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Own Your Health: Choosing the Best from Alternative & Conventional Medicine
by Roanne Weisman with Brian Berman, M.D.

In 1995, Roanne Weisman was an active wife, mother of two young children and a freelance writer. Then she suffered a stroke after having open-heart surgery and her life took a frightening turn. Conventional medicine and therapy only helped her to a certain point, after which she was urged to live within her limitations, meaning that she was not expected to walk freely again or gain full use of her left side. This wasn't good enough for Weisman. She began to explore alternative therapies, including Yoga and acupuncture, and today she has almost fully recovered from the stroke. Because Weisman writes about medicine and health care, her experience inspired her to dig deeper, to explore the ways in which conventional and alternative medicine could help each other. The result is a book that's informative, easy to read and inspiring.

While she could have taken a dry approach to her topic, Weisman instead has chosen to introduce the various therapies she explores by writing about real-life people in real-life situations. A man recovering from a rare bone disorder and cancer discovers Chinese medicine and winds up becoming a practitioner himself. A woman deals with Crohn's disease with the help of biofeedback. Victims of heart attacks make lifestyle changes that include diet, exercise and visualization. And Weisman doesn't just explore the many ways alternative medicine can be used for sudden, catastrophic illnesses. She also points out how therapies like herbs, Pilates, Qi Gong, meditation and the Alexander Technique can be helpful for PMS, menopause, aging and a host of common ailments.

Unlike many books about alternative medicine, which takes an us-versus-them attitude towards conventional remedies, Own Your Health includes conventional medicine in its overview. Weisman clearly believes that each style of medicine has its own place, and that alternative medicine is best used as an addition to conventional medicine, not a replacement. Those who may have been turned off to alternative medicine because so many writers adopt a somewhat spacey, new agey approach will very much appreciate Weisman's practical, down-to-earth viewpoint. It's common knowledge that your attitude has a huge effect on how you heal from illness - it's important to be positive and open-minded. And that's exactly what this book is. It opens up the reader to a world of potential in healing therapies and offers a well-thought out overview of many different styles of alternative medicine.

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