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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

BOOKS - Alternative Health

As medical costs rise and the side effects of and warnings about pharmaceuticals give some people concern, many are exploring alternatives to the Western model of medicine.

While Western medicine continues to improve diagnoses and treatments of disease, it does not always attend to the benefits of better health through preventive medicine. One alternative is to explore traditional medicines of other cultures, which often look at health from another viewpoint. In his book Staying Healthy With the Seasons, Elson M. Haas, M.D. explains traditional Chinese medicine's focus on following the seasons of the year, with preventive steps each season to keep the body in its optimal state of balance and health. Each season relates to one of the elements in Chinese medicine, from the aspects of Spring’s wood element, which focuses on cleansing the body, to the Winter water element, which focus on inner emotional work. All the functions of a healthy body are addressed throughout the year.

Modern reflexology uses the concept of the Chinese meridian energy to apply pressure on meridian points on the feet and hands that correspond to organs and functions of the body. Barbara and Kevin Kunz, in their Complete Reflexology for Life, demonstrate with a series of clear and notated photographs on how to access that healing energy. They also demonstrate specific treatments of reflexology addressing particular health concerns for children to seniors.

Another place to look for alternative modalities is in folk remedies. Although much folk medicine has been discounted and forgotten as modern medicine embraced pharmaceuticals, often the roots of those pharmaceuticals go back to herbal folk medicine. The Herbal Apothecary, by J. J. Purcell, explores the identification and cultivation of 100 medicinal herbs and their healing uses along with any contraindications. These descriptions are followed by specific recipes for making teas, tinctures, salves and spirits. From the beautiful photography of the herbs to the detailed recipes, Purcell guides the reader step by step through using the benefits of the medicinal healing herbs that the earth provides.

Valerie Ann Wormwood’s 682-page The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy explores another healing method using plants: the power of fragrance to use the mind/ body connection to help obtain a state of health and wellbeing. She traces the use of essential oils all the way back to the fourth century BCE and Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine.

The book covers a lot of ground, from the history of aromatherapy to instructions for 50 ways to utilize essential oils; from guides for basic care, immunity support, specific health challenges, specific support men and women’s health needs to how to provide more holistic, natural beauty care and home care. Wormwood provides a quick reference chart for all the essential oils she recommends, followed by a more in-depth profile of each oil, and pays special attention to safe and responsible use of nature’s pharmacy.

Barbara Ann Brennan, a former NASA physicist, approaches the body’s ability to heal from a scientific and a metaphysical viewpoint. Her more than 35 years of research on the Human Energy Field has made her one of the most influential healers and spiritual leaders of the 21st century.

She is the author of the renowned energy healing book, Hands of Light, and her new release, Core Light Healing: My Personal Journey and Advance Healing Concepts for Creating the Life You Long to Live, explores the power of the energy within and the energies throughout the planet and galaxy to impact one’s health and well-being. Brennan explores how a person’s energy connects through time and space to energies on the astral level and through their connections to their ancestors and their own past lives, and how they can create present core energetic healing through healing their ancestral and cosmic energetic connections.

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