Thursday, July 19, 2007

feed your head

One of the reasons I enjoy participating in Parent Bloggers is because I have the chance to explore books that I'd not otherwise dive into. One such book is the 24 Hour Pharmacist by Suzy Cohen.

At first I was skeptical. Another "self-help" book marketed to help us with our ailments while quietly getting us to buy into their gimmick. How their way is the right way to live and if we just followed that way, we'd all feel a heck of a lot better.

Suzy is different. A pharmacist, sure. But pills aren't always her answer. Instead she challenges her profession and the use and often overuse of prescription medication. Her book covers a wide array of health issues: fatigue, stress, PMS, sexual energy, heart conditions, joint issues and sleep. She offers a fairly objective perspective, when pills might be useful, how supplements, herbs and non traditional treatments might also be a solution. And how overall, our goal should be to listening to our bodies and not looking for a quick solution to fix everything.

Seems obvious, right? But so hard to put into practice. Take for example her chapter on anxiety and stress. I have not known one person to not be anxious or stressed in some fashion (and that alone is alarming if you really think about it) and she begins, as she does in each chapter, to break it down. She offers working definitions for what ails us and then talks about how commonly prescribed drugs might be contributing to the problem instead of the solution. And then she takes it further by talking about how our life choices - the food we eat, how we sleep - can also be contributing to the problem. Then she ends with solutions, natural ones from teas and food and supplements and activities that can help combat anxiety and stress in a more holistic and naturally congruent way than a pill might. And how if we practiced these things regularly, our need for intervention might actually decline.

Because let's face it, pills don't last forever and aren't a solution for every issue but rather something that numbs the effects of the issue itself. Obviously that isn't true for every person or every illness - we all know drugs routinely save lives and cure disease. And her point (in my humble opinion) isn't to discount that but rather it's to elevate our thinking when choosing the course of treatment rather than just going along with the standard solution.

I plan to refer to this book again, especially in terms of preventative measures I can take to make myself healthier. As a (relatively) new mom any sort of preventative caretaking I once did for myself has gone out the window and what a shame that is because it's more critical than ever before that I DO remain healthy and have a long life. I owe that to my daughter and I owe it to myself.

PS. Points to you if you know the song I stole the title from. And more points if you head over to Parent Bloggers, I hear they are giving away a free book over there.


Momish said...

Great review, and it sounds like an awesome book everyone should read. Aside from learning alternative ways of healing what ails you, just to know there are alternative views.

Feed your head is a line from a Sinad O'Conner song, but couldn't tell you which one. It's on the tip of my tounge (I hate when that happens, and I won't cheat and google on principle even though it will kill me!)

Tabba said...

The Cranberries?

Tabba said...


Feed your heee-ad
Feed your heee-aa-ad


Tabba said...


Totally wrong. Totally, totally wrong. Those aren't the right lyrics and it's not a Cranberries song.

Sheesh. I suck.

And I take these kinds of things waaay to seriously :)

crazymumma said...


jefferson airplane's white rabbit.

but I can understand the cranberries reference.

I am totally off pharmaceuticals now, I think it was anti depressants and antianxietals that 'opened' my brain to the auras.

freaky stuff.

jen said...

ding ding ding. i used it because of line that goes "one pill makes you smaller"

whatever, i already know i am a dork.

Christine said...

thanks for the review, sounds like is definitely worth checking out.

mitzh said...

I somehow felt guilty after reading this..

Because, I think I am becoming a part of this pill popping nation.. :( yikes!