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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Health: At What Cost?
Perfect Health offers a good introduction to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of healing introduced to the larger American audience by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1970's and popularized by Chopra himself. Chopra presents the ancient healing art in a modern idiom, blending insights from the ancient Ayurvedic sages with modern-day information on quantum physics, diet,...
Published on November 4, 2003 by Seth Pollins

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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Advertisement or Introduction to Ayurveda?
I purchased this book in hopes of finding a book that would be an introduction the the science of Ayurveda for the students at my yoga studio who were unfamiliar with the topic. Chopra presented the information in terms a Westerner might easily grasp. He succeded, from my point of wiew, in translating some of the more esoteric ideas and ways of looking at the interplay...
Published on January 11, 2007 by Laura Zuckoff


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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Advertisement or Introduction to Ayurveda?, January 11, 2007
By 
Laura Zuckoff (Moseley, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
I purchased this book in hopes of finding a book that would be an introduction the the science of Ayurveda for the students at my yoga studio who were unfamiliar with the topic. Chopra presented the information in terms a Westerner might easily grasp. He succeded, from my point of wiew, in translating some of the more esoteric ideas and ways of looking at the interplay between nature, our minds and our bodies.

My main frustration with the book was that it seemed to be very much an published advertisement for the Chopra Center in La Jolla, CA. For instance, he would suggest a person of a particuar constitution would benefit from drinking an herbal tea specific to their "type." But rather than mention the herbal ingredients in the tea, he would suggest it could be purchased from the website listed. As well, suggestions for aromatherapy as a support of health mentioned no specific essential oils, but once again, directs the reader to a website from which they can make apurchase. To my disappointment, this theme continued throughout the book.

