I read Dr. Colbert's book with more uncertainty than I expected and with some apprehension. I am skeptical of "self help" books and most seem to be good for one person-the author. However, the more I read his book the more I liked it. It goes without saying that reading a vitriolic "review," that reflects more of an opinion of the author and of Christianity than it does an evaluation of a book, shows that it doesn't take much for stress to influence a person and substantiates what Dr. Colbert offers for our consideration.
Stress and the emotions that cause stress are indeed at the root of many, if not most, of our diseases. It is a fact that nearly 90% of diseases that afflict humans are self-induced. It is amazing, given what we do to ourselves and how we treat our bodies, that we survive as long as we do. One doesn't have to be a Christian to understand the impact stress has. The Church of Scientology has available for any of us a self-administered test to evaluate the emotional state of anyone. There are workbooks, videos, self-help programs, and even medical devices to lower blood pressure increased due to stress. We have The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder created by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989. Numerous programs are designed to help us manage stress, anger, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, resentment and bitterness. The diseases that are induced or influenced by our emotions are many. The psychological and emotional pressures affecting us are common to all of us. It is when these pressures overwhelm our coping measures that they adversely affect us physically. Still, we as a population are willing to drug ourselves with anything a physician is willing to prescribe. One would have to live in a vacuum not to hear about "anti-cortisol" drugs for weight loss. Why not avoid excess cortisol instead and thereby avoid its chronic affects-bone loss, sodium retention, blood pressure increases, impaired glucose utilization along with weight gain and diabetes-eliminating the cause of its increase rather than treat the symptom? Intuitively, not taking a drug seems more appealing, if one can eliminate the cause of the cause of the problem itself.
For a reader who is not familiar or doesn't know the science that Dr. Colbert outlines, I will say that he is correct and absolutely accurate in his explanations. I have taught biochemistry and physiology and everything he says about the changes that occur in us due to stress is on target. There is a link, albeit not well understood yet, between our emotional health and our physical health. In my research of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, SLE, ankylosing spondylitis, atherosclerotic heart disease, blood pressure, migraine headaches, ulcers and infectious diseases, I have witnessed many, many times a worsening of the disease or the start of the medical problem when emotions were uncontrolled. I personally know of one patient whose psoriasis disappeared within one week after he retired; the stress of his job was gone and so was his disease. His case is not an isolated one by any means. Further we have to consider common diseases such as diabetes mellitus and obesity. Don't be surprised if unhealthy emotions are more implicated in these two diseases as we learn more. Remember in human history there are abundant examples of scientists and other visionaries with new ideas being ignored, ostracized, mocked and rebuked for their ideas. Sir Alexander Fleming, who introduced penicillin, wasn't met with open arms. Galileo was punished by the Church when he suggested that the earth revolved around the sun and not conversely. The physician who first suggested that a bacterium (Helicobacter pylori) was implicated in ulcers was laughed at just ten years ago.
Why are we willing to rewire our brains with Prozac, tricyclic antidepressants, sedatives, hypnotics and sundry other drugs and we are not willing to take control of ourselves? This book will tell you how to take control and it delivers this prescription very nicely and in most understandable terms. The book will cost you much less than a prescription for Prozac or an hour with a therapist. Whether or not you are a Christian doesn't diminish the benefit you will enjoy by reading this book. If you are a Christian, you will understand Dr. Colbert's approach. If you are not a Christian, filter your reading with an open mind. Trust the science and apply what Dr. Colbert suggests. You don't have to be a Christian to see the relevance of Dr. Colbert's principles. The thesis presented in this book applies regardless of your core beliefs. If you don't believe in the Law of Gravity and jump off a building, you will fall just like someone who does believe in the law. Read the book carefully; I guarantee that you will be very pleasantly surprised with the results.