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Change your brain change your life

Posted Feb 25 2010 7:34am

 

Daniel Amen, M.D., one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain, has news for you: your brain is involved in everything you dolearn to care for it properly, and you will be smarter, healthier, and happier in as little as 15 days!

You probably run, lift weights, or do yoga to keep your body in great shape; you put on sunscreen and lotions to protect your skin; but chances are you simply ignore your brain and trust it to do its job. People unknowingly endanger or injure their brains, stress them by working at a frenzied pace and not getting enough sleep, pollute them with caffeine, alcohol, and drugs, and deprive them of proper nutrients. Brain dysfunction is the number one reason people fail at school, work, and relationships. The brain is the organ of learning, working, and lovingthe supercomputer that runs our lives. It’s very simple: when our brains work right, we work rightand when our brains have trouble, we have trouble in our lives.

In this age of do-it-yourself health care (heck, if the doctor only sees you for 10 minutes each visit, what other options are there?), Change Your Brain, Change Your Life fits in perfectly. Filled with “brain prescriptions” (among them cognitive exercises and nutritional advice) that are geared toward readers who’ve experienced anxiety, depression, impulsiveness, excessive anger or worry, and obsessive behavior, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life milks the mind-body connection for all it’s worth.
Written by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has also authored a book on attention deficit disorder, Change Your Brain contains dozens of brain scans of patients with various neurological problems, from caffeine, nicotine, and heroin addiction to manic-depression to epilepsy. These scans, often showing large gaps in neurological activity or areas of extreme overactivity, are downright frightening to look at, and Dr. Amen should know better than to resort to such scare tactics. But he should also be commended for advocating natural remedies, including deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback for treating disorders that are so frequently dealt with by prescription only. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist Amen uses nuclear brain imaging to diagnose and treat behavioral problems. He explains how the brain works, what happens when things go wrong, and how to optimize brain function. Five sections of the brain are discussed, and case studies clearly illustrate possible problems. The accompanying brain-scan photos are difficult to read with an untrained eye. Although Amen provides step-by-step “prescriptions” geared toward optimizing and healing the different sections of the brain (”create a library of wonderful experiences”; “try meditation/self-hypnosis”), 80 percent of the patients in his case studies were given medication to treat their behavioral problems. The audience for this book is ambiguous. While it encourages readers to evaluate themselves and others, it would be more useful to a professional in the social sciences than to the general reader.

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