– Anastasia Rowland-Seymour, MD, Assistant Professor of
Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins
“Donna Jackson Nakazawa offers clarity, heart, and hope. Funny, fast-moving, honest, insightful, and always helpful, 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 Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain
“This is a genuine page-turning science/non-fiction thriller!” –Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life
“The Last Best Cure will change lives; it may even save some.” –Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day
“Nakazawa has written a moving account of her recovery … it will certainly inspire others.” –Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Happiness
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. For years, she’d been living on what she’d come to think of as the “Pain Channel.” She wanted to tune into the “Life Channel” instead. As a wife and mother of two, she was determined to get her life back. As a science journalist, she was compelled to understand why her brain might be her last best cure.
Every once in a while, as a writer, I sort of “disappear” — taking a break from blogging and social media to fully immerse myself in finishing a new book. I’m happy to say, in 2015, you’ll be able to see what I’ve been so busy working on (and why I’ve been so quiet)!
CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED: HOW YOUR BIOGRAPHY BECOMES YOUR BIOLOGY, AND HOW YOU CAN HEAL (Simon & Schuster/Atria) hits stores in August 2015! It’s my newest effort, as a science journalist, to help those facing chronic physical or emotional health challenges find healing.
CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED: HOW YOUR BIOGRAPHY BECOMES YOUR BIOLOGY, AND HOW YOU CAN HEAL is the first book to show the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and adult illnesses such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer and depression. In CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED I explain how to cope with the lifelong fallout of early emotional adversity and even heal from it.
I’ve spent the last two years interpreting groundbreaking research to show you how the emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall well-being. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parents’ chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, parental humiliation, and the emotional scars of growing up with a hypercritical, narcissistic, bipolar, alcoholic, or depressed parent can leave permanent and physical “fingerprints” on our brains.
When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, excessive stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering their body chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently re-setting our stress response to “high,” which in turn can have a devastating impact on our mental and physical health.
Even very subtle, common types of adverse childhood experiences can reset your immune system, setting your stress response on high — which can impact your health and trip you up in love, parenting, and work, all your life.
In the two years I’ve spent researching and writing CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED, I’ve broken down and synthesized thousands ofpages of scientific research and interviewed dozens of top researchers, including Vincent Felitti, MD, the scientific father of Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, research, Dan Siegel, MD, the scientific leader in the field of interpersonal biology, as well as many of the world’s top neuroscientists and immunologists.
I’ve followed a dozen intrepid individuals whose personal stories of challenging childhoods, later emotional and physical illness as adults, and self-transformation provide us all with roadmaps for healing.
I’ve connected the dots for readers on how sudden or chronic adverse childhood experiences create a set point for our well-being that can forever impact our neurobiology, our immunology and the deepest inner workings of our human heart. And, I share what we can do to come back to who it is we really are.
Groundbreaking findings (still under wraps) include:
1. Why is it that certain types of (surprisingly common) seemingly mild childhood stress are so gravely damaging — on both an interpersonal and neurobiological level — to our development, impacting who it is we become, and how well we will work, love and parent as adults?
2. Why are women at particular risk? Why are women who experience adversity in childhood so much more likely than men to develop immune-related health problems — including autoimmune diseases and depression?
3. Why are some children more resilient in the face of early stressors than others?
4. How do you parent well when you haven’t been parented well by your own parents?
5. How do our memories change and re-consolidate over time? And how does this provide us with an opportunity to separate out our harshest memories from the pain and reactivity they evoke?
6. And — the good news — how can you reset your biology to live your best, healthiest life, so that biology is not destiny?
I’m so grateful to all of you who have reached out to me with your help and support during this intense writing phase — THANK YOU!
One last note: I haven’t been entirely quiet on the media front. In my neverending efforts to help heal women with autoimmune I’ve taken part in the first ever online Autoimmune Summit — donating my time to give an hour long talk about everything I know regarding how toxins, early stress, and life stress accumulate to create autoimmune disease.
You can register for the FREE Autoimmune Summit here. Thirty-eight experts – including Dr. Amy Myers, Dr. Terry Wahls, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Richard Rountree, Dr. Jeff Bland, Dr. David Pearlmutter, Dr. Susan Blum, Dr. Leo Galland also share their expertise. (I added up the # of years these 38 experts have been devoting their careers to understanding and healing autoimmune and it comes out to about 1200 years (YES!) of combined dedication — impressive!) Don’t miss this!
My talk airs on Tuesday, November 11 — LIVE at 10 AM EST and I’m told it will be free for 24 HOURS. (If you prefer to listen to the entire series of 38 lectures you can buy them (to keep) HERE. Either way, consider tuning in — it’s an incredible opportunity to learn from a host of our top experts about healing autoimmunity.
Finally, please consider forwarding the link to this blog to anyone and everyone you think could benefit from the wealth of information in CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED and/or The Autoimmune Summit!
To your healing!