Healthy Pleasures

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201523850
ISBN-10: 020152385X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"At nearly every turn, pleasure has gotten a bad name," write the authors, who tell us that in pursuit of longevity Americans have become overly abstemious. Psychologist Ornstein and Sobel, director of preventive medicine at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, believe that eradicating all of life's pleasures--whether chocolate, alcohol or even an occasional puff of tobacco--represents a far more serious threat to our well-being than whatever damage may be wreaked by occasionally indulging. Deploring what they call "medical terrorism," they point out that some once-dire findings on health hazards have been reversed, disputed or exaggerated. The authors' secret for happiness: forget asceticism in the name of health. We should touch each other more often, learn to take life a little more lightly, partake in some form of gentle physical exercise, nap when necessary and learn to be less self-centered generally. If this advice seems a touch obvious, it may bear repeating nonetheless. 75,000 printing; Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club alternate; first serial to American Health Magazine; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Robert Ornstein, Ph.D., is a psychologist, brain researcher, and writer. He co-wrote The Psychology of Consciousness, which has sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, and more recently, The Healing Brain.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (January 22, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020152385X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201523850
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Adam Khan VINE VOICE on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ornstein and Sobel write an entirely readable book about an important topic. Everyone knows that we need to exercise and eat right to be healthy. But not everyone knows that many of the things we ENJOY are healthy. And enjoyment ITSELF is healthy!
The authors go into great detail about the different ways you can enhance your health and enjoyment and they cite research to back up what they're saying. Indulge yourself in pleasure: Music, good scents, good flavors, optimism, naps, fun, pets, good friends, etc. These are some of the healthiest things you can do.
If you are interested in maintaining or improving your health AND interested in having a good time along the way, this is the book for you. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on what is effective and what is not. The ideas and research behind this book are important and valuable and very much worth reading.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Spero on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This might be my favorite mind/body book. Through scientific research, it proves that pleasure is good for you, purpose, meaning, fun and laughter are good for you. In other words, the better your life, the better your health is likely to be. And the harder your life, the more health problems you are likely to have.
This is a profoundly healing message. It tells us not to be hard on ourselves, or on others. Not to blame ourselves or set up hundreds of hoops to jump through. That's not the way to be healthy or happy. Make your life easier and better, and good health is likely (though not guaranteed) to follow.
I have used this approach in my life with multiple sclerosis, my health coaching practice and my wellness workshops for years now with wonderful results. My book, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness, puts Sobel and Ornstein's research into practice. I remain a big fan of Healthy Pleasures
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Khemprof TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Healthy Pleasures written by Robert Ornstein and David Sobel is a book about the medical benefits of pleasure, that is longer, healthier life.
The book is divided up into three parts and each of those has chapters relative to the topic. Healthy Pleasures proposes a new approach to the way women and men manage their health. This book is a readers guide through the maze of myths and misconceptions that stand in the way of health.
In the book the reader will find scores of practical suggestions, based on recent scientific discoveries, on how to live in a way that enriches, rather than just maintains, health: ways to mobilize positive beliefs, expectations, and emotions... from cognitive therapy, relaxation training, and successful behavior modification practices.
Because people are naturally drawn by the pleasure principle to many of the things which promote health, this makes the book easy to follow. The emphasis of this book is the importance of pleasing rather than punishing ourselves... food, drink, rest, work, sunrises and sunsets, too... in a refreshing affectionate light found in the brain's pleasure centers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennieg on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently re-reading this interesting book after a recent discussion involving studies -- among other things this book debunks 'medical terrorism' in which studies are used to frighten people unnecessarily. (The authors strongly encourage us to look more closely at the size and scope of studies before applying them to ourselves)

However, the book covers many more topics in emphasizing the importance of pleasure, including a focus on Work that makes and keeps us slaves to industry while cutting us off from significant others in our lives.

The authors aren't proponents of hedonism, but suggest that if we buy into conventional wisdom, we miss out on the joy life has to offer without any real improvement in our health or longevity.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lulu on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
The authors make an airtight case for a pleasurable life being healthy. This book will make you feel good, emotionally AND physically.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By guillermo on June 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Great,usefull,open minded,with energy and ideas. Healthy Pleasures is the healthy pleasure of living without fighting with oneself.
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