Yoga, walking, body image and a balanced life – July Health Picks

Could this month’s multiple titles on eating disorders, addictions and depression be an indicator of our modern struggles as human being? Can mediation, yoga and walking be part of a holistic, gentle and sustainable solution? Delve into our new health collection and find out what you think.

Syndetics book coverModern yoga
“Modern Yoga is a complete program of personal transformation. The book shows a path through the traditions of yoga, meditation, personal development and physical yoga practice. It is the work of one of Australia’s leading yogis, Duncan Peak, founder of Power Living Yoga Australia.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe depths : the evolutionary origins of the depression epidemic
“Nearly every depressed person is assured by doctors, well-meaning friends and family, the media, and ubiquitous advertisements that the underlying problem is a chemical imbalance. Such a simple defect should be fixable, yet despite all of the resources that have been devoted to finding a pharmacological solution, depression remains stubbornly widespread. Why are we losing this fight? In this humane and illuminating challenge to defect models of depression, psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg argues that depression is a particularly severe outgrowth of our natural capacity for emotion. In other words, it is a low mood gone haywire.  The Depths offers a bold new account of why depression endures–and makes a strong case for de-stigmatizing this increasingly common condition, offering hope in the form of his own and other patients’ recovery, and points the way towards new paths for treatment.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIf you work it, it works! : the science behind 12 step recovery
“Since the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, the Twelve Steps have been central to staying sober for millions of people around the world. Countless recovery and treatment organizations have adopted the Steps as their program for abstaining from addictive behaviors. But recently a growing chorus of critics has questioned the science behind this model. In this book, Nowinski calls upon the latest research, as well as his own seminal Project MATCH study, to show why systematically working a Twelve Step program yields predictable and successful outcomes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe time in between : a memoir of hunger and hope
“When Nancy Tucker was eight years old, her class had to write about what they wanted in life. She thought, and thought, and then, though she didn’t know why, she wrote: ‘I want to be thin.’Over the next twelve years, she developed anorexia nervosa, was hospitalised, and finally swung the other way towards bulimia nervosa. She left school, rejoined school; went in and out of therapy; ebbed in and out of life. From the bleak reality of a body breaking down to the electric mental highs of starvation, hers has been a life held in thrall by food. Told with remarkable insight, dark humour and acute intelligence, The Time in Between is a profound, important window into the workings of an unquiet mind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBody of truth : how science, history, and culture drive our obsession with weight and what we can do about it
“Over the last 25 years, our longing for thinness has morphed into a relentless cultural obsession with weight and body image. Even the most confident people have to find a way through a daily gauntlet of voices and images talking, admonishing, warning us about what size we should be, how much we should weigh, what we should eat and what we shouldn’t. Obsessing about weight has become a ritual and a refrain, punctuating our every relationship, including the ones with ourselves. Harriet Brown has explored the conundrums of weight and body image for more than a decade, as a science journalist, as a woman who has struggled with weight, as a mother, wife, and professor. In this book, she describes how biology, psychology, metabolism, media, and culture come together to shape our ongoing obsession with our bodies, and what we can learn from them to help us shift the way we think.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverFat planet : the obesity trap and how we can escape it
“Our planet is in the grip of an obesity pandemic. More than a billion people worldwide are overweight and over 600 million are obese. We live in an obesogenic environment in which it is much easier to get fat than to stay fit. How has this come to be? Who is to blame? What can we do? In Fat Planet , Dr David Lewis and Dr Margaret Leitch examine the social and psychological causes of the obesity pandemic in order to answer these questions. They use ground-breaking research to highlight the behaviour of corporations that relentlessly promote foods high in sugar, fat and salt, and show that these ‘junk’ foods have shockingly similar neurological effects to hard drugs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Blue Zones solution : eating and living like the world’s healthiest people
“Dan Buettner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Blue Zones, lays out a proven plan to maximize your health based on the practices of the world’s healthiest people. For the first time, Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones”—those places with the world’s longest-lived, and thus healthiest, people. Filled with moving personal stories, delicious recipes, checklists, and useful tips that will transform any home into a miniature blue zone, The Blue Zones Solution is the ultimate blueprint for a healthy, happy life.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverDoctors dissected
“This is a ‘story’ book about medicine, body, mind, doctors and caprices of human nature written by an experienced doctor (Martin Scurr), who has seen every untidy vagary of disease, and a psychotherapist (Jane Haynes), who has listened to personal narratives that rival the visceral emotions of King Lear. Doctors – who at their most profound are mercurial messengers between life and death, and who at a more comedic level must suffer our jiggling body parts – are also vulnerable men and women struggling to make sense of their existence. They are the only people other than our lovers to whom as adults we grant voluntary access to our naked bodies. The degree of such intimacy is emphasised by the concern of all medical ethics which promises that we will not be taken advantage of should we fall ill and become infantilised.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverWalking the weight off for dummies
“Walking is the number one form of exercise in America, and studies show that it is highly effective in achieving multiple health goals from losing weight and decreasing body fat to improving overall health and mental well being. Best of all, walking is very inexpensive and can be done anywhere. With this complete and easy-to-use guide, you′ll find that creating and sticking to a walking program to lose weight and feel great has never been easier. If you′ve always wanted to incorporate walking into your routine to boost your health and effectively lose weight, Walking the Weight Off For Dummies will show you how.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIs Gwyneth Paltrow wrong about everything? : how the famous sell us elixirs of health, beauty & happiness
“An exploration of the effect our celebrity-dominated culture has on our ideas of living the good life Our perceptions of beauty, health, success, and happiness are framed by a popular culture that is increasingly disconnected from reality. Research tells us that our health decisions and goals are influenced by both celebrity culture and celebrity endorsements, that our children’s ambitions are now overwhelmingly governed by the fantasy of fame, and that our ideals of beauty and success are mediated through a celebrity-dominated worldview. Health law and policy researcher Timothy.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe good story : exchanges on truth, fiction and psychotherapy
“A fascinating dialogue on the human inclination to make up stories between a Nobel Prize-winning writer and a psychotherapist. Arabella Kurtz and J. M. Coetzee consider psychotherapy and its wider social context from different perspectives, but at the heart of both their approaches is a concern with stories. Working alone, the writer is in sole charge of the story he or she tells. The therapist, on the other hand, collaborates with the patient in telling the story of their life. The authors discuss both individual psychology and the psychology of the group: the school classroom, the gang, the settler nation where the brutal deeds of the ancestors have to be accommodated into a national story. Drawing on great writers like Cervantes and Dostoevsky and on psychoanalysts like Freud and Melanie Klein, they offer illuminating insights into the stories we tell of our lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMadness in civilization : a cultural history of insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the madhouse to modern medicine
“Beautifully illustrated throughout, Madness in Civilization takes readers from antiquity to today, painting a vivid and often harrowing portrait of the different ways that cultures around the world have interpreted and responded to the seemingly irrational, psychotic, and insane. From the Bible to Sigmund Freud, from exorcism to mesmerism, from Bedlam to Victorian asylums, from the theory of humors to modern pharmacology, the book explores the manifestations and meanings of madness, its challenges and consequences, and our varied responses to it. Written by one of the world’s preeminent historians of psychiatry, Madness in Civilization is a panoramic history of the human encounter with unreason.” (Syndetics)