A debut health book offers readers a theory for a better quality of life.
People are living longer and longer, but what is the use of longevity if their quality of life is not also improved? Quality of life in America is still hampered by the tremendous amount of misinformation people have regarding their health and nutrition. “There are two simple steps to achieve well-being,” writes Håkerud in the book’s preface. “1. You have to find out what is good for you and what is bad for you. 2. You have to do what is good for you and avoid what is bad for you.” The author, an experienced chiropractor and physiotherapist, believes that the only obstacles keeping people from following these steps are either a lack of education or a case of denial. The best way to maintain a good quality of life is not better treatment for the ill, Håkerud argues, but to keep healthy people from getting sick in the first place. The author examines the history of health science, pointing out areas where he thinks it has gone astray—he disagrees with the widely held concept that genes dictate behavior independent of environmental factors, for instance—and questioning treatments that don’t force patients to change their lifestyles. He proposes his own understanding of the interaction between the mind and body, and he presents a guide to “the art of living” that will help maintain a desirable quality of life. The author’s prose is conversational and accessible, even when he delves into matters of scientific complexity: “With these laws, Descartes bumped into a problem. Human thoughts have too many variables to fit into these predictable laws. Descartes solved this problem by claiming that the laws that applied to the objective physical world did not apply to the mind.” Håkerud’s ideas are generally thoughtful and persuasive, though some readers may find him overly skeptical of medicine. The book is more a treatise on the state of health science than a practical manual with tips and tricks. But for those looking for a considered challenge to conventional wisdom, the author’s words make for engrossing reading.
An intriguing look at staying healthy that takes a critical view of current practices.