Off Balance, the American Way of Health by Leyla Ali

Off Balance, the American Way of Health

A Pharmacist's Perspective on Why Drugs Don't Work
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An American-trained pharmacist discusses the shortcomings of traditional Western medicine and advocates natural approaches to health care and wellness.

Ali writes with refreshing candor about her disillusionment with traditional medicine. After receiving her degree as a doctor of pharmacy and taking a position as a well-paid pharmacist, the author found herself unfulfilled and “essentially working a retail job” instead of using her knowledge to help sick people. Her career dissatisfaction led to financial and personal setbacks, until eventually, Ali read a book recommended by a friend—Cleanse and Purify Thyself by Richard Anderson, which claims “that 99 percent of known human disease is caused by what we eat.” The book changed her life and led to personal and professional epiphanies: She was “off-balance” and so was the American health care system. Ali writes, “[i]t eventually became very clear to me that many standard medical treatments are manufactured in order to: Create long-term customers; Provide patients with temporary comfort; Specifically, NOT treat the underlying cause.” In 15 chapters, Ali addresses topics such as “What’s Wrong with American Medicine?”; “Cleansing and Detox”; “Weight Loss”; “Pain”; and “Starting Your Holistic Journey”. She believes that, for centuries, people used natural remedies; however, the early 20th century brought about a paradigm shift in health care treatment in which the American Medical Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and large pharmaceutical and insurance companies created a profit-driven system that doesn’t prevent illness or cure it but perpetuates customers who “will turn to drugs in their time of sickness.” The book includes insightful interviews with alternative healing practitioners as well as individuals who’ve reclaimed their health through natural means after the American health care system failed them. Chapters begin with pithy quotes and color cartoon illustrations, and there are colorful charts, interview balloons and chapter summaries, too. In an age of mandated American health insurance, in which “drugs are covered by insurance, [but] holistic solutions are not,” Ali offers a thoughtful guide for those seeking another path.

Insightfully portrays an ailing American health system and ways to improve one’s health.

ISBN: 978-0985345204
Page count: 290pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2015


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