10 new Health books to check out this September

This month we have a variety of new Health books for your reading pleasure. Perhaps start with the mysteries of the mind and explore new research on behavior, mental illness, anxiety and the power of mind over matter. If memoirs are your thing, check out the unbelievable stories of a veteran New Zealand pathologist, a former model turned health & fitness writer and a critically ill musician turned musical healer.

Syndetics book coverBehave : the biology of humans at our best and worst / Robert M. Sapolsky.
“From the celebrated neurobiologist and primatologist, a landmark, genre-defining examination of human behavior, both good and bad, and an answer to the question: Why do we do the things we do? Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA beginner’s guide to losing your mind / Emily Reynolds.
“Living with mental illness is isolating, infuriating and painful – but also very boring and, sometimes, kind of gross. A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind is a companion to make the journey feel a little less lonely. A blackly funny, deeply compassionate and extremely practical book. A candid exploration of mental illness that is both a personal account of what it’s like to live with mental illness and a guide to dealing with and understanding it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCure : a journey into the science of mind over body / Jo Marchant.
“A rigorous, skeptical, deeply reported look at the new science behind the mind’s extraordinary ability to heal the body. While we accept that stress or anxiety can damage our health, the idea of ‘healing thoughts’ was long ago hijacked by New Age gurus and spiritual healers. Drawing on the very latest research, Marchant explores the vast potential of the mind’s ability to heal, acknowledges its limitations, and explains how we can make use of the findings in our own lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautiful bodies : a memoir / Kimberly Rae Miller.
“What is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWild Mediterranean : the age-old, science-new plan for a healthy gut, with food you can trust / Stella Metsovas.
“The key to great digestive health lies in rewilding the gut and keeping the diverse microbes that inhabit it happy and thriving. In Wild Mediterranean Stella Metsovas breaks down the complex science behind digestive health and shares a deceptively simple and down-to-earth plan for ending the digestive issues that can have far-reaching effects on our everyday lives.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe cause of death / Dr Cynric Temple-Camp.
“Strange and shocking stories of death and murder in provincial New Zealand. You won’t believe these stories happened in New Zealand… Forensic and coronial pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp lifts the lid on some of the most fascinating cases he’s worked on during his 30-year career as a pathologist.  This book will shock and entertain, make you squirm but also occasionally pull at the heartstrings.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNatural defense : enlisting bugs and germs to protect our food and health / Emily Monosson.
“For more than a century, we have relied on chemical cures to keep our bodies free from disease and our farms free from bugs and weeds. We rarely consider human and agricultural health together, but both are based on the same ecology, and both are being threatened by organisms that have evolved to resist our antibiotics and pesticides.  Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnxiety for beginners : a personal investigation / Eleanor Morgan.
“Combining her own experiences, with extensive research, experts (neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and fellow sufferers), Morgan explores not just the roots of her own anxiety, but also investigates what might be contributing to so many of us suffering around the world. Anxiety for Beginners is a book about acceptance, as Morgan discovers the ways in which people can live a life that is not just manageable but enjoyable, learning to accept anxiety, rather than spending a life fighting and being ashamed of it.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverYou are getting sleepy : lifestyle-based solutions for insomnia / Paul Glovinsky PhD & Arthur Spielman PhD.
“Good sleep is an elusive goal: the harder you try, the less likely you are to be successful. Insomnia is stoked by different habits, schedules, stresses, beliefs, and even personality types, but there is no single pill or therapy to reverse it. While insomnia treatments can set the stage, the best thing a person can do to ready themselves for sleep is “getting sleepy.”  True sleepiness is the only reliable portal to sleep and You Are Getting Sleepy will guide you there.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaking the spirit : a musician’s journey healing body, mind, and soul / Andrew Schulman ; with an afterword by Marvin A. McMillen, M.D., FACS, MACP.
“The astounding story of a critically ill musician who is saved by music and returns to the same hospital to help heal others. Schulman expertly weaves cutting-edge research on neuroscience and medicine, as well as what he’s learned as a professional musician, to explore the power of music to heal the body and awaken the spirit. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Health for the New Year

“Be more, achieve more and stress less”, one of the quotes from this month’s book selection, sounds like an appropriate goal for the New Year. Everyone has a different set of goals but the wish for health is one that will resonate with most of us. This month’s titles will help us understand better how we function,  avoid disease by improving our lifestyle in view of the latest research findings or better manage illness should it afflict us or someone close to us.

