WASHINGTON (July 20, 2012)—With chronic illness now affecting more than 50 percent of the American population, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., renowned integrative medicine practitioner and author of a new women’s health and fitness book from National Geographic, believes that a healthy lifestyle is way more powerful than any drug in preventing disease and improving the quality of our lives.
In LIFE IS YOUR BEST MEDICINE: A Woman’s Guide to Health, Healing and Wholeness at Every Age (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0960-4; on-sale date: Sept. 4, 2012; $26 hardcover), Dr. Low Dog states, “The power to experience vitality and well-being lies within each of us. True healing can only be found in the way we live our lives.” She cites research that shows if Americans embraced a healthier lifestyle — including a balance between rest and exercise, wholesome nutrition, healthy weight, positive social interactions and stress management — 93 percent of diabetes, 81 percent of heart attacks, 50 percent of strokes and 36 percent of all cancers could be prevented.
“The biggest health challenge facing us today is trying to figure out how to live a balanced life — one that is resilient during change. Resilient people are able to gather their strength and resources to overcome adversity. We’re most able to do this when we are physically, emotionally, and spiritually nourished,” she writes.
This science-based and spiritually inspiring book, with a foreword by integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil., M.D., imparts Low Dog’s tried-and-true wisdom for creating health, healing and wholeness at all stages of a woman’s life. Writing authoritatively and passionately, Low Dog blends her personal stories about life, well-being and healing with practical, hands-on ways to improve one’s health based on traditional practices and cutting-edge science. From stress-reducing exercises and tips on how to get the best night’s sleep to the healing power of pets, art, humor, touch and social connections, she shows how every aspect of one’s life forms the medicine one needs to thrive.
“‘Life Is Your Best Medicine’ is not only a comprehensive and highly practical guide for women seeking optimum health, it is also Tieraona’s own life story, sparkling with the wisdom she has drawn from it,” writes Dr. Weil. “Women need special guidance about maintaining health as they journey through life. They need to know about effects of lifestyle choices, the influence of diet on disease risks, the importance of regular physical activity, and ways to protect their bodies and minds from the harmful effects of stress. They also need to know when and how to use preventive medical services, when to seek help from conventional doctors, when alternative treatments and natural remedies may be appropriate. This book answers those needs. I can think of no one better qualified [than Low Dog] to guide women to health, healing, and wholeness at any age.”
The book is divided into four parts. Part One, “The Medicine of My Life,” tells Low Dog’s powerful, personal story, from her childhood coping with dyslexia to her first jobs as a leatherworker, a tae kwon do instructor and a herbalist to her becoming a medical doctor and now fellowship director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Part Two, “Honoring the Body,” highlights the benefits of correct breathing, a proper diet, exercise, sleep and herbal medicine. In Part Three, “Awakening the Senses,” she shares the importance of touch; how to maintain eye health; how to enhance smell, taste and hearing; ways to experience nature; which plants best engage one’s senses; and the healing power of music. Part Four, “Listening to the Spirit,” focuses on humor, relationships, forgiveness, animals, play, meditation and resiliency. Throughout the book, she stresses the importance of treating the body as well as the mind — using both conventional medicine and alternative remedies — as she offers tools, tips and advice on healthy living and maintaining balance and harmony in one’s life.
About the Author
At the forefront of the thriving self-help health care movement, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog blends the wisdom of a Native American elder with the credentials of a 21st-century medical doctor. Her extensive career in studying natural medicine began more than 25 years ago. She studied midwifery and massage therapy and was a highly respected herbalist, serving as president of the American Herbalist Guild and running a teaching clinic in Albuquerque. She went on to receive her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 1996 and later ran a successful integrative medical clinic. She joined the faculty of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where she currently serves as fellowship director.
In 2000, President Clinton appointed her to serve on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, and from 2003 to 2007 she was on the advisory board of the National Institutes for Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She is currently the chair of the safety subcommittee of the United States Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements and Botanicals Expert Panel.
Low Dog won the Burt Kallman Scientific Award in 2007 and NPR’s People’s Pharmacy Award in 2010. She writes a regular column for Alternative and Complementary Therapies magazine called “Smart Talk on Supplements and Botanicals.”