Life Is Your Best Medicine: A Woman's Guide to Health, Healing, and Wholeness at Every Age

Life Is Your Best Medicine: A Woman's Guide to Health, Healing, and Wholeness at Every Age

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by Tieraona Low Dog

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"The division between conventional and traditional medicine is as artificial as the division between science and nature. They can be woven together in a fashion that meets our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This is the foundation upon which integrative medicine is built." — Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.

In Life Is Your Best Medicine, Dr. Low Dog

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"The division between conventional and traditional medicine is as artificial as the division between science and nature. They can be woven together in a fashion that meets our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This is the foundation upon which integrative medicine is built." — Tieraona Low Dog, M.D.

In Life Is Your Best Medicine, Dr. Low Dog weaves together the wisdom of traditional medicine and the knowledge of modern-day medicine into an elegant message of health and self-affirmation for women of every age. This is a book that can be read cover to cover but also dipped into for inspiration or insight about a particular physical or mental health issue or remedy. We learn that, despite the widespread availability of pharmaceutical medications, advanced surgical care, and state-of-the-art medical technology, chronic illness now affects more than 50% of the American population. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that much of the chronic disease we are confronting in the United States has its roots in the way we live our lives. Research shows that if Americans embraced a healthier lifestyle, which includes a balance between rest and exercise; wholesome nutrition; healthy weight; positive social interactions; stress management; not smoking; limited alcohol use; and no or limited exposure to toxic chemicals; then 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes, and 36% of all cancers could be prevented! This means that each one of us has the power to shift the odds of being healthy in our favor. And if you do get sick, being fit gives you a much better chance for getting well. Your health has a great deal more to do with your lifestyle and a lot less to do with taking prescription drugs than most people realize.

Part I. The Medicine of My Life is a personal and passionate introduction to the book
Part II. Honoring the Body includes Food, Supplements, Illness, Wholeness
Part III. Awakening the Senses includes Nature, Garden, Music
Part IV. Listening to Spirit includes Humor, Relationships, Play, Meditation, Animals
Epilogue. Contentment

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Because we’ve spent a lot of quality time in each other’s company, I thought I knew Tieraona Low Dog – until I read this book. Life Is Your Best Medicine is not only a comprehensive and highly practical guide for women seeking optimum health, it is also Tieraona’s own life story, sparkling with the wisdom she has drawn from it. I had no idea of all the adventures she had and the diverse experiences that made her the person she is today. The title of the book conveys the essence of her teaching: Your own experience is an invaluable and trustworthy source of information about how to maintain health as you go through life and deal with the common problems you encounter."  –Dr. Andrew Weil

"Throughout her book, she stresses living life in a positive way, asking readers to “every day find one thing to be grateful for.” Her holistic approach will appeal to anyone open to lower-tech ways to be healthy." –Booklist

“Not your typical diet book…shifts the focus from such short-term fixes as crash diets and prescription drugs to improving overall quality of life.” –Washington Post

Library Journal
Low Dog (fellowship director, Arizona Ctr. for Integrative Medicine, Univ. of Arizona; coauthor, National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs) aims to help women achieve, maintain, and cultivate optimal health by sharing her many personal and professional experiences, including being an herbalist, experiencing a vision quest, earning an M.D., and combining them all in her current position at Andrew Weil's Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Her unique guide is a series of short essays arranged into three sections: "Honoring the Body" (e.g., foods to eat and avoid, supplements, herbs), "Awakening the Senses" (e.g., massage, eye health, aromatherapy), and "Listening to Spirit" (e.g., humor, relationships, play, meditation). VERDICT While its tone and content may be too abstract for some, this title will be well received by self-help readers, who can either read it from cover to cover or dip into it for insight and practical information. Low Dog is an expert in many of these areas, not least those topics that resonate with her life philosophy that the everyday stuff of people's lives influences their ability to be healthy and whole.—Elizabeth J. Eastwood, Los Alamos Cty. Lib. Syst., NM

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Product Details

National Geographic Society
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.05(d)

Read an Excerpt

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.
If you want to be healthy, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is your fork. What you choose to put in your mouth has a direct impact on your long-term risk for developing chronic diseases.
According to the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the World Cancer Research Fund, and the World Health Organization, up to 80 percent of heart disease and a third of all cancers could be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Those are staggering statistics. If I told you I had a pill that could cut your chances of getting cancer by 30 percent and a heart attack by 80 percent without any harmful side effects, would you take it? Of course you would! Although there’s no guarantee that a healthy diet will prevent you from ever getting sick, I think most of us want to do what we can to stack the odds in our favor.
Over the past decades, we have lived through the low-fat, calorie-counting, carb-counting, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, raw foods, caveman (Paleolithic), and Eat Right for Your Blood Type approaches to food. Many foods have been vilified: eggs, meat, fish, bread, cheese, milk, and anything with sugar. People repeatedly tell me that they’re confused by all this. And I tell them that eating healthy isn’t that complicated if you understand the basics.
I’m not a certified nutritionist or professional chef. I’m a home cook, mother, and physician. I love delicious food and reject the notion that healthy food equates with boring and bland. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. My kitchen is stocked with spices, healthy oils, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and humanely raised organic poultry and dairy products. Every time I sit down to eat a meal, I see it as an opportunity to replenish my energy, provide my body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally, and quiet my mind. Food is more than just the sum of its grams of carbohydrates and proteins, calories, vitamins, and minerals. It is a celebration of life, friends, and family.
Family Meals
I like to play soft music, light candles, and set the table nicely for dinner. I treat evening meals as special occasions, because they’re our time for family conversation and for catching up on the happenings of the day. This is not the time to argue with our partner or lecture our kids about grades or homework. It’s a time to celebrate our togetherness. I’m saddened by the statistics that show many families don’t sit down together for even one evening meal a week. Whether the family is two people or a house filled with children, sharing food and conversation is central to healthy relationships.
We’re all busy, so adjusting schedules can be a major undertaking, but ensuring that our families eat dinner (or breakfast) together most—or at least some—days of the week can be done if it’s important to us. My husband is one of nine children, and his father was a busy vascular surgeon in Omaha, Nebraska. Coordinating dinner for 11 people was no easy task for his mother, given all the after- school activities, the sporting events, and the long working hours of her husband. But both parents made dinnertime a priority.
Children were to be at the table by six—be there or be grounded was the rule! My father-in-law would join the family for dinner before returning to the hospital to do his rounds. This allowed everyone a chance to check in about school and upcoming events and simply to reconnect with one another. Those mealtimes together provided nourishment that went far beyond the content of the food.
Studies repeatedly show that the single strongest factor in higher achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems in children of all ages is having more mealtime at home. A study by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that teenagers who shared fewer than three dinners a week with their families were almost four times more likely to use tobacco, more than twice as likely to use alcohol, and two and a half times more likely to use marijuana, when compared with teens who had five to seven dinners a week with family. When interviewed, most children report that the interaction and togetherness are the best parts of the meal. The busier our lives become, the more important it is to carve out protected time.

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Life Is Your Best Medicine: A Woman's Guide to Health, Healing, and Wholeness at Every Age 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Open, honest, reaffirming, memorable and very useful on many levels.  It is definitely one book to keep nearby and reread from time to time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her life story was interesting from the start and her knowledge and experience are very insightful. I recommend this to anyone who wishes to take charge of their own health and well being. A good alternative or partner to traditional medical practices.