S. Jones-President of Preventive Lifestyles, Inc.
was a bit intimidated when I first picked up Optimal
Wellness, Ralph Golan MD's voluminous reference on healing.
After all, the book is over 500 pages long and is billed as "A
bible for 21st-century medicine." Nonetheless, that didn't
stop me from immediately turning to Chapter 17, Common Ailments
from A to Z, which I presumed was the how-to section of the book.
Being a typically busy consumer, I wanted Dr. Golan to give me
a magic bullet cure for my sinus problems.
text on sinus infection was relatively short. Although it contained
general information on conventional medical treatment and a discussion
of nutritional, herbal and other complementary therapies, I had
a definite feeling that I was missing something important. The
discussion was too short, too simple for a book of this size.
Then I noticed four coded letters symbols – CHEM, DietH, Y, and
FA – at the beginning of the section, under Related or Underlying
quickly flipped pages back to the beginning of the chapter, where
I learned that the symbols stood for Chemical Hypersensitivity
and Environmental Illness, Dietary Hazards, Yeast Overgrowth,
and Food Allergies. Dr. Golan's introductory paragraph also admonished
me that just treating symptoms can't "create the foundation
of health needed to achieve optimal wellness
and that I should carefully review the (earlier) chapters that
discussed the Ten Common Denominations of Illness. So I abandoned
my once-over-lightly approach and sat down to read the read from
beginning to end.
my experience proved, Optimal Wellness
is not a health care cookbook (although it does contain a small
recipe section). It does not offer quick, easy cures for what
ails you. Instead, it provides an explanation of the complex nature
of health and of the interrelationship of all the body systems,
including the "mindbody". It offers courses of action
by which you can improve your health and well-being, no matter
what your specific symptoms or complaints might be.
Golan dedicates several early chapters to examining the relationship
between health and diet, including topics as dietary hazards and
excesses, "all-star foods", and finding your personal
optimal wellness diet - a fascinating look
at differing nutritional needs based upon blood and body type.
This leads directly into the Ten Common Denominators of Illness:
nutritional deficiencies, poor digestion and assimilation, a sluggish
liver, hypoglycemia, yeast overgrowth, food allergies, chemical
hypersensitivity and environmental illness, and psychoneuroimmunology
(a long word for the body-mind connection), and how they affect
your immune system.
is not until you have a strong understanding of the interrelated
body systems and what cause them to malfunction that Dr. Golan
launches into the how-to chapters-Common Ailments, Natural Remedies,
and Preventive Approaches, New Age and Age-Old Approaches, New
and the Medical Profession. Once you have read this far, it all
ties together and you are qualified to fabricate a health plan
to fit your own body's requirements.
it is a voluminous book, "Optimal Wellness" is well
organized and not difficult to read. Most chapters start with
a general introduction to the topic and an informal case study.
From there, Dr. Golan goes into each topic in a chatty and informal
style, yet he is able to include a great deal of technical information-even
physicians' protocols-without confusing or boring his readers.
is a thoughtful and exhaustive examination of self-care options,
full of insights and explanations. It is an excellent general
source book for natural and complementary therapies, including
herbal remedies, fasting and cleansing, and touch and energy therapies.
would be surprised if everyone did not experience at least one
"Aha!" when they discover the explanation for their
symptom or reaction. Dr. Golan names specific products and their
sources, recommends further readings and resources, and references
his statements in a Notes section at the end of the book.
Wellness" is an excellent handbook for lifestyle change and
a valuable reference on self/health care for novices and experts
alike. Despite its imposing size, its easy-to-read style and wealth
of information on a very broad range of topics makes it an important
addition both to your family's and to your health care provider's
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