Monday, March 21, 2011

You Can Beat the Odds

You Can Beat the Odds: Surprising Factors Behind Illness and Cancer: The 6-Week Breakthrough Program for Optimal Immunity by Brenda Stockdale is a treasure full of information, well-researched recommendations, and anecdotes.

In her workshops, Stockdale works with patients who have been diagnosed with a variety of conditions, many if not most are terminal.  And she has the courage to share stories that end in wonderful miracles but also a few that end as we all do–in death.  It is this balance of hope and honesty that makes Stockdale’s book superior to many that offer a panacea rather than reality.

Stockdale’s information is also deeply rooted in research and, after a quick skim of the footnotes, it is obvious that the resources she references are reliable, well-respected within the medical and psychological community.  Unlike some other books, she is not framing her promises in self-serving resources.  Instead, she is relentless in not only seeking out the best but putting it together in a manner that makes it meaningful.

Her website gives just a hint of how much information she compresses in these pages.  Different modalities are used to address different diagnoses.  Meditation, writing, music, and more are all offered as a way of looking at the reality of a situation and choosing to live with it while also reframing it.  Too often people are told that their thoughts or feelings are responsible for things and commanded to simply stop thinking certain ways, further victimizing those who are already facing often frightening and seemingly insurmountable challenges.  The author doesn’t ignore the truth that how we feel about things can affect recovery but she offers solid advice, practical and applicable, to lead the way to doing the utmost to heal.

Anyone who is living under the cloud of genetics, knowing that a parent has a condition that can be handed down to future generations, will find suggestions to help live above and beyond what may or may not be inevitable.  For those who are facing a diagnosis of a condition that is incurable and/or debilitating, the same ideas and principles can offer an improved quality of life.  At the end of the book, Stockdale shares a story in which her step-son suggested a new title for her book: Stop Living Like You’re Already Dead: The Inspiring 6-Week Program That Helps You Liven Up.

This is definitely a book that shouldn’t be judged by its title or cover or anything else because there is so much contained inside and no single image or title could possibly do it all justice.  I’m not even sure this review is adequate.

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