Cure by Jo Marchant


It’s lucky I read Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant* as an e-book, because I probably would’ve used an entire highlighter if I had been reading a physical copy.

Cure is fascinating, insightful, thought-provoking and I kept sharing facts and insights with everyone who was within earshot of me.

Marchant is an award-winning scientific journalist, and as such is well-equipped to tackle the topic. She manages to achieve the almost impossible, scientific rigour that nevertheless is open to new discoveries outside the mainstream medical community.

Topics covered

  • Using virtual reality to treat pain
  • Powerful associations to trick the brain into gaining stronger benefits and less side effects on less medication
  • Dangers of  loneliness, social isolation & stress
  • Mindfulness & beliefs

While much of this research is still in its early stages, it is so incredibly important and hope-giving. I truly believe this book has food for thought for all of us, and especially so for those of us already dealing with illness in one form or another. I whole-heartedly recommend Cure.

*I received an advanced reader’s copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review*
As always I invite you to find me and connect with me on Goodreads.



  1. “She manages to achieve the almost impossible, scientific rigour that nevertheless is open to new discoveries outside the mainstream medical community.”

    What makes you say that? The book seems to seriously misrepresent some important evidence to me, and in a way which plays in to a lot of harmful prejudices about ill-health and disability.

    Before one can make a worthwhile assessment of a book like this, a lot of work needs to be put in to checking the accuracy of the claims being made.


    • I completely disagree, the first link gave an error and the 2nd has nothing to do with this book.

      To be clear, I’ve been unable to work for more than a year, and at this rate there’s a good chance that that’s permanent.

      I’m absolutely infuriated and heartbroken by the policy changes in the UK, which are likely to literally lead to the deaths of disabled people. It is so far from okay.

      But I also do not at all see the connection between those and this book. Have you read it yourself?

      I think the author makes it abundantly clear that much of the research is still upcoming, and it is so far from a “pick yourself up by the bootstraps-philosophy”.

      She’s talking about the power of our minds, but not to say you did this to yourself, but to shine a light on the amazing things our minds can do for us.

      Using virtual reality to help burn victims, or teaching the mind to make strong connections to getting a medication, so that less is needed to get a better effect without dangerous side effects.

      If you have any criticism of the actual book or the studies in the book, I’d like to hear it.


      • The Disability News Service seems to be having technical difficulties now, but hopefully it will be online again soon. The story was about this paper:

        The second link was to a report which explained how some of the research Marchant promoted was poorly done, misleading, and related to attempts to cut spending on disability in the UK. Look at Marchant’s chapter on CFS, where she interviews White (PACE PI, and advisor to the UK benefit agencies) and presents his claims about a 22% recovery rate following biopsychosocial rehabilitation as accurate. Marchant’s work is actually cited in that report as an example of misleading claims to be found within the UK media. This is real criticism of the book and the studies in the book.



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