Inspiring stories of healing and positive lifestyle advice will set you on the road to good health as the season turns brighter & warmer. Spring is a time of new shoots and with them, hope, stamina and a renewed sense of purpose seem to emerge. Nothing better to adopt healthier food habits, spruce up the bike or the walking shoes and get out in the brisk, refreshing, rejuvenating spring air.
A dog walks into a nursing home
“A layabout mutt turned therapy dog leads her owner to a new understanding of the good life. At loose ends with her daughter leaving home and her husband on the road, Sue Halpern decided to give herself and Pransky, her under-occupied Labradoodle, a new, leash-, lease on life by getting the two of them certified as a therapy dog team. Smart, spirited, and instinctively compassionate, Pransky turned out to be not only a terrific therapist but an unerring moral compass. In the unlikely sounding arena of a public nursing home, she led her teammate into a series of encounters with the residents that revealed depths of warmth, humor, and insight Halpern hadn’t expected. And little by little, their adventures expanded and illuminated Halpern’s sense of what virtue is and does – how acts of kindness transform the giver as well as the given-to. Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt – showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)–taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.” (Syndetics)
Do you believe in magic? The sense and nonsense of alternative medicine
“Medical expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly.
Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine, an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks, can actually be harmful to our health.
Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy – alternative or traditional – should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some cases exceeding therapies offered by conventional practitioners.
An outspoken advocate for science-based health advocacy who is not afraid to take on media celebrities who promote alternative practices, Dr. Offit advises, “There’s no such thing as alternative medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”” (From amazon.com)
What to eat when you are pregnant and vegetarian
“As a vegetarian you already know how important it is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. But being pregnant aswell can make it seem even harder to eat and drink in a way that will keep you healthy, your baby safe and provide the ideal fuel for growth and development. What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and Vegetarian is your no-nonsense companion. This handy, compact book is the definitive healthy-eating guide for vegetarians who are expecting and provides expert guidance on what foods are safe and what you should steer clear of.” (From amazon.com)
The Reason I jump
“You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights — into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory — are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.” (From amazon.com)
Touching a nerve, the self as brain
“What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative, drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences, trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life.
Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas — for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self.” (From amazon.com)
Everyday Cycling in Aotearoa
“If you want to use a bike in your daily life, to get to work, play, school and the shops, this is the book you have been waiting for, an informative, comprehensive and inspiring guide that helps beginners get started and experienced cyclists ride more confidently, safely and enjoyably” (Syndetics)
Pain-free sitting, standing and walking
“Most of us take the acts of sitting, standing, and walking for granted, but for those suffering from back, muscle, and joint pain, even these seemingly simple actions can be extremely uncomfortable. Poor body alignment or habitual movement patterns that crop up when we compensate for a bad back or painful neck can only further exacerbate existing issues—and create new problems.
In this accessible workbook, Craig Williamson demonstrates how by just doing these three basic actions with optimal body alignment and attention, you can help free yourself from existing pain and prevent further injury. The protocol is simple but extremely effective, and step-by-step photos guide you through every exercise. Williamson’s approach has been praised by physicians, physical therapists, coaches and sports trainers, yoga instructors, and patients. “(from amazon.com)
Musical Encounters with dying
“Music therapy can be a profound physical, emotional and spiritual support at the end of life. This book looks at a wide variety of cases, explaining how music therapy can be used effectively. It highlights particular components of working with this group, such as creating a therapeutic relationship, helping patients to reach final goals, working within cultural contexts and dealing with difficult emotions, all within the parameters of the musical experience. It also explores the unique needs of people with disabilities or mental illness, and how to support the families of the dying. Therapeutic and philosophical insights related to the dying process are included. This will be a supportive and insightful guide for anyone working with people who are at the end of life, especially music therapists and other complementary therapists, caregivers, hospice workers and medical professionals.” (From amazon.com)
“A lucid, honest and deeply searching account of the author’s struggle to come to terms with anxiety and depression. Jenny Stewart shows how, over many years, with considerable help from others, she was able gradually to take control of her depression, not by focusing on its causes, but by understanding how best to fight it.” (Syndetics)
“From the co-author of Three Cups of Tea comes the inspiring story of two very different doctors—one from the United States, the other from Nepal—united in a common mission: to rid the world of preventable blindness.
In this transporting book, David Oliver Relin shines a light on the work of Geoffrey Tabin and Sanduk Ruit, gifted ophthalmologists who have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to some of the world’s most isolated, impoverished people through the Himalayan Cataract Project, an organization they founded in 1995. Tabin was the high-achieving bad boy of Harvard Medical School, an accomplished mountain climber and adrenaline junkie as brilliant as he was unconventional. Ruit grew up in a remote Nepalese village, where he became intimately acquainted with the human costs of inadequate access to health care. Together they found their life’s calling: tending to the afflicted people of the Himalayas, a vast mountainous region with an alarmingly high incidence of cataract blindness.
Second Suns is the moving, unforgettable story of how two men with a shared dream are changing the world, one pair of eyes at a time.” (from amazon.com)