Lillian Wilson

The Survival Paradox by Isaac Eliaz

Discover how to unleash your body's natural healing abilities through a transformed survival response, gaining insights and techniques for vibrant health.

The Survival Paradox

The book has received 4.6 ⭐️ from readers on Amazon.

To achieve optimal health, we must tap into our body’s natural healing power, waiting to be unleashed. This transformation begins with a shift in our survival response, making it work for us rather than against us. Isaac Eliaz, a leader in integrative medicine, shares these insights in The Survival Paradox, guiding readers to unlock boundless healing potential.

In this review, we explore how Dr. Eliaz addresses this vital topic, offering a comprehensive guide to holistic mind-body healing. We will uncover core concepts and key takeaways, empowering you to understand and unlock your body’s innate healing potential for lasting well-being.

Author’s background

Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, is a pioneering figure in integrative medicine, focusing on cancer, immune health, detoxification, and mind-body medicine.

He is a respected clinician, researcher, and author with a unique holistic approach informed by Western and Eastern medicine. Dr. Eliaz founded the Amitabha Medical Clinic and Amitabha Wellness Foundation in Santa Rosa, California. He collaborates with research institutes, publishes peer-reviewed papers, and lectures internationally on integrative therapies. Additionally, he is a devoted practitioner of meditation and offers retreats for patients and practitioners worldwide.

What is the book about?

The Survival Paradox by Isaac Eliaz is a comprehensive exploration of holistic mind-body healing, offering profound insights into health, disease, longevity, and quality of life. Divided into several parts, the book covers the following topics:

  • The concept of the survival paradox.

  • What is ‘master protein,’ why is it responsible for most survival responses and how can it be controlled?

  • Effects of the survival paradox on various conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and cancer.

  • Methods to transform the survival response, release unhealthy fixations, and shift from struggle to harmony.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part One: How the Survival Response Affects Our Health
  • Chapter One: What is the Survival Paradox?
  • Chapter Two: The Architect of the Survival Response: Galectin-3
  • Chapter Three: Effects of the Survival Response
  • Chapter Four: How the Survival Response Operates
  • Chapter Five: A Gift from Nature: Modified Citrus Pectin
  • Chapter Six: The Heart of True Survival
  • Part Two: A Closer Look at the Survival Response’s Role in Major Conditions
  • Chapter Seven: Cancer
  • Chapter Eight: Heart and Kidney Diseases
  • Chapter Nine: Liver and Lung Diseases
  • Chapter Ten: Metabolic Issues
  • Chapter Eleven: Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Chapter Twelve: Imbalances of the Immune System
  • Chapter Thirteen: Imbalance of the Microbiome
  • Part Three: Breaking Free from the Survival Paradox
  • Chapter Fourteen: Detoxification and Letting Go
  • Chapter Fifteen: Addressing the Scars of Survival
  • Chapter Sixteen: Transcending the Survival Paradox
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author

Three key takeaways from The Survival Paradox

1By shifting from survival to relaxation mode, we can facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal itself

The concept of survival paradox refers to the physiological and biochemical response of the body when faced with stress, illness, or injury. This response, driven by a master protein that dictates our biochemical and physiological reactions, is initially aimed at self-preservation but can paradoxically lead to inflammation, fibrosis, and degeneration, hindering the body’s innate capacity to heal itself.

Addressing the survival paradox involves a profound shift from a constant state of survival mode to one of relaxation, both at the cellular and psychological levels. Creating a sense of safety and balance is essential for this transformation, as it cascades down to the cellular level, allowing cells to function optimally. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, acupuncture, and various healing modalities play a pivotal role in calming the survival paradox response and promoting relaxation. It is crucial to understand that this transformation goes beyond positive thinking; it entails changing our biochemical responses and dismantling physical barriers to healing.

2Inhibiting the detrimental effects of galectin-3 is a pivotal aspect of disease management

According to The Survival Paradox, galectin-3, a protein produced when the body perceives a threat or is in a state of stress or disease, can have both beneficial and harmful effects. When it is activated in cases of injury, infection, cancer, or other illnesses, it can turn on pathways that initiate inflammation and fibrosis, leading to the hardening and dysfunction of tissues and organ systems. Galectin-3 can also overexpress itself in specific areas of the body, such as the joints, cardiovascular system, or the brain, and exert different effects based on what it is bound to.

