Jeanne Achterberg is an internationally known authority on the use of imagery to heal the body. She is best known for developing the technique known as guided visualization, and she was recently featured in Time magazine as one of the top innovators in the field of alternative medicine. In 1999 she was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare and often deadly form of cancer of the eye. Lightning at the Gate is the remarkable story of her illness and healing—a deeply personal memoir that is at turns haunting, humorous, biting, and exhilarating. This engaging and entertaining book demonstrates how a combination of critical thought, creativity, inner vision, and friendship can lead to profound healing.
In Lightning at the Gate, Achterberg writes, "The only way one stays alive after a serious diagnosis of cancer is to find one's vision." This captivating memoir documents her process of doing just that. Choosing to view her cancer as a metaphor, she draws on dreamwork, shamanism, healing imagery, prayer, rituals, songs, immune-stimulation therapy, and the loving care of friends to cure her illness. Lightning at the Gate ends in affirming Achterberg's core belief that we are healed not by medicine but by the bonds we create with each other: care, love, trust, hope, belief, and all the other invisible facets that have lost favor in modern health care.
Readers will benefit from seeing how a leader in alternative medicine approaches her own illness: how she weighs the information and choices presented to her by the Western medical establishment; how she advocates for herself; and how she finds her own, individual path back to health. Lightning at the Gate also offers fascinating first-hand accounts of cutting-edge alternative therapies. Also included is a valuable resource section listing books, websites, and organizations offering information on holistic methods of healing. This book is sure to become a must-read for anyone interested in alternative medicine and the healing arts.
"Achterberg has become a force in the world of mind-body medicine. She has earned a place in the history of both conventional and complementary medicine."—Time
"The mystery of healing often becomes manifest in our lives when we are called upon to walk through the fires of personal illness and loss. In Lightning at the Gate , Jeanne Achterberg provides us with an unflinching and courageous look at her own healing journey—providing each of us with a road map for accessing inner wisdom in all its amazing guises."—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause
"Lightning at the Gate is a page-turner that kept me up way past bedtime. It is far and away the best book about healing that I have ever read. Wise, hilariously funny, and deeply moving, this is one woman's honest account of the journey to wholeness. Thank you, Jeanne, for your courage in sharing your story."—Joan Boryshenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind and Inner Peace for Busy People
"Jeanne Achterberg has a spirit that challenges, hopes, laughs, and rides while doing the inner work of transforming a tumor into energy."—Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst, author of Bone: Dying into Life