Book Review & Giveaway: The Wisdom of the Healing Wound

The Wisdom of the Healing Wound: A New View on Why We Hurt & How We Can Cure Even the Deepest Physical and Emotional Wounds
by David Knighton M.D.
Paperback:216 pages
Publisher: HCI; 1 edition (June 1, 2011)

Reviewed by Molly Remer, Talk Birth

Written by a vascular surgeon who specializes in working with and healing nonhealing wounds, The Wisdom of the Healing Wound is a book addressing the many types of wounds we all experience in our lives: physical wounds, psychological wounds, and spiritual wounds. After discussing the mechanisms of healing, types of wounds, and the value of wounds, David Knighton moves into an explanation of strategies to help yourself heal, caring for scars, getting help, and lifetime healing. I especially appreciated his explanation of how we have both physical and emotional “skin” and that in a relationship there is a “relationship skin” that envelops both people (i.e. a mother and her baby). In various ways that emotional skin can become damaged, rough, thick, or thin, just as our physical skin can be damaged.

Some of the stories/case studies of the wounds experienced and shared in the book are difficult and disturbing to read about (particularly sexual abuse), so be prepared for that.

From the press release:

Dr. David Knighton has some remarkable insights about wounds and our ability to heal ourselves. “We’ve all been wounded,” he writes. “But, paradoxically, wounding is probably our greatest stimulus for health. As we heal, we grow.”

A leading expert on wound healing, Dr. Knighton delves even deeper into the mystery of human nature with his new book The Wisdom of the Healing Wound: A New View on Why We Hurt and How We Can Cure Even the Deepest Physical and Emotional Wounds. (Health Communications, Inc.)

“The goal in working with wounds of any kind — from the physical to the emotional to the spiritual — is to restore structure and function,” Dr. Knighton says. “That is the healer’s role. Ultimately, The Wisdom of the Healing Wound is about being human — about living fully as body, mind, and spirit. More importantly, it is about the powerful, transformative, and often surprising ways we can heal and thrive in the face of our wounds.”

“Life is full of wounds–physical, emotional, and spiritual. The wounded psyche and spirit heal in much the same manner as physical wounds,” Dr. Knighton explains. “It’s what gives the book a universal appeal.” People in 12-step recovery groups, people facing surgery or who have physical wounds that are slow to heal, people with emotional trauma or PTSD, military and abuse victims and the healing professionals who work with all these types of wounds are sure to see the usefulness of The Wisdom of the Healing Wound.

While not specifically intended for birth professionals, I think those interested in helping women process birth trauma as well as anyone working in a helping profession would find nuggets of wisdom and healing in this book.

You can also listen to a talk from the author here.

***Giveaway is now closed. Shawna was the winner!****

I also have one extra copy of The Wisdom of the Healing Wound to give away! To enter, just leave a comment telling me what type of wound you’re interested in healing/learning more about! Giveaway will close one week from today (on May 22, 2012).

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

11 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: The Wisdom of the Healing Wound

  1. Wow! Sounds like a fascinating read. I’d be interested in reading this for thoughts on helping loss couples as well as helping myself work through some “open” wounds.

  2. I definitely am interested in learning and healing of deep wounds; the kind that need to be healed from the inside out. Additionally, I am interested in what the author has to say about healing physical wounds for me personally.

  3. I am very interested in his approach of healing deep wounds and I hope to get some inspiration of how to apply it into my practice helping women recover from domestic violence and mum’s form birth trauma.

  4. Sounds like a really interesting book, so I am applying for the competition. While studying to become a doula, I uncovered some really deep hidden wounds, e.g. sexual abuse in childhood, or long separation from my mother immediately after birth ( I was prematurely born and at that time mothers were considered a source of infection, so could not hold their babies for weeks). I also thought about my mothers wounds as she lost 5 babies before me, 4 of them during the third trimester. I have thought a lot about how these wounds have shaped me – a homebirthing mother of 2 (and hopefully more to come) babies, a doula and volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center. My wounds have hurt, but they have also paved the way to better things in my life. But it was possible, because I had support. So I believe, that there are 2 important things to learn about wounds – 1. every person must be willing to help themselves, 2. others need to be supportive and validate the experiences of others (not – it was long ago, you must get over it, at least you have a healthy baby, no need dwelling on it, etc.) And it is difficult to do that. I always catch myself, that I want to say or do something to MAKE the other person feel better, when I actually should be saying “I am sorry this happened to you, I am here if you need me”. It is a life long learning experience.

  5. Some of the women I work with have had assisted births (ventouse, forceps) and I want to put a proposal together for local midwives about how we can help them in the early days after the birth – and the father or birth partner – to heal after a difficult birth experience; be it physical healing, emotional healing, or both. Maybe there are small acts of caring or words of thoughtfulness after the birth that can help them, if they need it.

  6. Interested in utilizing the info in this book both myself/my family and also for my birth classes and doula clients. Emotional wounds are so much deeper than physical wounds and, therefore, healing from them is far more complicated!

  7. Pingback: 2012 Book List | Talk Birth

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