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Book in Focus
On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment
To Your Health
By Iris Schrijver
There is an unprecedented change in medicine that is moving the focal point of medical care from the management of disease toward the improvement and maintenance of health and wellness. With that comes a greater emphasis on prevention and (partial or complete) reversal of lifestyle-driven chronic diseases, which now account for the majority of premature deaths globally.
The measures we can take to improve and maintain health throughout life include personal choices, but reach all the way into the delivery of healthcare and the social fabric of our world, including global politics and economies of scale. On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment provides a key to understanding how we can all improve and support health in any phase of life. It demystifies medical research and presents a journey of discovery that includes the foundations of knowledge, social factors, health research findings, implications of lifestyle choices, and positive psychology. It also investigates the scientific basis of what we think we know about healthy living, and takes a realistic look at the evidence of biological, psychological, and cultural determinants of health.
In On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment, I bring together complex themes, uncover fallacies, and foster understanding. With a background in academic and non-profit medicine, I am committed to helping people thrive. My dedication to medical progress through science has resulted in the publication of many original research articles, book chapters, and books, including Living with the Stars, a popular science book about connections between the human body and the universe. My work is motivated by a passion for lifestyle medicine, science, education, and the possibility of wellbeing for everyone.
This book is essential reading for anyone who wonders why there is so much left to learn about what truly enhances wellbeing and survival. It will appeal to the medical community, including doctors, nurses, and students, and to a wide range of health care professionals. However, it will be equally relevant to the general educated reader. You can find more on this topic at lifestyleforhealthandwellness.com.
What was your inspiration for writing the book?
A central theme of the book is science. As a physician who worked in academic and in non-profit medicine, I became deeply concerned by the ways in which the scientific process is often misunderstood, misrepresented, or dismissed altogether. This book does not simply state that science is important; rather, it seeks to engage the reader to realize how science builds evidence and becomes a very practical tool for applications in everyday life. It clarifies what is valid versus what is inaccurate, and serves to expose those who bamboozle the general public for profit.
What does your book do differently to similar titles?
On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment: To Your Health is grounded in lifestyle medicine, but touches on a variety of topics in the health sciences, factors of health, lifestyle and disease, positive psychology, social science, foundations of knowledge, and even the history of medicine. Other books exist that are written around these themes, or that target a comparable audience, but the perspective from which this book is written is unique. Where others focus more on more narrowly targeted topics, favor a self-help (“how-to”) approach, or focus on topics somewhat outside of the realm of medicine and health, the distinguishing feature of this book is that it was written by a scholar and from the perspective of a universal need, in order to navigate complex issues in personal health and healthcare that have a direct impact on health and wellbeing both in the short term and over a lifetime.
What new insights has the book revealed?
This book illuminates what influences our use of health information, explains how the information derived from new science sheds light on health and disease, and reveals how internal and external factors determine the extent to which one can experience wellness.
These powerful themes are written through the lens of lifestyle medicine, the evidence-based medical discipline that helps individuals and their families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that can affect health and quality of life. Evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic intervention—including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection—can prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease. The integration of lifestyle practices into the modern practice of medicine serves to minimize risk factors for chronic disease, or, if disease is already present, is an adjunct in its therapy. This approach enables a return to health, instead of long-term management of disease.
This book brings together sound, scientific evidence in diverse health-related fields to assist healthcare providers, as well as individuals, in the process of optimizing health and wellbeing. In addition, importantly, it empowers patients to take ownership of their personal health outcomes. There are as yet few books that cover the principles of this medical field, and none that explore the foundation of the current issues in health and healthcare within this framework. On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment: To Your Health addresses these timely, relevant topics, and integrates them with the current state of knowledge. The material is presented in a way that is meant to spark a sense of wonder and induce a deeper understanding of the connections between body, mind, and the world by which they are influenced.
“This valuable book not only sets out a path to dramatically better health. It anticipates the obstacles that may occur along the way and shows you how to overcome them. It is evidence-based, realistic, and wonderfully optimistic, from a doctor whose expertise can revolutionize your outlook on life.”
Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC
Adjunct Professor, George Washington University School of Medicine; President, Physicians Committee
“This book focuses on the prevention of disease with a unique perspective, empowering the readers to navigate through the complex issues in health and healthcare that have a lasting impact on our health and wellbeing both now and over a lifetime. The book is extremely well-written and a really fun read. Dr Schrijver presents the most reliable, relevant and applicable scientific evidence and helps us refute misinformation along the way. This book is brilliant and practically helpful. I absolutely recommend it to EVERYONE.”
Min Fang, MD, PhD
Professor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington
“This book explores health from a variety of perspectives. Interpreting scientific studies and communicating the findings in an easy to understand way is a gift that keeps on giving. The book will help readers appreciate the importance of research, genetics, environment and lifestyle factors in everyday life and when working through complex medical conditions.”
Beth Frates, MD FACLM DipABLM
President-Elect American College of Lifestyle Medicine; Clinical Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
“In this book, Dr Iris Schrijver provides insight into, and commentary on, how the medical community often fails to effectively communicate what is known about the prevention and management of disease, and how this failure impacts health disparities by race, ethnicity, education and socioeconomic status. Dr Schrijver takes an in-depth and science-based look at what makes us thrive in body and mind and helps us apply a critical lens to market-driven fads. A must-read for medical providers and anyone interested in sorting fact from fiction in the search for better health and well-being.”
Martha L. Spiers, LCSW
Executive Director, Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine
“In this book, Dr Schrijver gives thoughtful and well-documented consideration to the things in our lives that influence our health and happiness. We can’t control all these things, but Dr Schrijver shows how we can control our responses, to our inner cravings, to the things that cause us stress, and to information (and the abundant misinformation) surrounding us in both traditional and social media – misinformation that is intended, in many cases, to make others rich at our expense. This is an exceptional book that is well worth your time.”
Timothy J. O'Leary, MD, PhD
Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics; Former Chief Research and Development Officer, Veterans Health Administration
“An insightful, timely work on what determines our very well-being.”
David Robert Grimes, PhD
Iris Schrijver is a certified lifestyle medicine physician, also specialized in clinical pathology and molecular genetics. She is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a former President of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Dr Schrijver served as medical director of Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine, because she believes that healthcare is a basic human right. Her dedication to patients and to medical progress through science has resulted in the publication of many original research articles, book chapters, and books.
On the Path to Health, Wellbeing, and Fulfilment: To Your Health is available now in Hardback at a 25% discount. Enter the code PROMO25 at checkout to redeem.