The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger

The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger

by Woodson Merrell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451691351
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 04/06/2012
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 859,606
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dr. Woodson Merrell, named by New York magazine a "Leader for the New Millennium," is chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan campus of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Since 1985 he has maintained a high-profile private practice in integrative medicine and acupuncture on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Dr. Merrell has chaired and been scientific director for numerous medical and consumer health care conferences, and is featured regularly in the national media for his expertise in integrative medicine.

Read an Excerpt

The Source
Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger

By Woodson Merrell
Free Press
Copyright © 2008

Woodson Merrell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416568162

The Science of Personal Energy

From a strictly medical point of view, energy is a measurable biological commodity. Scientists working in biomolecular medicine have created a much clearer picture of how this common energy that powers life works and how the body creates energy. They have also made new discoveries into why the body begins to experience fatigue and slide into poor health. Working independently in myriad disciplines from neuroscience to exercise physiology to nutrition and mind-body medicine, researchers have begun to delineate the sources of energy in your body and identify new ways to tap them. In The Source I will show you how to apply the results of these findings to create more abundant energy and achieve more vibrant health.

Your body stays near 98.6 degrees throughout your life, which could be for the better part of a century, by making its own thermal energy day in and day out. Scientists have identified the carriers of the energy your body creates; they are present in every cell of the body -- everywhere from your skeleton to your brain -- as tiny rechargeable battery-like packets of available energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The act of making these molecules of energy, also known as energy metabolism, depends on some very primitive DNA called mitochondrialDNA.Mitochondria are like tiny factories -- thousands of them are within each and every cell (with DNA as the plant supervisor) -- and they work ceaselessly to transfer the potential energy from food, air, and water into active human energy. With a complex cycle of chemical transformations that requires many essential vitamins and other nutrients, mitochondria are able to extract about 40% of the energy available in food and turn it into ATP, the universal currency of energy in your body that can be used anywhere to do any kind of work, from fueling your heartbeat, to providing the chemical energy to process thoughts,mustering the biological energy to attack a flu virus, or supplying the power to create a human life if you are pregnant.

The energy system in your body is highly dynamic, it constantly recycles energy, and it's exquisitely sensitive to change. Your activity level, your environment, the food you eat, the water you drink, your stress levels, your emotional state, the amount of sleep you've had -- are all factors that can affect your energy-generating system. What makes the body's energy supply so susceptible to shifts in the biological machine is the fact that the energy packets of ATP cannot be stored. ATP is constantly made on demand, used up, and quickly recycled, which makes the energy your body works so hard to manufacture quite fleeting -- though almost infinitely replaceable if you properly care for and maintain your body.

The amount of energy your body is required to make every day is absolutely astonishing.At any given moment you've got about three ounces of energy (ATP) in your body -- just enough to power ten seconds of intense exercise, or an all-out sprint to catch a train. And then your body starts all over again constantly remaking ATP thousands of times a minute. Even a sedentary person recycles an amount of ATP each day equal to about 75% of his total body weight (a 180-pound man would recycle almost 135 pounds of ATP just sitting on the couch with the flipper). A person running a marathon can recycle twice as much energy as a sedentary person -- that would be a whopping 270 pounds of pure energy molecules processed by that same 180-pound guy while running a marathon.Considering the hefty energy requirements for keeping a body going, it is no wonder that people develop problems and inadequacies with their energy-generating system.
Energy metabolism -- which is how biologists describe the body's energy-making activities -- plays an important role in health and aging. The healthy functioning of mitochondria is a key component in longevity, according to a wide range of research -- from a leading gerontologist in England to neuroscientists at UCLA. Using this latest research, and my decades of experience with patients, The Source can improve your body's ability to extract and transform energy from your environment.

The message of energy philosophy behind The Source -- that your body is designed to be an energy creator, not an energy consumer -- is easily translated to daily living by following the 21-Day Plan. Exhaustion does not have to be the inevitable by-product of coping with continual stressful demands. I will teach you how to build your energy through all your waking hours. Your mental acuity and creativity will increase day by day, as will your health. As you work with the 21-Day Plan -- with its numerous methods for relaxation, exercise, eating for energy, emotional balance, sleep, spiritual development, and detoxification -- you will find that all of your physical and mental systems function more efficiently and work together to support your energy needs. You will be at ease with your body; you will become more resilient and feel an ever-expanding capacity for engaging in all activities with a full sense of vital energy and total well-being.

