Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future

Overview

A landmark book that shows us exactly how we have let health and medicine become a crisis in our society and what we can all do to resolve it.

Healthcare is no longer just a public issue; for millions of Americans it is now a crisis on their own doorstep. Cost of medical care today are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Although policy makers have weighed in on all sides, in this book, bestselling author Andrew Weil, M.D., identifies the root of the problem. He shows us ...

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Overview

A landmark book that shows us exactly how we have let health and medicine become a crisis in our society and what we can all do to resolve it.

Healthcare is no longer just a public issue; for millions of Americans it is now a crisis on their own doorstep. Cost of medical care today are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Although policy makers have weighed in on all sides, in this book, bestselling author Andrew Weil, M.D., identifies the root of the problem. He shows us exactly how we have become embroiled in the present situation and provides a solution that will not only make healthcare affordable, but will also put each one of us on the road to optimum health.

Dr. Weil states that we have a right to good healthcare that is effective, accessible, and affordable. Many Americans would be surprised to know that our national health is far from the best in the world, even though we spend more money on it than any other country. The World Health Organization recently rated America thirty-seventh in health outcomes, on par with Serbia. Tackling head-on the Three Major Myths of American Medicine, Dr. Weil shows how medical schools fail to give future doctors the education they need to care for patients, how insurance companies have destroyed our opportunity to get excellent care, and how pharmaceutical companies have come to rule our lives. The solution involves nothing less than the creation of a completely new culture of health and medicine in this country, one that we can each start building today.

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  • Dr. Andrew Weil
    Dr. Andrew Weil  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Five-time No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Weil (www.drweil.com), M.D., presents seemingly simple solutions for fixing America's ailing health-care system while simultaneously improving the health of all Americans. He addresses misconceptions about health and medicine, speaks to "toxic trends we must reverse," and prescribes for the medical community a proactive approach involving the promotion of a holistic, integrative approach to health and discouragement of the consumption of processed foods. Well read by the author, this engaging audio will appeal to Weil's many fans and those who appreciate the type of practical straight talk dispensed by the likes of Mehmet Oz and Sanjay Gupta.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410420084
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of natural health who has devoted the past thirty years to developing, practicing, and teaching others about the principles of integrative medicine. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Weil has dedicated a lifetime to practicing integrative medicine, giving him a unique approach to health acre, encompassing body, mind and spirit.

Biography

Since the early ‘70s, Andrew Weil has been bucking conventional wisdom about healthy living.

Weil began his career with a bang -- or maybe just a puff -- in The Natural Mind, a book containing ideas that remain controversial today. Most famously, it endorsed the idea of "stoned thinking" (induced not only by drugs but also by hypnosis, meditation, etc.) and identified a bias in traditional studies about mind-altering drugs. The book was fortified by Weil's own experience studying and taking various psychotropic agents, and while it suggested that non-chemical experiences were healthier, it also bore open criticism of American drug policy. Weil continued his exploration of altered mental states with The Marriage of the Sun and Moon and From Chocolate to Morphine (coauthored with Winifred Rosen).

In his next three titles -- Health and Healing, Natural Health, Natural Medicine, and Spontaneous Healing -- Weil turned to illness and alternative therapies, educating readers on then relatively unknown options such as homeopathy, herbal medicine, cranial therapy and other unconventional approaches. The fact that Weil was a Harvard-trained doctor lent his writings credibility and popularity with an ever-widening readership, even as he earned a somewhat heretical status in the world of mainstream medicine.

Some of Weil's views might rile practitioners of traditional medicine -- he has suggested that certain conventional treatments do more harm than good -- but Weil has never advocated abandonment of the medical establishment. Rather, he promotes integrative medicine: an approach to health that embraces nontraditional healing methods and takes the mind and spirit into account when assessing and treating problems. In response to Dr. Arthur Relman's assault in the New Republic, charging that assertions in Weil's books that lacked scientific backing, Weil responded on his web site, "If I had dismissed the successes I saw with [cranial therapy, for example] as ‘anecdotes,' we would not be in a position to take the next step and gather the data that Dr. Relman wants to see. It is important to note that paradigm shifts, in medicine as in other fields, are not quiet affairs. They occasion much screaming and kicking." (To both of the doctors' credits, they engaged in a public debate at the University of Arizona following Relman's much-discussed critique, minus the screaming and kicking.) Whatever the future holds for certain alternative approaches, it is a testament both to Weil's popularity and the growing interest in his ideas that studies of such practices have begun to win funding and attention.

Eight Weeks to Optimum Health was the most complete synthesis yet of Weil's ideas about holistic health and also helped cement his status as a health guru. Unlike most "diets" that focused mostly on meal plans and magical eating formulas, Weil's program is about a balance of nutrients, herbs, exercise, and mental salves such as turning off the news or keeping fresh flowers around. In particular, Weil became a well known expert on the growing field of herbal supplements.

Recently, Weil teamed with Rosie Daley -- Oprah's former personal chef – to create The Healthy Kitchen. The book operates on a bit of push-and-pull between Daley and Weil, with "Andy" offering substitute ingredients to some of Rosie's recipes. As with Weil's other tomes, The Healthy Kitchen does not operate on draconian edicts, offering options for individuals instead.

Good To Know

Weil is director and founder of the Program in Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Also, his Polaris Foundation advances the cause of integrative medicine through public policy, education, and research.

Weil's parents owned a millinery store in Philadelphia, and his mother fostered his interest in botany. "When you grow up in a row house, there's very limited opportunity to grow stuff, but my mother knew some things from her mother, who was the one with the real green thumb," he told My Generation magazine. "And she did introduce me to growing bulbs in the house, and we had a little plot of ground to garden. That stuff fascinated me. And I always dreamed about the day when I could have enough space to do it."

Weil's undergraduate focus was ethnobotany, which focuses on the uses of certain plants by various cultures and ethnicities. His thesis title: "The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent." Under a fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs, Weil traveled from 1971-75 throughout Central and South America to investigate cultural psychotropics and healing. Many of his findings from this time are collected in The Marriage of the Sun and Moon.

Weil lives in Arizona "by pure chance," he told HealthWorld Online. His car broke down in the mid-1970s, and it took so long to fix that he ended up staying in Tucson.

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    1. Hometown:
      Tucson, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 8, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Biology, Harvard University, 1964; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1968
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A clear overview of the need for health care reform.

    This was an interesting and captivating book. I used it while preparing a paper on health care reform and found it very useful for that as well as generally informative on a complex subject.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read for Everyone!!!

    I gave this the highest rating because of the belief that I have that EVERYONE should have this information and read this well researched and compelling book. The information found within is vital to not only our health as individuals but also to our health as a nation and our overall economic survival in the world.
    It completely exposes the current insurance system that we have with all corroborated facts and explains in explicit detail how and why a significant overall should take place.
    A must read for everyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Once again, wise Weil hits the mark!

    What a timely and important book! My family follows Dr. Weil and I hope his wisdom can be incorporated into education, policy, and practice. We would all benefit from his wise guidance. I have several of his audio CDs, books, subscribe to his newsletter and listserve. Even my pets eat his recommended food. His advice is common sense, yet profound and life changing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    More of Andrew Weil is, well, less.

    So much of what Dr. Andrew Weil has written about in this book has been written elsewhere, and often by him, that there seems to be a "deju vu all over again" quality to its contents. Important information, true, but still a "ho-hum" quality to the writing: perhaps one of his less able assistants actually penned the words?

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    Posted April 4, 2010

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    Posted February 7, 2010

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    Posted October 24, 2009

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