This book would be great if it weren't 20 years out-of-date. A lot of the trails here have been expanded, and thus the maps really aren't accurate anyThis book would be great if it weren't 20 years out-of-date. A lot of the trails here have been expanded, and thus the maps really aren't accurate anymore. Case in point: McDowell Grove now links up to the Prairie Path, which is a pretty huge change since the book was published in 1995....more
Mostly focused on agoraphobia as a result of panic attacks, so not terribly relevant if you have agoraphobia and not panic disorder. (At least the autMostly focused on agoraphobia as a result of panic attacks, so not terribly relevant if you have agoraphobia and not panic disorder. (At least the author did note that agoraphobia without panic disorder is possible, because it is.) A lot of the stuff in this book is from the author's own experience, but overlaps a lot with DBT and ACT techniques. I didn't find it terribly useful, but it's a short read, and you never know what advice might work for you. Borrow it from your library and give it a try....more
I thought this was going to be one of those delightful diatribes against Big Pharma and how we have some tools to help ourselves move forward to a heaI thought this was going to be one of those delightful diatribes against Big Pharma and how we have some tools to help ourselves move forward to a healthy life without necessarily using medications. This isn't that book. This is a book I would categorize as more accurately being fiction.
Here's a story. The author of this book almost died. Then he took a lot of vitamin C and wound up inventing all sorts of strategies that helped him lead a healthy life, of which he is selling in this book. He does not believe in conventional medicine.
Here's another story. I know a doctor. One of his patients had leukemia, and this patient decided to go to Indiana and seek "alternative medicine" practices rather than get chemo. The patient died within a matter of months.
See what those are? Two stories. Two people's lives. Neither one is definitively pointing toward a certain type of medical practice being accurate. They are anecdotes. in order to determine what medical remedies are effective, you need to do scientific research. Unfortunately, this book has no scientific research between its covers, whatsoever. In fact, this book really should come with a gigantic [CITATION NEEDED] pinned to the cover.
I'm just going to go through a few of the more egregious points in this book. By the last few chapters, hate reading was no longer enjoyable, so I just skimmed, and probably missed a few gems, for which I don't really apologize, because I have better things to do with my life.
Pg. 13: "[M]edical intervention is a major cause of disease and the leading cause of death in America."
ORLY? Actually, according to the CDC, the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. And, according to the CDC, "Complications of medical and surgical care" leads to only 2,768 deaths per year, or about a TENTH of a percent. Heart disease causes 25% of deaths in the US every year.
Pg. 16: "[T]here is only one diesase and... symptoms are not important." (emphasis original)
Cool. I'll go treat my cough with an antiemetic if it makes no difference. And next time I go to my doctor's office for allergies I won't tell her my symptoms, because they're clearly not important for the type of treatment I should get. My doctor will just automatically know that, of course. She'll actually kick me out of the office and tell me to go make better life choices, or I wouldn't have gotten sick in the first place (see below).
Pg. 17: "[My physician] prescribed an antibiotic called metronidazole, which is known to be toxic to the liver."
According to the NIH: "Despite the wide use of metronidazole, only rare cases of hepatoxicity have been reported." BOOM.
Pg. 24: "[I]t [his "healthy" living system] gives you the power of choice to never get sick again."
AWESOME! Now that I'm a superhero, I would like a cape and my own TV show. Kthx.
Pg. 29: "We make ourselves sick by making bad choices."
Cool. Please tell that to the women who worked for the Radium Dial Company. Please tell that to the people who had the bad luck of living in Hinkley, California, when PG&E allowed hexavalent chromium to contaminate the water. Or the residents of Libby, Montana, who were exposed to asbestos as a result of the W. R. Grace corporation. Or to, you know, people who get sick in general, because nobody wants to get sick. But shit happens. Victim blaming doesn't help anybody.
Pg. 33: "New problems arise because prescription drugs work by poisoning the body."
Actually, no. You know what does poison bodies? Infections. Which can be cured by prescription antibiotics.
Pg. 39: "Contrary to popular opinion, germs do not cause disease. Unless you experience massive exposure, you have to already be sick or injured in order to develop an infection."