Specifically, The Source will show you:

• A new perspective on illness and health that stimulates and incorporates your inherent healing energy;
• The six essentials of energy creation: Power Mind (stress management), Power Food (diet), Power Exercise, Power Detox, Power Rest, and Power of Connection (spirituality);
• The latest scientific breakthroughs on how the body generates energy and ways you can maximize your body's energymaking mechanisms;
• How to think about, conserve, and create energy the way Eastern cultures do, with simple ways to practice energizing meditation and yogic breathing;
• Complementary/alternative approaches to curing fatigue and improving health, such as acupuncture, herbs, and body work;
• A 21-day, step-by-step plan -- complete with recipes -- for increasing energy.

The book is organized into three parts: Part One, "Transforming Energy, Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality"; Part Two, "21 Days to Optimal Energy"; and Part Three,"Menus and Recipes." Each part stands alone as a usable guide to energy creation. But taken together, all of the parts will magnify and deepen your understanding of how to increase energy and create a uniquely personal, healthy lifestyle.

Part One, "Transforming Energy, Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality," will help you identify your own energy issues with the Energy Quiz. It also recounts patients' stories of their energy epiphanies and reveals the latest scientific research.My goal is for you to come away from Part One with an appreciation of the miraculous web of emotional-physicalspiritual well-being that underlies vitality and health. And you will learn the relatively simple, straightforward things you can immediately do in your daily life to renew your energy.
Power Mind, Boundless Energy

This chapter explains recent discoveries about the link between thought patterns, stress, and energy production. It will give you a clear idea of the plan I've developed for using your mind to reduce stress as easily -- and stresslessly! -- as possible. It reveals how stress saps your energy and health because of its effects on myriad systems (hormonal, cardiac, nervous, digestive). Power Mind gives a clear prescription for managing and reducing stress -- and for freeing up energy you can use to regain health.
Power Food, Your High Performance Fuel
Power Food reveals the latest information from the emerging science of functional medicine, a new nutrition science that emphasizes the molecular basis of how food produces energy. Food consists of molecules that provide substrates for rebuilding and creating energy. Food also sends specific signals to your DNA. Also in Power Food is cutting-edge science on the treatment of food allergies and sensitivities and the growing role of superfoods and supplements in achieving optimum health and energy -- all of which are incorporated into the menus of the 21-Day Plan.
Power Detox, Increase Vitality by Removing Toxins

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 148 different industrial chemicals circulate in the average American's bloodstream. Every individual varies in his or her capacity to process toxins -- much of which depends on lifestyle factors. This program includes a one-day juice cleanse that has been shown to increase the efficiency of your energycreating mechanisms. Power Detox drives home the critical importance of following the personal environmental clean-up protocol I've developed.
Power Exercise

A fourth key to understanding energy is realizing that the human body is built to move.A sedentary lifestyle dramatically inhibits energy creation. Even moderate exercise (30 minutes three times a week of brisk walking), has been shown to increase the number and efficiency of mitochondria to produce energy. It also helps repair the nervous system by producing brain peptides that are critical for retaining a youthful mind. Power Exercise also gives easy, practical suggestions to act on right away and throughout the 21-Day Plan for moving and increasing energy.
Power Rest, How to Recharge Your Battery

Recharging your battery is all about rest...whether this means resting between exercises sessions or sleeping properly every night. You probably don't get optimal sleep, which means your body doesn't have time to repair and renew, or to allow for proper energy creation. Lack of sleep is associated with some very common diseases, including heart disease, and weight gain! My program will show you how to overcome insomnia and sleep problems to significantly increase your energy and improve your health. Details on how to do this on a daily basis are in the 21-Day Plan.
Power of Connection: Cultivate Spirit and Gain Positive Energy

Though I'm a scientist I will not leave the unprovable out of my program or out of the energy equation. Energy does not exist in isolation; your energy goes beyond the boundaries of your body to interconnect with other energy sources -- to the energy of others, to the energy of nature, to the energy of a higher power.Research has shown that cultivating connectedness leads to better health and increased longevity. The Power of Connection will explain current understanding of the role of spirit in the creation of energy and health. It also presents ways to jump-start connectedness and spiritual muscle in your own life.

Part Two,"21 Days to Optimal Energy," takes all the information in Part One and provides a practical, daily plan for implementing the changes you need to make to turn your life from energy-starved to energy-rich. Each day will include advice from at least four and often all of the following categories: Power Mind, Power Food, Power Exercise, Power Detox, Power Rest, and Power of Connection. Each week we'll have you reassess your progress with the energy quiz.

Part Three, "Menus and Recipes," contains your energy-packed eating plan for each day.You will find 69 recipes, the majority of which are vegetarian,but also include fish and poultry.

