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SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY by Kenneth R. Pelletier

SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY

A New Model for Long-Term Health

By Kenneth R. Pelletier

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-671-77000-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 An ambitious, sometimes ponderous, examination of the nature of health by the director of the corporate health program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Pelletier (Healthy People in Unhealthy Places, 1983, etc.) interviewed over 50 successful and prominent men and women across the US to discover what common elements in their lifestyles enabled them to achieve a ``healthy balance of mind, body, and environment.'' Among those interviewed who agreed to be identified are David Rockefeller, Murray Gell-Mann, Norman Cousins, Dennis Weaver, Norman Lear, and Lindsay Wagner. Excerpts from the interviews identify the following elements: coping successfully with early life trauma; a sense of control over the course of one's life; a sense of purpose combined with personal discipline; moderation in personal health practices; the ability to attain a state of mental and physical quiet when needed; social support derived from connection to others; and action- oriented spiritual values expressed through assistance to others. Most chapters conclude with a list of recommendations, based on these interviews and on research by others, on how one can enhance one's own health. These take the form of specific dietary practices, stress-management techniques, coping skills, and other practical ``action steps.'' Pelletier's view is that what our country has now is not primarily a health care system but a disease-management system and that what is needed is an approach that encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own health, to reach out and help others who are less fortunate, and to help the nation as a whole solve its social and environmental problems. A holistic health lecture, loaded with personal anecdotes and research data, that often sounds as though it were being delivered from a pulpit.