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A User’s Guide to the Human Body
Excerpt

FOREWORD

Life, let alone medicine, healthcare and well-being, is changing. Individuals in every civilization from ancient to modern have understood the Earth’s ability to provide the necessities of life and humans’ innate ability to heal from illness or injury, but it feels like the march of progress now is very different compared to other times and places. Nonetheless, the ways in which we humans feel about and respond to change remains remarkably consistent. One common theme is that – whether or not we recognize it in ourselves – we seek out and search for an effective, meaningful and fulfilling understanding of the world, of the new and the old. Yet so often the answers we seek are right there in front of or within us.

The discoveries in medicine over the last 100 years or so have been breathtaking. From the advent of Germ Theory and the antibiotic era onwards, we’ve benefited from treatments borne out of ever increasing knowledge. Alongside the well-established scientific and technological development, I think there’s been a deeper change that’s a genuinely “new thing” – well at least new in the modern age. That change is the de-paternalisation of medicine in which we’ve seen the balance of authority move from “You suffer disease and you shall receive this treatment” to “Here’s the options, how do you want to treat this condition that’s affecting you?” The patient is now encouraged, expected to be an active participant in their healthcare decisions rather than being told what has to be done.

The same shift is seen across many areas of life and I believe the biggest factors contributing to it are the ease of access to the large body of information people now have on almost any subject and the ease of access to the tools and resources of specialisation that were only available to the privileged chosen few. Across almost every human endeavour we see personalisation and customisation replacing pre-set, one-size-fits-all approaches.

So alongside the progress of science, technology and treatment there’s more personalised medicine, choice and patient autonomy. We see conventional medicine being asked questions it wasn’t ever designed to answer and so we see ourselves turned towards “unconventional” approaches to find answers to the questions that people ask about themselves and their well-being. In this setting we can see the importance of complementary or alternative therapies, ancient and modern approaches combining to give patients the best outcome possible.

Shane’s book serves to remind us that along with great choice comes great responsibility and ultimately, we’re each responsible for our own health and have the power to change our circumstances. It provides a clear explanation of a connection between body and mind from a newer and more in-depth understanding of the fascial system and suggests some simple tools and techniques people can use to begin to regain control of their health. Along the way she introduces important diet, exercise, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect us all and have to be considered if we want to improve our sense of well-being.

Dr. Atul Kumar-Beurg London, UK

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Happy Go Money

Happy Go Money

Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life
edition:eBook
also available: Audiobook
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Excerpt

The magic number

 

We all need a certain amount of money to be happy. But how much?

For those of us who are on the verge of losing our homes, who fret about feeding our children, who cringe when the phone rings because debt collectors may be calling, without question, more money will make us happier.  But for the rest of us, before connecting cash with joy, we need to talk about what we mean by “happy.”

Scientists in neuroeconomics (the study of how we make economic decisions) break happiness into two types:

Life satisfaction: an evaluation of your well-being as a whole (the kind of happy where you’re pleased with life in general).

Day-to-day mood: the highs and lows, the joy, stress, sadness, anger and affection that you experience from one moment to the next — how you feel today, how you felt yesterday (the kind of happy that most of us relate to — the right now happiness).

 With life satisfaction, the richer people got, the more satisfied they were with their lives. In worldwide studies, people in richer countries reported higher life satisfaction than those in poorer countries. (We should also consider that wealthier countries are more politically stable, more peaceful and less oppressive — which affects well-being.) But according to a 2018 Purdue University study, there was a limit. That figure is $95,000 U.S. (pre-tax, per single-family household). After that, more money didn’t mean that you were more satisfied. With day-to-day happiness, the threshold is $60,000 to $75,000 per household, according to various studies.

The 2018 study showed that after these salaries are hit, life satisfaction and day-to-day happiness actually slightly decrease with more money.

What the what?

Well, apparently when all of our basic needs are met, we become driven by other desires such as chasing after more material stuff and comparing ourselves to others which makes us unhappy. Also, high incomes can come with high demands (more working hours, more stress and less time with family and for leisure).

This doesn’t mean that we should all go out and try to make exactly $75,000 US a year – our so-called feel-good financial sweet spot. The studies are averages and we all need different things to be happy. But ALL of us find joy in some simple things — kisses, laughter, getting IDed after the age of 25.

Marketing professor Hal Hershfield once told me: “Even if I have an amazing car in my driveway, a huge house and a big fat income, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll be happier on a day-by-day basis because the types of things that influence happiness are who I interact with, how I spend my time and the things that I do.”

Think of some of your happiest times in the past week. Were you spending it with people? Were you taking time to enjoy an activity, going for a run or catching up with a good friend? Would a wad of cash have made those moments that much better?

Probably not. If you answered “yes” to the latter question, how much more then do you need to be happy? Read on.

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An Economy of Well-Being

An Economy of Well-Being

Common-sense tools for building genuine wealth and happiness
edition:Paperback
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Mad Blood Stirring

Mad Blood Stirring

The Inner Lives of Violent Men
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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