Whenever I encounter a new patient who greets these ideas with a look of doubt I think of Michael, one of my staunchest unbelievers. After I'd known and treated him for many years he said, "When I first came to see you I thought to myself, For goodness' sake, can't you just give me a pill and make me better? But then I came to realize that being better meant not having to take anything. It meant living my life in a state of wellness." Decades of investigation into the art and science of energy creation have only confirmed my wholehearted belief that each and every person regardless of age or health status can boost and renew his or her energy. I want this book to open new doors in your life. I feel certain that your personal healing journey will be enriched and energized as mine has been by learning to build and expand your energy, the source of true healing.

Now, please take the Power Up! Quiz in order to evaluate your overall energy profile.
The Power Up! Quiz

To determine your energy profile rate your honest answers on the following scale:

0 never
1 rarely
2 sometimes
3 most of the time
4 always

Circle Your Score
1. I wake up with good energy. 0 1 2 3 4
2. My energy is as good as it has ever been. 0 1 2 3 4
3. I look forward to each new day. 0 1 2 3 4
4. I have a feeling of joy in my life. 0 1 2 3 4
5. I am able to focus and finish tasks easily. 0 1 2 3 4
6. I have a good memory. 0 1 2 3 4
7. Exercise gives me energy. 0 1 2 3 4
8. My physical stamina is good. 0 1 2 3 4
9. I don't feel a need to rest during the day. 0 1 2 3 4
10. I drink less than 2 cups of coffee a day. 0 1 2 3 4
11. I drink a liter of water each day. 0 1 2 3 4
12. I do not need stimulants. 0 1 2 3 4
13. I get plenty of vitamins. 0 1 2 3 4
14. I feel alert after meals. 0 1 2 3 4
15. I'm not cranky. 0 1 2 3 4
16. I consciously manage my stress. 0 1 2 3 4
17. I am rarely ill. 0 1 2 3 4
18. My moods are stable. 0 1 2 3 4
19. My sex drive is good. 0 1 2 3 4
20. I feel younger than my age. 0 1 2 3 4
21. I am a vibrant member of my community. 0 1 2 3 4

Less than 30: Neophyte -- You never have enough fuel. You need to make the commitment to learn how to manage and create energy.

30-40: Novice -- Although you are aware of your deficiencies, you are an energy novice who wants and needs to develop new habits that both conserve and generate energy.

41-51: Initiate -- You are an energy initiate. You respect your energy needs and use about as much fuel as you spend. Your energy levels are at risk of plummeting during times of stress.

52-62: Adept -- Impressive! You are very good at balancing your energy, but must learn to generate more juice.

63 or more: Grand Master -- Congratulations! You are ready to explore energy generation on an advanced level, and are already using energy to keep yourself healthy.
Check for Illness First

Before I place anyone on the 21-Day Plan I always screen for illnesses that could be causing fatigue. My most important job is to make sure every person I see is as healthy as possible -- especially that he or she has no underlying, undiagnosed medical problems that could be causing fatigue. I expect you're picking up this book because you've already sought medical answers to your fatigue without success. But don't abandon your regular checkups. And as part of this general health care, you want to have regular periodic health evaluations and screening tests such as a colonoscopy by age fifty and a mammogram by age forty -- or sooner depending on personal or family risk factors. There are numerous routine tests that just have to be done, even if you think you're perfectly healthy. Your General Practitioner knows about them and can help you schedule them. The 21-Day Plan presumes that you have been medically evaluated for existing conditions.

If you do have an existing medical condition, you can still embark on this plan along with your medical treatment, after clearing it with your own physician. Most everyone can follow this program, except that you cannot take the juice cleanse on day 10 if you have diabetes or are pregnant. People with heart disease and women who are pregnant should not take the saunas. And you should not take supplements without consulting your physician, especially if you have any serious medical conditions or are on medications. The following represent the most important categories of health concerns to have evaluated as part of a regular checkup, especially if you are experiencing ill health and fatigue:

Bowel dysfunction
Cardiac conditions
Chronic infection
Hormonal imbalance
Immune system dysfunction
Liver disease
Medication side effects
Nutrient deficiencies
Poor vision
Tooth or gum disease
Copyright © 2008 by Woodson Merrell, M.D.


Excerpted from The Source by Woodson Merrell
Copyright © 2008 by Woodson Merrell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


PART I Transforming Energy: Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality

1. Power Mind, Boundless Energy
2. Power Food, Your High Performance Fuel
3. Power Detox, Remove Toxins, Increase Vitality
4. Power Exercise, the Energy Factory
5. Power Rest, How to Recharge Your Battery
6. Power of Connection: Cultivate Spirit, Access Positive Energy

21 Days to Optimal Energy: Power Up, Cleanse, Maximize

PART III Menus and Recipes

Recipe Index Acknowledgments Index

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