Sunday, September 25, 2005

Title: Waking the Warrior Goddess - Harnessing the Power of Nature & Natural Medicines to Achieve Extraordinary Health - Dr.Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer

Author: Dr. Christine Horner, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Publisher: Basic Health Publications, Inc.
ISBN: 1-59120-155-1
Genre: Non-Fiction/Health/Women/Cancer/Holistic/Ayurveda
Pages: 320
Presentation: Hard Cover

Breast Cancer is one of the more prevalent forms of cancer that is affecting a number of women all over the world. From time immemorial, breasts have been associated with femininity and thus any disfiguration (caused by chemotherapy, radiation and mastectomy) is emotionally devastating to many women. Dr.Christine Horner, a Board Certified plastic surgeon has personal experience of seeing the suffering since her mother was affected. In this wonderful book, Dr.Horner shares the latest research on the factors that increase the risk of developing breast cancer and the best ways of fighting those risk factors. She combines life style changes and Ayurveda for an effective fight against a deadly, disfiguring and emotionally devastating disease. In fact, her recommendations will most probably protect against other disorders like other cancers and aging too.

The book is spread over 28 Chapters and is followed by Dr.Horner's 30-step program, and Dr.Horner hastens to assure the reader that they are really not steps and thus there is no sequence. They are life style change suggestions and if really implemented become customs.

The book is highly readable. However, there are a few problems with units. For example, on Page 74, ppt is defined as parts per thousand and then an absurd figure is given for the concentration of PCBs in waters of the Great Lakes. 1000 ppt becomes 1 or 100%. So, there cannot be a higher value like 17,000,000 ppt. Similarly, a microgram is one millionth of a gram and is one tenth of a millicentigram. A millicentigram, mcg is one over one hundred thousand. There are a couple of statistical errors and there are a few slips in text editing too but in general, there is no problem in understanding the subject. In any case, taking of any herbal supplements etc., is best done with the full knowledge and guidance of the primary health professional and thus the dosage etc., will be taken care of. These minor deficiencies, I repeat, do not in any way reduce the value of the information given by Dr.Horner in this excellent book.

The publisher's disclaimer of not endorsing any specific product including the product promoted by the author is very apt and the same disclaimer applies to this review too. Similalrly, the reviewer doesn't endorse the specific brand of Ayurveda or Meditation that the author recommends. That doesn't reduce the value of the information given in the book.

The book will be found useful not only for US readers but for all women and for that matter all people since men are also adversely affected when their mothers, sisters, wives, lovers and daughters are affected by this disease.

Some Hindu readers of this book in USA or other countries may get offended by the author's naming her pet cat, Sita, who is the incarnation of the Divine Mother in Ramayana, the great Indian Story of the victory of Rama, the embodiment of virtue over Ravana, representing the demoniacal forces of lust and arrogance. The author could probably rechristen her pet with a culturally proper name.

I really enjoyed reading this book and strongly recommend any one with even a slight interest in cancer in general and breast cancer in particular to read this book.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Title: Reiki Energy Medicine Bringing Healing Touch into Home, Hospital and Hospice
Authors: Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers with Susan Davidson
Publisher: Healing Arts Press (A Division of Inner Traditions International)
ISBN: 0-89281-633-3
Pages: 126
Price: $12.95
Category: Health / Alternate Health / Energy Medicine / Reiki

Reiki is a form of Energy Medicine. The Japanese compound word Reiki means Universal Energy and is equivalent to the Chi of Chinese and the Prana of Indians. In this book, "Reiki Energy Medicine Bringing Healing Touch into Home, Hospital and Hospice", the authors Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers, Reiki Masters, give us a number of areas where the Reiki healing touch can be applied with advantage. They give a good number of case studies and examples from their extensive health-related professional experience spread over years. Libby is a Medical Social Worker and Maggie is an artist who works with handicapped children. Both found Reiki to be useful in a number of situations. In collaboration with Susan Davidson, who helped the book to be edited into a highly readable account of Reiki, they succeed in getting the message through that Reiki as an adjunt to all other medical systems can improve the healing process effectively. Reiki is intelligent and it is the receipient who receives as much or as little as one needs and uses it for the highest good. Thus, it is not to be construed as a panacea, but it should be offered with unconditional love. I especially liked their comment that Reiki is not only Universal Energy but is also Universal / unconditional love. They also bring out an important point that Reiki should be welcomed by all other medical systems and the insurance firms since it doesn't interfere with their working and helps in bringing down the medicare costs.

The book gives a short introduction to Reiki but concentrates more on the applications of Reiki in the health field. The emphasis through out is on touch. The Appendices give the hand positions for self Reiki and for giving Reiki to others. The other aspects of Reiki which enable distance healing, programming etc., which do not involve touch have not been covered.

I recommend this book to all those who are interested in the use of Reiki in the health field.