"A Wellness Encyclopedia"
Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients,
fine the books on alternative health care exist, but Ralph Golan's
Optimal Wellness ventures into new
territory by focusing on ten major underlying conditions instead
of on specific diseases. These ten conditions cause a baffling
array of symptoms, often treated by conventional medicine with
symptom-suppressing pharmaceuticals. Golan relates how individuals
can use diet, natural hygiene practices, supplements, and a range
of "New Age and Old Age" therapies to feel truly well.
Wellness is divided into 6 parts. The first part discusses
the necessity of taking responsibility for one's own health care
and includes a Master Symptom Survey that allows readers to assess
which of 10 Common Denominators, if any, may be affecting them.
The second section covers dietary hazards and gives information
that encourages experimentation to find one's "optimal diet".
Part 3 contains a chapter for each of the ten common denominators
of illnesses: nutritional deficiencies, poor digestion and assimilation,
toxic bowel, sluggish liver, hypoglycemia, adrenal exhaustion,
yeast overgrowth, food allergies, chemical hypersensitivity and
environmental illness, and the mind-body connection. Natural remedies
and preventative approaches for over 100 common ailments, all
of which are linked to one or more of the 10 underlying factors,
make up part 4. Part 5 explains several old and new non-pharmeceutical
interventions - fasting methods, methods for cleansing toxins
from the body, herbs, hydrotherapy, castor oil packs, ginger compresses,
and massage, among others. The last section tells how to choose
and relate to one's doctor.
news articles, and organizations like the American Heart Association,
provide most of the public's nutritional information. Unfortunately,
their information presents an incomplete and inaccurate picture
of a healthy diet. Golan weaves an exhaustive amount of nutritional
information into a comprehensible whole. He thoroughly explains
the dietary hazards of hydrogenated oils, trans-fatty acids, sugar,
diet sodas, homogenized milk, and over 3000 chemicals permitted
in our food supply and found in so may processed foods. He disputes
the totally negative information about fat and salt; the body
needs both, but in natural forms and moderate amounts. The information
in this section is as knowledgeable and complete as any book that
I have ever read on the subject of nutrition.
practical and comprehensive scope of the diet section also characterizes
Part 3 on the 10 common denominators of illness. Most conditions
are treated by conventional medicine with pharmaceuticals that
suppress symptoms instead of addressing the underlying cause.
In Optimal Wellness, Golan
explains how readers, sometimes with the help of a doctor, can
identify which factors are playing a role in their health. Some
conditions can be best determined by a laboratory test. In adrenal
exhaustion, for example, Golan has found that measuring free cortisol
and DHEA levels in saliva samples taken by the patient during
the course of a normal day more accurately reflects the condition
of the adrenal glands than the ACTH test. In other conditions,
like hypoglycemia and yeast overgrowth, a person's response to
prescribed diet and lifestyle changes and supplements indicate
whether they have pinpointed the main underlying condition. Although
many of the 10 common denominators are closely related, Golan
provides a chapter for each. Each of these chapters begins with
an example from Golan's patient files, then gives symptoms of
the conditions, how to test for it, treatments - mostly self care
- and contributing factors. Golan ends Part 3 with a separate
chapter on the effect of these denominators on the immune system.
Wellness was designed to teach the reader "the
wisdom and necessity of becoming your own and best health advocate."
Golan wrote it for people who either found no answers from conventional
medicine or who were dissatisfied with conventional treatments.
He also wrote it to aid health professionals, who wish to initiate
or increase the use of preventive and naturopathic care in their
was extremely impressed by the content, clarity, and perspective
of this book. People interested in self-care and doctors who want
to help their patients, but are baffled by diverse symptoms, will
find an encyclopedia of valuable information in Dr. Golan's Optimal
Wellness. Golan has combined his experience and knowledge
as a practicing MD and as instructor at the naturopathic Bastyr
University in Seattle to create a book "Where Mainstream
and Alternative Medicine meet."
© Copyright 1999-, Ralph Golan MD
All rights reserved.
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