Blocking unhealthy expression of galectin-3 can be an important therapeutic strategy for treating a variety of conditions. When galectin-3 is blocked from binding, lattice formations can be broken up, and isolated pockets and areas of the body, including tumour microenvironments, can be reached. This can lead to the normalisation of abnormal tissues and cells, even tumorous cancer cells, and decrease unhealthy inflammation in the process.

It is important to note that galectin-3 can cause damage even at low levels, so addressing galectin-3 is important regardless of its levels. The connection between emotions and health is also highlighted, as stress and anxiety can worsen the effects of galectin-3.

3Healing traumas can optimise recovery from chronic illness

The Survival Paradox goes beyond the traditional approaches to cancer treatment by delving into the roots of the disease. Understanding that different factors, including genetic influences, epigenetic factors, and life events, can trigger the survival response, the book emphasises the importance of exploring patients’ unique stories and traumas as part of the healing process.

The author employs a compassionate and holistic approach to help patients uncover their hidden stories, offering them the opportunity to transform their traumatic patterns that triggered the survival response. By recognising pivotal moments in a patient’s life where they felt they could not take a deep breath, the author guides patients toward profound healing. This healing journey is supported by acupuncture, specific injections, guided visualisations, hands-on healing, and other complementary therapies.

The book presents the inspiring case of Mary, a woman diagnosed with a rare and challenging form of cancer. Through meditation and deep insight, the author discovered that a traumatic childhood event related to a beloved dog had profoundly affected Mary and contributed to her illness. By gently guiding Mary to explore this trauma, the author initiated a healing process that, alongside conventional care, led to remarkable success in her holistic treatment.

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • The author effectively emphasises the deep integration of our body systems and the interconnectedness of individuals within society, highlighting the importance of mental and emotional well-being alongside physical health.

  • The author’s accessible writing style and lack of pushy assuredness make the book approachable and inviting, creating a sense that he has valuable knowledge to share rather than imposing beliefs.


  • The book is criticised because it attributes all health issues to a single factor or solution, in this case, the management of galectin 3. The scepticism is compounded when such claims are linked to a product that the author sells, which may raise questions about credibility.

Best quotes from The Survival Paradox

“When galectin-3 activity continues uncontrollably, it effectively "goes rogue, driving inflammation and fibrosis rather than healing. This, in turn, can lead to numerous disease processes. What's more, pathogens such as different infectious agents and tumors can hijack galectin-3 and use it for their own survival. This is a key issue that can be treated strategically, and we'll further explore this concept throughout the next chapters.”
“Physical scars, negative emotions, psychological states, and how we respond to stress all have an influence on our levels of galectin-3 and can affect our longevity. We know that high levels of galectin-3 impact our mortality and shorten our lives, so if we can bring it down and create harmony in our bodies, that means that we can be healthier and live longer. Moving away from a state of chronic stress and survival and into one of well-being, spaciousness, and harmony makes this possible.”
“Andy overcame an incurable neurodegenerative disease while overcoming two cancers at the same time. Thirteen years after his first visit to the clinic, he died at the age of eighty-three, for reasons unrelated to Parkinson's or the cancers. He lived a full and happy life through the miracle of regeneration and healing. His story was so amazing that it was documented by an international television health program.”

Final takeaway

The Survival Paradox by Isaac Eliaz offers a profound and holistic perspective on health, disease, and healing. Dr. Eliaz’s unique approach, blending Western and Eastern medicine, delves into the interconnectedness of our physical and emotional well-being. The book provides valuable insights into transforming the body’s innate survival mode into a state of relaxation, enabling profound healing. Moreover, it sheds light on the pivotal role of inhibiting galectin-3 in disease management, highlighting its effects on various conditions and emphasising the significance of emotional well-being in the healing process.

The Survival Paradox is a must-read for individuals seeking to understand the intricate relationship between their survival responses, emotions, and overall health.

Where to buy

You may purchase The Survival Paradox on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.

Healthypedia FAQ

Yes, Dr. Eliaz references scientific studies and peer-reviewed papers to substantiate the book's concepts and recommendations.

Dr. Eliaz provides practical techniques like meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture, and healing modalities to calm the survival response and promote relaxation.

Yes, the book shares inspiring case studies, like that of Mary, who experienced healing by addressing past traumas alongside conventional care.

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