With the increase in human life expectancy, there is a growing interest in books detailing the potential to extend life spans beyond the century mark, e.g., The Okinawa Program: How the World's Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health-And How You Can Too and Gary Null's Power Aging. Here, holistic physician Shealy (founder, American Holistic Medical Assn.; 90 Days to Stress-Free Living) prescribes treatment regimens for common chronic illnesses, utilizing a variety of herbal preparations, supplements, special diets, healing soaks, lotions, autogenic training, and self-administered transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatments. All of these, Shealy claims, will correct the biochemical deficiencies and electromagnetic malfunctions that are the root of ill health. The author himself devised several of these remedies (e.g., Biogenics Magnesium Lotion), lending an air of an old-time medicine show to the book, an impression further enhanced by Shealy's claim to have the ability to "see" etheric, or spiritual, energy surrounding human bodies. Detailed notes and a bibliography refer to a variety of scientific and nonscientific resources. Other than offering dubious cures for chronic illnesses that may or may not shorten the life span, this book supplies no real specifics for increasing longevity. Not recommended.-Karen McNally Bensing, Benjamin Rose Lib., Cleveland Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Shealy promises readers unprecedented life spans by accessing energy pathways in the body. According to the nationally known researcher in the fields of energy medicine and intuitive healing, simple lifestyle changes (no smoking, limited alcohol, increased activity) can add years to life, but for dramatic increases in life expectancy, we should concentrate on keeping our DHEA (hormones indicative of stress reserves) and calcitonin (hormones maintaining skeletal integrity) levels optimal and decreasing free-radical damage. Doing so, he says, will make living to 120, even 160, the norm in the next stage of human evolution. To this end, he offers a system for activating specific chemical pathways in the body, tips for relieving stress and depression, dietary guidelines, simple exercise routines and illness-specific remedies. Readers interested in energy medicine will likely find Shealy's explanation of alternative theories and therapies useful, while others may find the procedures (photo- and electrical stimulation; quartz crystals; etc.)-some of which call for products developed by Shealy-time-consuming and expensive. Shealy's depth of knowledge is impressive, but his focus on achieving a specific number unfortunate. For a different view of aging, one that includes acceptance of human mortality and aims for well-being, see Andrew Weil's Healthy Aging (Reviews, Aug. 8). Agent, David Alexander. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.