Alice Domar is the director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health, Mind/Body Medical Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and the author of Healing Mind, Healthy Woman. In her clinical practice, this psychologist has found that self-nurturance can be a powerful ally in fighting stress. This book is meant to be "a hands-on guide to creative, emotional, and spiritual self-care." Since women seem to have a harder time than men taking care of their own needs, it is directed primarily at them. The author covers a wide range of subjects from body care to creativity to joy at work to friendships as a social safety net.

"What women need is to learn how to nurture themselves," Domar writes. "And the only way we can have fully formed selves is by granting ourselves the same tenderness and fierce protectiveness we'd otherwise reserve for a beloved child." The author believes that time must be set aside every day for relaxation techniques. She also is convinced that affirmations can help liberate individuals from negative self-images that serve as straitjackets.

One of the best ways to deepen our relationship with others is to treat ourselves to the pleasures and rewards of solitude. Domar covers all the turf in a chapter on nurturing the body. She points out the curative and stress-reducing dimensions of deep friendships for women.

In the last chapter, she writes: "For most of us, the word nurture, from the Latin nutritus for 'nourish,' conjures images of taking care of others with lovingly prepared food, emotional support, protective warmth, practical help, and wise teachings. In self-nurture, we offer ourselves these same gifts, and more, as a daily practice."