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Woman's Home Health Companion
Doctor Brings Unique Insights to Managing Women's Health
Some of us can still remember the days
when the doctor came to the sick person's house and, moreover, with very
few remedies in his bag. Instead he took charge of the sick room: ordained
that the patient get fresh air, that sunlight be let in, that fires be lit
to dry out the damp bedding, that a certain feeding regimen be followed.
In other words, his high priority was to assist the body to mobilize its
own powers of self-repair.
Dr Rita Stec is a doctor in this honorable tradition. She firmly eschews
the role assigned by much of modern medicine - that of being a
pill-dispensing automaton. Pills have their place of course, but only if
needed after the patient has adopted a healthy lifestyle.
What is a healthy lifestyle? Dr Stec draws her inspiration from the way of
life that our evolutionary history designed for us. In other words, the
human species is naturally adapted to a particular lifestyle, and the
mismatch with the way we live today is at the root of most of the big
diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis,
dementia etc.) as well as many ailments (e.g. PMS, allergies, migraines
etc). So the right nourishment, the right amounts of sunshine, the right
kind of sleep and the right type of physical activity are all factors in
living in a way that our bodies (and minds) recognize. In regard to this
subject, Dr Stec generously acknowledges the debt she owes to my own work Deadly
So Dr Stec makes a vital point: The only person who truly has her wellness
at heart is the patient herself! She has to take prime responsibility for
her health; she must take control of her life. It is no good relying on
the medical profession or the insurance companies, however altruistic and
professional they might be. They are marching to a different drumbeat.
They are there to patch up the problem after the damage is done. The
patient has it in her power to prevent the damage happening in the first
place, or to facilitate recovery from the damage.
This book is a handy, easy-to-read guide to achieve these ends. It is
aimed at women and is written in a chatty, non-technical language. Dr Stec
makes the important point that women's biology and needs are different to
those of men - a distinction that conventional medicine doesn't always
recognize. For example a woman's heart attack is often misdiagnosed
because doctors often use the yardstick of men's symptoms. In this women's
companion, Dr Stec of course deals with conditions that especially afflict
women (e.g. breast cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease) or
specifically (e.g. PMS, menopause and endometrial cancer). She extends
this to useful guidelines on issues such as birth control, HRT and even
the quality of life before death.
Dr Stec recognizes that it can be a tough business to change behavior, so
she provides useful strategies that appeal to a woman, often citing
examples from her own battles. She gives the patient the tools to take
charge of her health. There are check lists of symptoms, tests and vital
signs. She has whole segments on physical activity for women, how to get
health-giving sunshine, and obtain refreshing, restorative sleep.
Dr Stec has a crusading streak too. She highlights how food suppliers,
pharmaceutical companies, the media and others manipulate us. She shows us
how to be on our guard and not be influenced by misleading and alarmist
propaganda. She is outraged by the misinformation and peddling of
unhealthy products and practices, some of which actually receive
government subsidy! She wants physical activity put back in schools, and
subsidies to tobacco growers removed. But she has hope too: she gave
classes to third graders and found that they are incredibly receptive to
healthy messages and even influence their families to join in.
This handbook is unique and is packed with vital and useable information.
Every woman should possess it.