Stretching, bacteria and madness – February health picks

We are more than the sum of our parts but we need to give each part the attention and care it deserves to ensure the smooth running of our being as a whole. Here are some books to help.

Syndetics book coverThe complete guide to stretching
“The definitive practical handbook for those eager to achieve a level of flexibility that will enhance performance, sports coaches and fitness instructors who are seeking a thorough understanding of the principles and practice of this often neglected component of physical fitness and sport and exercise therapists who use stretching as an important part of a balanced rehabilitation programme. A reasonable level of flexibility is essential to the healthy functioning of joints and muscles, which in turn facilitates performance and reduces the risk of injury. An accessible overview of the scientific principles that underpin this form of training and offers more than 70 exercises designed to safely increase range of motion right across the body.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover10% human : how your body’s microbes hold the key to health and happiness
“You are not just flesh and blood, muscle and bone, brain and skin, but bacteria and fungi. You are not an individual, but a colony of microbes. Far from being passive, the trillions of microbes that live on and in you are intimately involved in running your body. Even aspects that you think of entirely as ‘you’ turn out to be run by ‘them’ – like your immune system. In this riveting, shocking and beautifully-written book Alanna Collen explores the modern epidemics of ‘Western’ diseases – obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, auto-immunity, and even cancer – and argues that most have their root in our failure to cherish our most fundamental and enduring relationship: that with our personal colony of microbes. Antibiotics, antibacterial cleaners, rapidly changing diets and our obsession with hygiene alter the microbe community we carry.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverFinding your emotional balance : a guide for women
“Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed. While they seek help for mental disorders more often than men, they also seek to help others, trying to keep everyone happy while taking care of parents, spouses, and children. Sometimes, doing it all is doing too much. In Finding Your Emotional Balance , Dr. Merry Noel Miller offers women of all ages advice for coping with life’s challenges while increasing its joys. Drawing on her three decades of experience as a psychiatrist specializing in women’s mental health-as well as her own personal struggles with depression and grief-she explains the special vulnerabilities and strengths of women during adolescence, the childbearing years, menopause, and late in life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe laws of medicine : field notes from an uncertain science
“Is medicine a “science”? Sciences must have laws–statements of truth based on repeated experiments that describe some universal attribute of nature. But does medicine have laws like other sciences?  In this important treatise, he investigates the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career that ultimately led him to identify the three key principles that govern medicine. Written with Dr. Mukherjee’s signature eloquence and passionate prose, The Laws of Medicine is a critical read, not just for those in the medical profession, but for everyone who is moved to better understand how their health and well-being is being treated.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCultured food for health : a guide to healing yourself with probiotic foods
“Explores the science behind the benefits of cultured foods and shows how incorporating “The Trilogy”–kefir, kombucha, and cultured vegetables–into our diet creates more powerful healing effects than any one of these foods alone, as the different types of probiotic bacteria work together to create a healthy gut and a truly healthy life. Donna explains how cultured foods can be used to address specific ailments–from IBS and diabetes to allergies, colds, and flu–and teaches us, step by step, how to prepare these probiotic foods and easily incorporate them into a daily routine.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNine dimensions of madness : redefining mental health
“Gallon explains the history of psychiatry and how it came to develop a medical model that codifies mental disorders in the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), now in its fifth edition. He demonstrates how, in 1950s and 1960s when the miracle psychiatric drugs came on the market, it was to the great economic advantage of both pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists to describe people’s problems in the language of medicine. His alternative to this disease model suggests descriptive types that we can construct to discuss the kinds and severities of problems people experience.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBeth Shaw’s yogafit
“Whether you are searching for a new physical challenge or a way to incorporate yoga into your exercise routine, “Beth Shaw’s YogaFit” will help you reach your physical potential. With “YogaFit” you’ll have not only increased overall health, energy, and vitality but also a stronger and leaner body, reduced stress, better posture, improved concentration, and a higher level of fitness. This book presents more than 100 YogaFit poses organized into workout routines that you can use every day. The text includes information on using YogaFit as a training tool for sports and creating personalized routines to meet your own needs. The full-color photo sequences and step-by-step instruction make it more accessible than ever.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe naked surgeon : the power and peril of transparency in medicine
“We are not meant to touch hearts. We all have one, but most of us will never see one. The heart surgeon now has that privilege but, for centuries, the heart was out of reach even for surgeons. So when a surgeon nowadays opens up a ribcage and mends a heart, it remains something of a miracle, even if, to some, it is merely plumbing. In The Naked Surgeon, Samer Nashef unclothes his own profession to demonstrate to his reader (and prospective patient) many revelations, such as the paradox at the heart of the cardiac surgeon’s craft: the more an operation is likely to kill you, the better it is for you. And he does so with absolute clarity, fluency and not a little wit.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOvercoming mild traumatic brain injury and post-concussion symptoms : a self-help guide using evidence-based techniques
“Up to 10% of people will suffer a mild head injury (or ‘mild traumatic brain injury’) in their lifetime and up to 50% of those people will also find they have lingering post-concussion symptoms in the months or years afterwards. These symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbance, reduced day-to-day memory, poor concentration, taking longer to think, ‘muzzy’ headedness, depression, anxiety, tinnitus, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light or noise, frustration, nausea, restlessness and sensitivity to alcohol. In such circumstances the ‘mild’ head injury may feel anything but mild. This book clarifies some of the complex issues for those who suffer with prolonged problems and provides practical, science-based self-help guidance for managing TBI difficulties.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe happy vegan : a guide to living a long, healthy, and successful life
“Master entrepreneur, original hip-hop mogul, and three-time New York Times bestselling author Russell Simmons offers an inspiring guide to the benefits of conscious eating and veganism.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe Cancer prevention manual : simple rules to reduce the risks / Ian Olver, Fred Stephens.
“Stories in the media about the cancer-causing risks present in everyday life can cause alarm and confusion, and make it difficult to know how to alter one’s lifestyle. The Cancer Prevention Manual is a handy guide to all key issues in cancer prevention, presenting medical and scientific information in a plain, accessible style. Written by authors with distinguished careers studying the illness, and based on a solid scientific grounding, this book provides the facts about how our lifestyles pose cancer risks, and what we can do to change them.” (Syndetics)