The philosophy of self-care maintains that ""ordinary people,"" provided with clear, simple information, can handle most common health problems in their homes. Correspondingly, medical and nursing knowledge should not be considered a ""guarded secret of professionals,"" but should be shared with the lay public. This, Rumsey and Otteson have done--helpfully and well--by organizing the flood of material on the subject. They set out four elements in preparing for self-care: reviewing one's lifestyle, informing oneself, establishing a relationship with a physician or other health professional, and developing appropriate self-care and self-testing goals. Rather than rehashing everyone else's guides on these topics, Rumsey and Otteson limit themselves to presenting the basics concisely--lengthy discussion is saved for latest developments. (""Further Reading"" lists at the end of each section cite only the best, most recent and pertinent guides.) The authors also explain all the current procedures for self-testing at home (from temp and B.P.-taking to teeth and breast self-exam); discuss common ""signals"" of prevalent problems (such as backache); and, finally, look at alternative sources of relief--such as chiropractic, homeopathy, and color therapy. (Their advice re the latter: have a medical check-up first, tell your practitioner what you're going to do, and then don't expect any miracles.) No gimmicks or hoopla here; instead, a welcome, concise guide with plenty of back-up references for those wanting to control their own health care.