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Publisher's Summary

In this revelatory memoir, Doctor Cynthia Li shares the truth about her disabling autoimmune illness, the limitations of Western medicine, and her hard-won lessons on healing - mind, body, and spirit. 

Li had it all: a successful career in medicine, a loving marriage, children on the horizon. But it all came crashing down when, after developing an autoimmune thyroid condition, mysterious symptoms began consuming her body. Test after test came back "within normal limits", baffling her doctors - and baffling herself. Housebound with two young children, Li began a solo odyssey from her living room couch to find a way to heal. 

Brave New Medicine details the physical and existential crisis that forces a young doctor to question her own medical training. She dives into the root causes of her illness, learning to unlock her body's innate intelligence and wholeness. Li relates her story with the insight of a scientist, and the humility and candor of a patient, exploring the emotional and spiritual shifts beyond the physical body. 

Millions of people worldwide are affected by autoimmune disease. While complex conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are gaining attention, patients struggling with these mysterious ailments remain largely dismissed by their doctors, families, and friends. This is the harsh reality that doctor-turned-"difficult patient" Li faced firsthand.

Drawing on cutting-edge science, ancient healing arts, and the power of intuition, this memoir offers support, validation, and a new perspective for doctors and patients alike. Through her story, you can find the wisdom and heart to start your own healing journey, too.

©2019 Cynthia Li (P)2020 Reveal Press

What listeners say about Brave New Medicine

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Generic Advice Lost to Author’s Personal and Generally Unhelpful Stories

I was really eager to read this book for guidance to healing. While Dr Li does give ideas, I found the book in general to be quite generic and of no real significance until the last chapter. Spare yourself lost time and hope (as well as really unhelpful stories about her sex life) and skip right to the last 2-3 chapters. I fell like the book was probably healing for Dr Li to write, and that her purpose for writing the book is lost to her personal healing story.

6 people found this helpful

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Very good story and advices

The book is really good. I've read many medical and self help books during the past few years but I have never read a book where the author shares his/her personal story with so many details.
The book is unique in it's kind. I will recommend it to anyone who wants to improve her/his life with simple tools. Just listen patiantly. The advices are in the last chapters of the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Ok but not in depth

I was hoping for something more in depth and advanced for functional medicine. instead of giving us more detailed technical advice on how to do functional medicine, it gives us a lot of spiritual, meditation and other such practices. And for me, that's not what I'm looking for.
Also in the nutrition department it looks like the author lacks knowledge, I say this because she only touches a bit on the subject when talking about ancestral foods and bone broth. For somebody who had problems with the gut and toxins I'm surprised she didn't insist more on the subject.
In conclusion this is more of a life story than a guide to functional medicine and know in depth knowledge. You can learn stuff but don't expect it to be life-changing.

1 person found this helpful

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Delivers as expected

Given my expectations of this book I was not disappointed and have recommended this book to others. I saw Dr. Li in an interview once briefly and feel that the narrator they chose to deliver the story was perfect . I can't remember exactly what Dr. Li sounded like, so when I heard the narrators voice I had to do a double take to see if it was Dr. Li or someone else doing the reading.

As some reviews have stated, there isn't a lot of practical "how to" type info until the very end and that's correct. If you look at the title it reads as if it will be a story about Dr. Li, something to listen to and enjoy, and maybe learn from, and that's exactly what it is. It's not a text book or a manual on how "you" can heal, yet there is still some of that in there... bonus!. Toward the end of her book she does talk briefly about a few special cases which perhaps you can identify with. She also does give what I would consider a "cheat sheet" for health based on her experience at the very end that may be worth tracking down the physical book for. I would certainly love to have seen a pdf to go along with the book. Then again, if you don't know what she went through to arrive at that list, it may not make sense. Plus, each person is unique.

It's a very personal story and I could appreciate how much Dr. Li was willing to share about her experience. The story goes by really fast and it's a good introduction to the concept of functional medicine from the side of a skeptic doctor no less, providing hope for those like myself who can relate to her experience. I only wish she were on the east coast.

1 person found this helpful

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Relatable and Full of Hope

Dr. Li’s description of the complexities and winding road of chronic illness is spot on, and I found her stories about the relationships impacted and interactions with medical professionals along the way to be incredibly relatable. I highly recommend this book to anyone on a healing journey or who loves someone navigating the ups and down of illness that seemingly has no answers.

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Being Seen

If you’ve traveled a road of chronic illness, the story telling about the effects it had on her life and relationships will get you right in the feels. I felt beautifully seen.

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so-so

the story is well told and mildly interesting to Me. it is about a doctor who becomes very strangely ill and must try many things to earn back her health and complete the process by attending a ceremony that expels a heavy load of grief

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Amazing Memoir

I wasn't initially thrilled that this was a memoir in the beginning but I went through a medical crisis of my own during the middle of this book and it hit home when I had to visit 3 different doctors just to diagnose ovarian cysts. The end of the book is the "how to" part of how she healed her Autoimmune disorder through diet, mindset, lifestyle, environment, etc. Thank you, Cynthia Li, for your vulnerability in this memoir.

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Be patient. Healing advice will come in Ch 17

Good story and great delivery by the narrator. However, I was looking for the healing aspects and advice which did not show up till Ch 17. It might have been more interesting to someone who would not be familiar with the impact of emotions and early life experiences on one’s health.

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A real story of health

loved it. she shares an incredible journey to health and we can all benefit. READ!

1 person found this helpful

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  • margheurite
  • 10-03-21

just interested in healing had to fast forward

I'd be more interested in a how to rather than a life story. download after listening to a mark Hyman podcast. didn't realize it was going to be an autobiography type book. would have much preferred a how to and the step to get there rather than a whole lot of back story that I'm not interested in.

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  • Sally Ainsworth
  • 06-03-20

Inspiring and life changing

I've been dealing with chronic fatigue, auto immune issues and the random symptoms that go with it for around 2 years now and I've read a lot of books which have helped, but none as much as this one. Reading Dr Li's account from both a personal perspective and a doctor's perspective was so valuable. Inspiring reading and full of incredible wisdom and insights on how to recover from this often confusing condition.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-22

10/10- just the book I needed!

I cried, laughed, wanted to give the author a hug! Loved this book.
Definitely like reading a powerful story/page turner but it’s all true! Cynthia Li bares her heart and soul. We are privileged to be let in for the ride. I learnt so much about health and wellness too.