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Valuable Perspectives on How Behaviors, Habits, and Nutritiion Influence Brain and Body Health
on March 25, 2010
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." -- Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Many of us can imagine that our bodies aren't much affected by our brains, and the reverse. Dr. Amen explains bodily processes that link the brain to the body and demonstrates with SPECT (single proton emission computerized tomography) images and individual case histories how replacing unhealthy with healthier influences on the brain also create improved body health. Here's an example: If enough blood doesn't get to the brain, you can't think as well as you otherwise might because you lack oxygen and nourishment. That same problem can mean you have circulatory problems that will undermine your health. Improve blood flow to the brain and a lot of valuable body processes will operate better that will improve your circulation and so on.
The book mostly focuses on weight control, appearance, health, stress reduction, sleep disorders, and depression.
Dr. Amen goes on to describe how his clinics operate and to characterize patterns of symptoms that can be related to malnourishment or bad habits. The book also offers a self-diagnostic test (and a longer online version) that can suggest whether you have opportunities to improve. In my case, I thought the diagnosis was pretty accurate . . . but I already knew what to do before reading the book. My problem is that I need to change my habits. While I feel more motivated to change after reading this book, only time will tell if I will make the simple changes that are recommended. How the book helped was giving me medical reasons why shifting would help. My physicians have recommended the same changes in the past, but they never explained why those changes would help my brain functioning along with the rest of my health. So there's new food for thought here (lol)!
I thought enough of the book to forward the test to some people who seem to have nutritional issues based on patterns of the symptoms the book describes.
There's an aspect to the book that seems a little like a pitch to use their services and buy their supplements. I could have done without that aspect. It undermined my confidence in the book's objectivity.