A detailed and appealing work on wellness.




From the True Wellness series

A book about blending Eastern and Western medicine for heart health.

In the newest book in their series, medical doctors Kuhn and Kurosu (True Wellness: The Mind, 2019, etc.), who now practice holistic healing, examine cardiac health from an integrative perspective, combining different approaches to health care. As in their previous installments, the authors blend divergent tenets of Eastern and Western medicine—Kurosu trained in Canada and the United States and Kuhn, in China—into a cohesive wellness approach. They note some surprising parallels and highlight beneficial practices from each type of medicine and walk readers through ways to make them work together. This book specifically focuses on prevention and treatment of cardiac illnesses, combining traditional medicine with practices involving acupuncture, herbs, yoga, and qi gong and rounding the regime out with tips on exercise, nutrition, meditation, and sleep. Their goal is educational, so the opening chapters aim to give readers a grounding in some of the science, history, and philosophy behind various treatments. They also include an in-depth examination of common cardiovascular problems, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart attacks, arrhythmias, and valve problems. Not all sections will apply to all readers, obviously, so some sections may be challenging to wade through. For instance, the book extensively details how blood vessels function, which sometimes requires the use of scientific language that casual readers may find difficult to grasp. However, the book also dispenses a good dose of general information about everyday lifestyle choices that are easy for anyone to comprehend and implement, and the authors liven up the concepts with examples from their own lives and practices. “Homework,” including mental exercises as well as instructive diagrams and illustrations, will help readers customize their own wellness plans. The authors support their advice with exhaustive citations, which makes the book feel more comprehensive than other, similar works.

A detailed and appealing work on wellness.

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-59439-735-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: YMAA Publication Center

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.


A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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