The first thing to say about Live Well Live Long is that it is beautiful. The second is that it is rigorous. This already makes it a winner for me.
Live Well Live Long is the right weight and colour and it feels good to touch. These things are important. However, we all know that you cannot judge a book by its cover and the content is no less pleasing. This book explores the Chinese tradition of nourishing life, known as Yangshen. The Chinese are light years ahead of us in this area, yet in the past have lacked sound research to back up such traditions. This book bridges the gap, and is full of modern lifestyle research to validate the ancient teachings with the aim to improve and preserve health.
Our own health system was set up to treat illness and not to nourish health. But this is failing now with more and more people realizing that our health really is in our hands. The past 10 years have seen a huge shift in attitudes towards health and wellness. However, there is a dark side to the wellness industry and so often it is a hiding place for obsessive approaches to diet and exercise. As I say at least once a day in clinic; “the less you obsess about food the healthier you will be”.
These ultra-vigilant approaches to health are just as unhealthy as sloth; they create a tension in the body/mind that in its self is a cause of disease. The internet and publishing is now awash with unqualified and inexperienced wellness warriors promoting extreme lifestyles and diets all too often based on faux science. It amazes me how undiscerning people are about whom they take their health advice from.
Nothing can replace experience, wisdom and rigour and this book contains all three.
I believe this is the direction we need to be going with health; validating ancient wisdom and common sense with modern research. This is the middle way and the way that will keep people in the best of health. Call it integrated or holistic medicine; it is the way of the moderate. After 25 years of studying and practicing Chinese medicine, I have always found it to be both moderate and appropriate in its approach. When presented as it is in this book, combined with modern research, it becomes, moderate, appropriate and rigorous.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone involved in treating patients or interested in keeping themselves and their families well – this book is set to become the go-to manual for body, mind and spirit.