Wishing all a happy and healthy New Year!

syndetics-lcMindfulness for busy people
“The audio content that accompanies this book can be downloaded and played for free from www.pearson-books.com/mindfulness. Be more, achieve more and stress less – how mindfulness can change the way you live Mindfulness for Busy People will show you how to apply the transformative power of mindfulness to your busy life, helping you to de-stress, find your own unique space of calm, and ready yourself for whatever challenges you face. Helping you to cultivate and practice mindfulness straight away, you’ll discover: * A no-nonsense, light-hearted, and clear introduction to mindfulness and its benefits * Unique and clever ‘I-haven’t-got-time-for-this’ exercises that you can do anywhere, anytime * A fulfilling way to feel less stressed with immediate effect * A new found confidence, resilience and a greater sense of optimism * Improved focus, energy, efficiency and creativity Feel calm, confident and live in the moment – whatever you’re doing, wherever you are.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lc Disease Proof
“The skills you need to slash your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more—by 80 percent.

Though we may not realize it, our behavior has tremendous effects on our health, well-being, and even gene expression. In Disease-Proof, renowned preventive medicine specialist Dr. David Katz reveals that we can reduce our risk of any chronic disease by an astonishing 80 percent—more than any drug or intervention could ever hope to do.

Abundant scientific evidence shows that four simple things—not smoking, eating well, being active, and maintaining a healthy weight—play an enormous role in our health. Drawing upon the latest scientific evidence and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Katz arms us with the skills to make lasting changes in each of these areas. Disease-Proof equips readers with the knowledge to manage weight, improve immune function, reprogram our genes, and prevent and reverse life-altering illnesses.

Groundbreaking and timely, this book is for readers of The End of Illness by David Agus and Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber.” (From amazon.com)

syndetics-lcBrainwashed
“In recent years, the advent of MRI technology seems to have unlocked the secrets of the human mind, revealing the sources of our deepest desires, intentions, and fears. In this book, the authors argue that the explanatory power of brain scans in particular and neuroscience more generally has been vastly overestimated. Although acknowledging its tremendous potential, they believe that the overzealous application of the burgeoning field of brain science has put innocent people in jail, prevented addicts from healing themselves, and undermined notions of free will and responsibility.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcYour Body – The Science of keeping it healthy
“In this new book, the editors of TIME examine what the latest research tells us about what does (and doesn’t) keep us feeling strong as we get older. Your Body contains four sections: Feeling fine, Staying healthy, Looking good, Going strong. More years on the planet don’t mean much if you aren’t well enough to enjoy them. Your Body explores the latest finding about topics such as inflammation; the “quantified life”, the new science of tracking such personal habits as diet, exercise, sleep and stress; fitness classes that truly stave off boredom; and the best ways to set a healthy goal so you’ll achieve it.” (Adapted from book jacket)

syndetics-lcThe Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong
“Taiji Qigong is an easy-to-learn system of energy-enhancing exercises, which coordinates movement with breathing and inner concentration. If practiced regularly, it will give you more energy, improve health and help prevent illness. Taiji Qigong is widely practiced throughout the Far East and increasingly, the Western world. Research indicates that Qigong relaxes the muscles and nervous system (so improving the function of the body systems) and benefits posture, balance and flexibility joints. This book acts as an in-depth instruction manual for the practice of the 18 stances of Taiji Qigong.” (From book cover)