I don't know what "massive exposure" means, but sure, tell that to healthy kids who died from polio, which, by the way, is a virus. Viruses are generally lumped into the category of "germ" that also includes bacteria. There are like ten thousand other examples I can use here. The fact that germs cause disease was such a profound benefit to medical science that it changed the way we do medicine and saved countless lives. I recommend that the author never wash his hands after using the bathroom, and see how well that works out for him.
Pg. 42: "Invariably, people suffering from disease have made poor choices (if unknowingly) and caused their own illness. In the case of sick children, the parents have made the poor choices."
SO CRUEL AND SO NOT TRUE
Pg. 47 the author finally comes out as an anti-vaxxer
Awesome. I would have loved to have gotten MORE diseases as a child if I hadn't been vaccinated (thanks mom and dad, my vaccines are awesome and I love them). It would have been so much fun to get any one of these potentially life-threatening diseases, that I was immune to instead: polio, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, etc. Although, if my parents hadn't vaccinated me, I guess I could have blamed my illness on their poor choice (not to vaccinate me). Hmmmm.....
Pg. 55: "Our overconsumption of fructose is causing myriad health problems..." Pg. 57: "The average American's diet... lacks antioxidant and other anti-inflammatory nutrients found especially in fruits and vegetables."
Do you know why fructose is called FRUcTose? Hint, it has to do with the fact that it's prevalent in fruits. Do you want me to stop eating fructose or eat more fruits? Because those aren't congruent with each other.
Pg. 60: "Virtually all degenerative diseases... are associated with excess acidity [low pH]."
[CITATION NEEDED]. Also, for somebody who claims to know about "science" and claims that the medical establishment doesn't "use science" (again, citation needed), he should really become informed that correlation does not equal causation.
Pg. 68: "[T]aking an antibiotic even once can damage your health for the remainder of your life." (emphasis original)
OR, the antibiotic could literally save your life. Your choice. Also, no, they generally don't damage people's health for the rest of their lives. Again, [CITATION NEEDED].
Pg. 76: [O]verweight is a serious chronic disease caused by a malfunction in fat storage regulation."
OR, we could just naturally have a diversity of body sizes (as we do with height), all of which may or may not be perfectly healthy, but none of which is a disease. Technically, the term "over" means above the average. Which means that by default 50% of all humans are going to be "over" the average, and thus automatically be diseased by definition. Body sizes aren't diseases. And there are so many studies that have shown that, and shown that our obsession with "obesity" is ill-informed and hurtful. Dieting actually causes poorer health outcomes than not dieting. Also it leads to weight gain. Science.
Pg. 77: "If you are overweight, your life expectancy is reduced."
Except for, you know, all of the scientific studies that say the complete opposite. But who cares about science?
Pg. 125: "Cooking destroys nutrients and creates toxins."
Except when it doesn't. Please look at me with a straight face and tell me humanity would have made it where we have without the invention of fire. Which was used to cook food, among other things.
Pg. 151: "Eat organically produced food. Chose to use safe household cleaning products, personal care products, pillows, mattresses, carpets, building materials, and paints. Use air filters and water filters in your home. Avoid prescription drugs."
Cool. I guess that means that only wealthy people can "choose" to be healthy. Because I can't "choose" to rebuild the apartment I live in with all of that organic stuff, and I certainly wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. Also, good luck "curing" your diabetes by not taking your prescription insulin. I guess if I get stung by a bee I should "avoid" using an epi-pen? That could be fun.
Pg. 169: "Drugs are extremely toxic and almost always unnecessary."
Again, except for when they save your life, or when they allow you to LIVE your life.
Pg. 169: "In fact, properly prescribed drugs are the third-leading cause of death in the United States."
And exactly 4 seconds of Googling the CDC website led me to discover that the third leading cause of death in the US is chronic lower respiratory diseases. Man, that was a lot of effort.
Pg. 182: "To overcome a serious disease like cancer, it is usually necessary to continue through a series of fasts to remove all the tumor tissue."
Firstly, [CITATION NEEDED]. Secondly, you know what else can help with cancer? Surgery, chemo, radiation treatments, medication. Some cancers are more treatable than others. It has nothing to do with choice. Cancer sucks, people get it, and there isn't a hell of a lot we can do, other than use the tools that medical science has to offer. And we can thank the countless medical researchers out there trying to come up with new tools that can make this battle easier in the future.
