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Andrew Weil, MD, is the founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and others.
Weil's enormously successful blend of mainstream and alternative therapies has earned him the reputation as guru of integrative medicine. Here, he develops a guide to help patients beat back the blues. It couldn't come at a more opportune time. One in 10 people in the U.S., including children, takes antidepressants. Weil dissuades readers from expecting perpetual happiness, suggesting his program aims for "positive emotionality"-a far better destination than the roller-coaster ride between bliss and despair. He makes his case with what is becoming a signature formula: take the Western medicine your doctor prescribes, and then bend the "biomedical model" to incorporate alternative therapies, including supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and herbal remedies; meditation and other "spiritual" strategies. He reiterates "limiting information overload" as an integral part of the program. Despite plugging his Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine-and predictable endorsements from patients who've hopped on the bandwagon-this is more than a New Age prescription for contentment. Weil's revelations and insights from his own lifelong battle with depression lift this guide from a hip and clinical "how to" to a generous and heartfelt "here's how." (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Weil (founder & director, Arizona Ctr. for Integrative Medicine, Univ. of Arizona; Spontaneous Healing) writes openly of his midlife struggles with moderate depression and here offers a new approach to thinking about happiness. In Part 1, he argues that the basic assumptions of mainstream psychiatric medicine are obsolete and the biochemical model has limitations. He asserts that the integration of Eastern and Western psychology into a new approach will result in better management of depression and an increase in emotional intelligence. In Part 2, Weil offers advice and practical steps for caring for the body and mind, drawing on techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, mindfulness, and other disciplines, along with advice on lifestyle, behavior, dietary changes, and exercise. Weil provides a map for a journey based on the techniques he describes. Integrating these changes, he argues, will result in emotional resilience and well-being. VERDICT The case studies and practical guidance here can help readers make life-changing decisions.-Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Fdn. Lib. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Like all of his books, Spontaneous Happiness is a refreshing combination of clarity, science and practical wisdom. But it's also warm and, indeed, personal: Dr. Weil includes not only anecdotes from people who've written to him over the years, but also his own experience in battling mild depression."--iVillage "Weil's program aims for 'positive emotionality'-a far better destination than the roller-coaster ride between bliss and despair. This is more than a New Age prescription for contentment. Weil's revelations and insights from his own lifelong battle with depression lift this guide from a hip and clinical 'how to' to a generous and heartfelt 'here's how.'"--Publisher's Weekly "A comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness...Weil provides sensible, accessible advice...Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift."--Kirkus Reviews