syndetics-lcUnderstanding Alzheimer’s
“There are over 321,600 Australians living with dementia, with the most common type of dementia being Alzheimer’s. Each week, there are 1,700 new cases of dementia in Australia; approximately one person every 6 minutes. This timely book is a practical and compassionate guide to understanding and living with a condition that affects one in four people over 85. The lead author is Professor Ralph Martins, AO, one of the country’s most respected researchers. The book is aimed at those in the early stages of the disease, as well as the families, friends and professionals who take on the care of Alzheimer sufferers. There are chapters on diagnosis, research, prevention, treatment, legal issues, impact on loved ones and decision making to do with caring for patients. In addition to practical information and advice, each chapter contains a case study; these detailed accounts provide a personal and heartfelt perspective on the disease.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcMadness : a memoir
“‘It’s not every day you get to admit you’re mad. The thing with psychosis is that when I’m sick I believe the delusional stuff to the same degree that you might know the sky is above and the earth below. And if someone were to say to me that the delusional thinking is, in fact, delusional, well that’s the same as if I assure you now that we walk on the sky. Of course you wouldn’t believe me, and that’s why it’s sometimes so hard for people who are sick like this to know that they need treatment. Psychosis and severe depression have a huge effect on how you relate to other people and how you see the world. It’s a bit like being in a vacuum, or behind a wall of really thick glass . . . you lose any sense of connectedness. You’re cast adrift from everyone and everything that matters. I’ve lived with acute psychosis and depression for the best part of twenty years. This is the story of my journey from chaos to balance, and from limbo to meaning.’ Kate Richards is a trained doctor currently working in medical research.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcTrue Grit
“In this gripping new book, Bear tells the stories of the adventurers, explorers, soldiers and spies whose refusal to quit in the most extreme situations have inspired him throughout his life. Some of them make uncomfortable reading, because survival is rarely pretty. But all of them are tales of eye-watering bravery, physical resilience and sheer mental toughness by men and women who have one thing in common: true grit.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcThe Fast Diet
“Is it possible to eat what you like, most of the time, and get slimmer and healthier as you do it? According to the author of this book, it is, by simply quartering your calorie intake on two non-consecutive days each week (500 calories for women, 600 for men), you’ll lose weight quickly and easily – and the joy of the Fast Diet is that the side-effects are all good.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcGutbliss – Feel Light, Tight and Bright – the Healthy Way
“A renowned physician shares her complete 10-day digestive tune-up for women, with important revelations about good gastrointestinal health. Many so-called cures for women’s bloating and indigestion, from juice cleanses to specialty diets, are based on junk science. For women seeking true relief from that overall feeling of discomfort in any size jeans, Dr. Robynne Chutkan has the perfect plan for feeling light, tight, and bright in ten days. Gutbliss offers: A primer on the real reasons for gastrointestinal distress, and why it’s much more common in women A look at the debilitating side effects of supposedly healthy habits-from Greek yogurt to bloat-inducing aspirin An expert analysis of symptoms that could indicate a serious underlying condition An indispensable checklist to pinpoint the exact cause of your bloating Just a few small changes in diet, lifestyle, and exercise can make a huge difference in a woman’s digestive health, but the changes have to be the right ones. Going beyond the basics of top sellers such as Wheat Belly, Dr. Chutkan’s Gutbliss empowers women to take control of their gastrointestinal wellness.” (Syndetics summary)

syndetics-lcExpecting twins?
“One Born Every Minute: Expecting Twins? is written by Professor Mark Kilby, consultant in fetal medicine, and Jane Denton, director of the Multiple Births Foundation. It is unique in being the only comprehensive, reassuring and accessible illustrated guide to twin pregnancy, birth and first year of their lives on the market.

The book describes the fascinating ways that identical and nonidentical twins are conceived, how your pregnancy might develop and how to deal with the particular symptoms and other problems associated with a twin pregnancy. There is up-to-date information on current antenatal tests and how they are performed when two babies are being carried. The book fully illustrates how your babies may present in the womb and how this can affect your options of delivery, as well as the birth itself.

Many expectant mothers worry about how they will feed two babies; the book provides all the information to enable a mother to understand her options fully. The authors also advise on whether the babies should sleep together or apart, how to manage getting out and about and how to look after yourself in this busy time. Case studies from real parents and medical advice from twin consultants make this a practical, emotional and professional guide to support you in this joyous yet overwhelming time.” (From amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcReflexology – Basics of the Middle Way
“Reflexology: Basics of the Middle Way answers the questions to the mystery surrounding the science and art of reflexology. Moss Arnold, the acclaimed originator and presenter of Chi-reflexology, covers the basics of his approach to reflexology as well as beginning the process of establishing a solid foundation upon which reflexology can stand through a re-examination of the theory and practice.” (Syndetics summary)

September Health

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)

syndetics-lcDo 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)

syndetics-lcWhat 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)

syndetics-lcThe 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)

syndetics-lcTouching 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)

syndetics-lcEveryday 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)

syndetics-lcPain-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)

syndetics-lcMusical 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)

syndetics-lcInner weather
“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)

syndetics-lcSecond Suns
“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)