Pg. 193-194: "You have to live [life], and when life is filled with pain, sorrow, and disappointment, you can still choose to be happy regardless of the circumstances."
I was waiting for him to debunk mental illness!! I love it when people tell me to just "choose" to be happy, as if it were a choice. Actually, it isn't, and depression sucks. If people could "choose" to be happy, if it were truly that simple, NOBODY would have depression. End of story. I'm just glad this guy isn't a psychologist. (Also, that means he's really not in a position to make a bullshit statement such as the above.)
Pg. 225: "You Control Your Genes"
AWESOME! I didn't realize I chose my parents! Cool fact, bro.
Pg. 264: "[S]urgery does not solve disease problems.
Except for people whose cancers have gone into remission after being surgically removed. Or for people whose lives are saved by heart bypass operations, or appendectomies, or for people who have internal organ damage or brain trauma.
- The author completely rips apart medicine in the first few chapters and goes on and on about how there's supposedly no "science" behind it. (Which is, in fact, bullshit.) Later on in the book, however, he suggests you get your vitamin levels checked with a blood test. Guess where I have to go to do that? A medical lab. And guess who looks at the results? A doctor. And guess how they know what the "normal" ranges of vitamin levels are in my blood? Science.
- The author is against fluoridated water, chlorinated water (I guess we should have bacteria-laden water instead?), NSAIDs (such as advil and naproxen), vaccines, BC (I'm going to guess he's also the kind of douchebag who thinks that women have too many kids), and antibiotics, to name just a few.
- He claims that endocrine disrupting chemicals are a problem. I agree 100%. I actually agree like 200%. However, I don't choose to put them in consumer products, corporations do, and they're not required to disclose this fact. So how can I avoid things that I'm not told are present in things that I may purchase? Please, do not blame individuals for being exposed to EDCs. Blame the system of capitalism we have where corporations are allowed to use us as guinea pigs in order for them to reap profits. And the "solution" of buying only organic, no cans, etc, is really inaccessible to the majority of the population. Limited exposure to harmful chemicals should not be the privilege of the wealthy. This is a social justice problem, not a problem of personal choice.
- Then at the end of the book, after having railed against EDCs, he says that you need to get your mercury fillings replaced. "Fortunately, plastic composites are now used extensively in place of mercury fillings." (pg. 270) Hey, you know what plastic composites are made out of? BPA! Sweet! Both of these options suck, and it's not the fault of people who have fillings that our options are so severely limited.
- His dietary restrictions are beyond belief. He claims that sugar is a "deadly toxin" (pg. 85), but it's in virtually every fruit on the planet. It's also in some vegetables and other foods as well. I had a strawberry this morning and last I checked, I'm still breathing. He also talks about eliminating glutamates from my diet. Guess I have to stop eating peas, potatoes, tomatoes, kombu, soy sauce, cheese and seafood. Glutamate is a naturally occurring protein. MSG is another story, but he didn't go there.
- He quotes William Osler, MD, who was alive between 1849 and 1919. The Osler quote is "The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine." If I lived during the times of Osler, I'm sure I would have agreed, as the Pure Food and Drug Act wasn't passed until 1906, and there were disgusting problems with patent medications. Sure. Meds today still have awful side effects at times, and sometimes Big Pharma covers them up. But that's not the story sold in this book.
- The author prescribes: exercise (OK, I think a lot of people can agree with that one, but it's very unhelpful for people who are mobility impaired, and we should have other tools of health to offer them if they so desire); breathing (duly noted); sunlight (I'll keep that in mind in February when there are only 8 hours of sun and it's -5F outside.)
- The author says to get a lot of sunlight, but a few paragraphs later says to limit electromagnetic (EM) field exposure. Okay. All EM fields? Because light is an electromagnetic field. Be consistent dude.
- The author also says to avoid power lines, wifi, and cell phones. Cool. I'll move to the country and communicate via hand written letters send through the mail. I'm sure my boss will be OK with the fact that I can't go into the office because there's wifi in there, and that I can't Skype or participate in any business meetings. So. Basically people can't go to public libraries, coffee shops, grocery stores, the houses or apartments of friends and family, most workplaces in the US, etc. Sounds reasonable....more