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Seeking Symmetry: Finding patterns in human health offers a guide through the overwhelming mass of data generated by contemporary science. Starved for the knowledge that would best help us stay healthy, we are simultaneously glutted with an overload of information about the human body. Amidst ubiquitous talk that patient-centered care and lifestyle changes are the keys to personal health, self-neglect and medical overtreatment nevertheless prevail.

The body is rich with symmetries, many of them unknown to us who live in these bodies. Symmetry-seeking reveals certain patterns for understanding the information we have about the body, patterns whose roots lie in embryonic development and in evolution.

  • The book’s exploration will guide readers through the parts of their own bodies and introduce tangible, visible examples of symmetry, not only right and left but up and down, male and female, inside and out, as well as symmetries between humans and other species.
  • It presents the symmetries of the body’s internal structures that, despite their complexity, are nevertheless simple to understand when viewed with an eye for pattern.
  • Through both words and images, this book will illustrate the most foundational of the principles, structures, and processes that decide how bodies function.
  • A core purpose of the book is to present this knowledge through a lens that makes the information meaningful, by modeling the habit of symmetry-seeking.

The author says of this thought-provoking and challenging book:

‘We present ‘Symmetry Seeking’ as a novel aid to understanding personal health, that might resonate in particular with manual therapists and movement workers. And while we hope that the idea of searching for symmetry, across systems and medical specialties, will transform the way doctors and other healthcare providers approach health and treat disease, the symmetry seeking approach is most powerful in the hands of individuals themselves, not as patients, but as human beings who desire to recover, maintain, and maximize their personal health.

By its nature, the scope of the book is expansive and widely interdisciplinary, reaching beyond medicine and biology, and science into art, story, and other disciplines, such as agriculture, food science and nutrition. We hope to spark an interdisciplinary exchange and offer a model to reveal new opportunities to improve human health. The book will apply symmetry seeking to practical examples from a few representative arenas, such as the reorganization of healthcare, problems in food, industrial farming, and the pharmaceutical industry. While the book will cite contemporary research, we have created a slender volume whose main objective is to spark new thinking and incite readers and researchers alike to make connections between existing data and their own experiences as human beings.’


Additional information

ISBN 978-1-912085-11-8
Edition No 1
Pages 200
Illustrations 100 black and white
Binding Paperback
Dimensions 246 X 189 mm
Status Published
Publication Date 1 October 2018

Author biography

Dr. Niall Galloway is Associate Professor of Urology and Medical Director of the Emory Continence Center at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. He joined the Emory University School of Medicine faculty in 1989 with research interests in developmental biology, clinical anatomy, and neuroscience. Dr Galloway has worked extensively in the areas of clinical evaluation and surgical treatments for congenital and acquired defects of pelvic support anatomy and urogenital anomalies, and has been active in applying the principles of biotensegrity to pelvic reconstructive surgery for vaginal prolapse and incontinence. A native of Scotland, Dr. Galloway attended the University of Aberdeen Medical School and completed his training in England. He taught at the University of Edinburgh and University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, before completing a fellowship at Duke University where he subsequently served as visiting professor. Dr Galloway is active in surgical fellowship training in Urology and Uro-Gynecology, and has served as chairman of the board of directors for the National Association for Continence. Other interests include music, the history of medicine, and golf.

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