson set out to learn all she could about how diet impacts cancer, treatment alternatives, and the power of the mind-body relationship. Now cancer free, Fortson shares with us Embrace, Release, Heal, the fruits of her research and spiritual awakening distilled into one empowering book. With insights gleaned from a dozen experts, remarkable stories from people who have lived through cancer, and practical tools, this guide will help anyone whose life has been impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Covering the physical, emotional, and spiritual layers of the journey, this in-depth resource explores:

  • The pioneering science on how our mind and emotions can contribute to both the cause and healing of a disease, as understood by Dr. Larry Dossey, Dr. Bruce H. Lipton, and more
  • Snapshots of what Fortson considers the most progressive traditional, holistic, or integrative cancer treatment techniques
  • How nutrition and supplements can yield surprising results
  • Way to access the healing power of your subconscious mind and effectively use your intuition

Whether you’re trying to uncover what it means to have cancer or how to make sense of it, here is an uplifting and informative book to help you reclaim your authority and make empowered choices that are right for your health and well-being.

Any interesting questions raised in the book or debates discussed?

As I alluded to above, this book is chock full of them!

For instance, Leigh reveals the impact that negative thought and emotion have on physical health. Many people resist this idea because it requires taking personal responsibility in creating the illness – triggering negative emotions about oneself. Leigh supplies empowering proof that embracing this belief is actually instrumental in the healing process.

Besides some very interesting and controversial opinions (like there is no such thing as `cancer’), the author also includes research from ground-breaking discoveries (which mainstream medicine ignores) that suggest alternative medicine can be more effective and less harmful than conventional medicine.

Though, I love how the author and her sources never really bash contemporary medicine, and give kudos where it’s due.

Embrace, Release, Heal also contains some disturbing information about the current healthcare system and the powerful, dysfunctional cancer industry. It’s convoluted and far-reaching, beginning with how med students are taught in school to the power of the FDA, insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Here’s a snippet from just one interview, this one is with Dr. Birdsall of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

Most of the large facilities that deal with cancer are academic medical centers. They focus on educating students, and they engage in medical research, but patient care often comes last. Even in the community setting, virtually all hospitals are referral driven. So for example, the doctor admits the patient into the hospital, so the doctor is really the hospital’s client, not the patient. Then the insurance companies pay the bills, so they’re also the client rather than the patient. In fact, the patient frequently isn’t even in the dialogue.”

How topical or important is the book?

Considering the World Health Organization predicts cancer rates could increase by 50% to 15 million by 2020, I’d say this book is very timely. For the millions of people who are and will experience cancer, complete with all its terrifying and horrific facets, this guide book will certainly dispense various levels of relief.

Personally, I also believe it’s an essential resource for everyone `fighting the war on cancer.’ Why? Because of it’s approach. Embrace, Release, Heal focuses on working with the illness to accomplish real, thorough healing rather than disregarding the lessons and growth opportunities that cancer provides.

It’s also topical because more people are recognizing the short-comings of mainstream medicine, the corruptness of the cancer industry and are seeking answers in alternative healing solutions. More people are taking responsibility for their health and discovering their own innate healing abilities.

Any new ideas presented in the book?

As you may have guessed from the review already, yes in spades! For myself, I was well aware of the placebo effect (where a patient heals through the positive suggestion by the doctor) but I had no idea about the nocebo effect which is the exact opposite. There are many cases where the negative opinion of doctors actually contribute to death!

Ok, that might not be new to everyone but what about the idea that cancer is actually a fungus?

In summary, Embrace, Release, Heal is a marvelous, enlightening and inspiring book for all those interested in natural, holistic healing. Although it’s packed with relevant and intriguing information, it’s got an empowering message and many real-life happy endings.

Purchasing info

Embrace, Release, Heal is due to come out May 1, 2011, and will be sold for $16.95 US. (Fill out this form to be notified when it’s available for purchase.)


The publishers, Sounds True, sent me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Deb March 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

Looking forward to this book. As a 44 year survivor of type 1 diabetes, many of what the author advocates is how I’d learned to look at the world. Information is great but mindset is tantamount to healing. Thanks for this blog.

Head Health Nutter March 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

It’s a great book, Deb, I know you’ll love it! Yes, a positive outlook really is the secret ingredient, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing and it’s great to have you here on Live Lighter! 🙂

How to Declutter Your Life - Slim.Fast March 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm

[…] the negative in any of these areas, you’re actually cleansing the others, too. Check out my book review for more on this book. Another even more practical guidebook for cleansing these intangible […]

Rena Cooper August 15, 2011 at 9:12 am

After listening to an interview with Leigh Fortson, I couldn’t wait to get the book. As a fellow cancer survior, I was touched by her honesty and ability to express what that journey is really like. I couldn’t put the book down. This was the book that “connected the dots” for me. It reenforced how important it is to be knowledgeable about the alternatives, and helped me to rethink that mind-body connection. She strengthened my resolve to be in charge, joyful, and detemined in creatng my own healing. I am grateful.

Head Health Nutter August 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Wow, Rena – you’re so very inspiring, thank you for sharing your story with us. And thank you, also, for your opinion on Leigh’s book. With or without cancer, we all have emotional baggage that interferes with what life could be – most of us do fall into victim mode when we’re faced with challenges.

Like you, I feel that Leigh’s message about creating our own joy and happiness is an important one. 🙂


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