Consciously Female: How to Listen to Your Body and Your Soul for a Lifetime of Healthier Living
Paula Spencer, Tracy W. Gaudet. Bantam, $25.95 (448pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80293-1
This excellent compendium on women's health is based on the integrative model of medicine popularized by Weil (8 Weeks to Optimum Health, etc.), emphasizing a combination of Western treatments with alternative therapies in a patient-centered approach. Gudet, director of the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine, and Spencer (The V Book), provide a guide to individualizing women's health decisions relating to fertility, menstruation and menopause. Drawing on numerous case histories, Gaudet highlights the importance of understanding one's personal health as a developing narrative and of creating the time and space to learn about oneself through conscious and unconscious methods. Among other tools, she recommends""dreamimagery,"" a technique that involves breathing and muscle relaxation and may spark images and bring unconscious thoughts to light. Through this technique, for example,""Paula"" came to understand that she did not want to become pregnant again and""Kim"" came to terms with her emotional ability to be a mother. Well organized and clearly written, Gaudet's volume covers every aspect of female health from a person-centered point of view.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2004