If you are looking to simply get an overview of what Ayurveda is in clear consise language, this is a good STARTING point. For more specifics, David Frawley and Vasant Lad have much more to offer in the many books they have authored on the topic.
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385 of 424 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ayurvedic Sampler, September 20, 2001
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
....Deepak Chopra is a prolific and successful author. He also creates great titles--who can resist the offer of “Perfect Health?” I checked it out at the library because I was compelled to see if the book lived up to the title. Chopra introduces us to what he calls the “quantum mechanical human body.” His theory is that “by treating the underlying quantum mechanical body itself, Ayurveda can bring about changes far beyond the reach of conventional medicine, confined as it is to the level of gross physiology.” Sounds good to me. Let’s get to those devils, the details. First we take tests to learn which body type we are, Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, or a combination thereof. We learn that these names also refer to doshas, “metabolic principles.” By implication, we surmise that we must keep these doshas in balance or our health will suffer. We learn about the twenty-five gunas, or fundamental qualities. We learn about the subdoshas. We address How To Balance Your Doshas: diet, exercise, daily routine, seasonal routine. Then we get right to it, Opening the Channels of Healing. This encompasses panchakarma, meditation, primordial sound, pulse diagnosis, marma therapy, bliss technique, aroma therapy and Gandharva music therapy. That’s where my problems with this book began. After convincing me of the value of meditation I learned that “meditation needs to be learned from a qualified instructor, it cannot be learned from a book.” Primordial sound, I read, “is a medical treatment taught by a qualified Ayurvedic doctor after a complete diagnosis of the patient’s condition.” Then “any patient who comes in for a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor is routinely given pulse diagnosis.” “Most Ayurvedic clinics offer a special marma therapy that includes instruction for home treatment.” As for the bliss technique, “Instruction is by a qualified teacher who is also an Ayurvedic physician and takes about an hour; a complete medical evaluation precedes the actual teaching.” Finally, at aroma therapy, we find something we can do for ourselves, but we are pointed to page 317, where we may find sources for oil, aroma pots and diffusers. Ghandharva music also requires no instruction beyond the book, except of course we are told to buy the tapes and CDs “from the sources listed on page 317.” The marketing continues with Ayurvedic herbs, called rasayana. After selling us on the value of same, “You can obtain further information regarding these rasayanas by writing to Quantum . . .” We are also encouraged to drink teas appropriate to our body types--yes, from sources on page 317. My biggest disappointment, though, came in the section on diet. I learned that I should not be eating many of the items that have kept me healthy for sixty-five years, onions, garlic, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, bananas, yogurt, cheese and eggs, and that I should be drinking cow’s milk which I’ve not touched in decades, and I should be eating ghee, which is butter with the water cooked out of it. Chopra writes that I should minimize raw foods, which flies in the face of everything I have learned about food over the last many decades.
This book contains some reasonable ideas. The rub is that the book buyer gets only a few ideas they can use and a lot of ideas for which the author tells us we need an Ayurvedic doctor or products. As usual in his books, he provides scientific tidbits, sensational anecdotes and little scientific data.
Ayurvedic theory and practice dates back in India more than 5,000 years. Chopra urges us that Ayurvedic practitioners and practices will give us longevity and perfect health. Ayurveda is “the science of life” or, as Chopra prefers, “the knowledge of life span.” Others say it is the science of longevity. I checked that out. According to The World Health Organization, India ranks 134th of the 191 countries recognized for “healthy life expectancy.” (The USA ranks 24th.) There are other reasons why Indian health statistics are so poor, but it is difficult to take seriously an ancient practice that seems to have failed in its native country. I think that Deepak Chopra is an essentially good person who has been caught up in the American mania for fame and fortune. I suggest that our money is better spent on books that give instructions we can follow without travelling to a doctor’s office or buying exotic foods, herbs and essences.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Health: At What Cost?, November 4, 2003
By 
Seth Pollins (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
Perfect Health offers a good introduction to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of healing introduced to the larger American audience by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1970's and popularized by Chopra himself. Chopra presents the ancient healing art in a modern idiom, blending insights from the ancient Ayurvedic sages with modern-day information on quantum physics, diet, and lifestyle. He presents a perfectly accessible tool for any reader who is interested in learning more about Ayurvedic methods for influencing health. A body-type questionnaire in the beginning of the book sets the stage for the information that follows. By following the listed recommendations for your body-type (including exercise and diet) Chopra believes you will improve your health dramatically.
My only concern with this book, and Chopra's books in general, is the subtle way he blends advertisements for Maharishi Ayurvedic services and products in with the information. He presents the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, for example, without offering any insights on how to perform the meditation. Want to learn? Chopra advises you to call your local Maharishi Ayurveda clinic. It maybe true that TM has to be taught face to face, but Chopra's veiled advertisements extend to almost every suggested healing exercise in the book, from aromatherapy to primordial sound techniques, to specific herbs that can be mail-ordered from the Maharishi Ayurveda center. To be fair, he does offer helpful diagrams on yoga postures as well as very specific diet techniques, but after reading the inspiring book, Quantum Healing and now Perfect Health, I have to admit: I am a little disappointed in Chopra's style. But I guess I should have known, perfect health, like most things in life, is not free.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long on theory,short on application, December 22, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
This is an overly long book on eastern medical theory. It hooks the reader with a quiz to discover their body type. In the end very little is offered as practical ways to change the balance, except to check into the Chopra Center for Well Being in La Jolla, CA.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers all of the bases in Health, November 15, 2001
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
When you pick up a "Health" book these days, you read things mainly about what to eat, and what supplements to take. In Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra does not speak one word about supplements, which I found to be very refreshing. There's a lot of conflicting views on supplements today. There's even more with diet. Ayurveda is a new way of looking at what to eat. When I applied which foods I was supposed to eat in what climate I was living in, I experienced a surge in energy, mental clarity, and well-being. And that's only the diet aspect of the book. Individuality is very important when speaking of diet.
This book also includes chapters on meditation, essential oils, massage, getting in touch with nature, freeing the mind from stress, etc. It's an excellent book for a beginner or for seasoned veterans in the health field. It just may change your opinion on MANY different issues. It sure did for me.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction to Ancient Medicine System of Ayurveda, February 1, 2004
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
This book which describes the methodology of Ancient life science of India, called Ayurveda is a good reading as it gives newer meaning (very different from Wersten Medical System's own interpretation of these issues) to things realted to mental and physical health of human beings.
What has been practised in India for many centuries and forgotten by us Indians thereafter for many centuries has been brought to lime light in this book, which seem to be a result of demand in the west to understand Indian science of health and healing.
The explaination of various concepts of Ayurveda, namely body types and their highlights and drawbacks, concept of Doshas and their balancing and also a thing or two about every thing related to Ayurveda e.g. meditation, Yoga etc have been done in a scientific but simple manner. Coming from an MD, That Dr Chopra is, it also sounds very convencing, though there are occasions where you feel that some of the results quoted in the book are beyond the relms of reality (as percived with current contemperory understanding of medicines).
But for the recommendations for his own or Maharshi products (well, I think when the book was published, there might not have been any other outlets selling Ayurveda products in US), which a reader is any way at a libirty to disregard, this is one facinating book on ancient life science from the ancient country called india. Even if one does not believe in what is said in it, one should still read it to learn about a different perspective on healing and well being.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quantum view of the body, November 8, 2003
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
Chopra has an interesting, quantum view of the body. Instead of considering it as something solid, he sees the boy as interweaving systems of energies that are constantly being consumed and renewed. Ayurvedic medicine gives us the tools to intervene at the quantum level where we are being recreated every day.
This book provides an exhaustive step-by-step programme of mind-body medicine adapted to individual needs, based on the person's mind-body type. This typology forms the basis of a focused Ayurvedic program of stress reduction, diet, neuromuscular integration, exercise and daily routines.
Part I, A Place Called Perfect Health, explains these various body types.
Part II, The Quantum Mechanical Body, explains the channels of healing via meditation, healing sounds, marma -, music - and aromatherapy.
Part III, Living In Tune With Nature, deals with diet, exercise and a seasonal routine that fits your type.
The book concludes with an appendix, glossary, bibliography and index.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The proof is in the results; all the rest is talk, March 26, 2012
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
I bought this book out of curiosity, knowing nothing about Ayurvedic medicine. On first reading, it seemed very strange to me, talking about personal qualities as cold, dry, sweet, bitter, oily, and so on. What a load of nonsense, I thought. It makes no sense at all to a scientific mind.

At the same time, I've always been intrigued by new diets and exercise programs, hoping to improve my health and mood, and I have tried quite a few of them, including becoming a vegetarian for more than six years. After I tried each new regimen, friends would ask me if I felt any better. I would always say, "Well, I think so," but I suspected that any improvement was mostly in my head.

After less than a week of trying out some of the key recommendations in this book, however, my body felt like it was on vacation. I felt completely de-stressed and content. Unfortunately, I also gained about 5 pounds, as Vata types are directed to exercise less and eat foods that are sweet, oily, salty, and sour--that is, high in calories and saturated fat.

I didn't like the weight gain, so I quit in spite of feeling much better, and returned to a more normal, "healthier" diet. But over the years, I've found myself coming back and incorporating more and more elements of the book into my life, being a bit more careful about what I eat and focusing more on the yoga, meditation, and exercise recommendations. The simple bottom line is--it has worked for me. I feel calmer, happier, and more focused. While doing everything that Chopra recommends isn't very practical--you could spend 3 or 4 hours of your day on Ayurveda--the more of it I do, the better I feel, so I really don't care if the book is used to sell products or services or whatever else other reviewers have complained about. I can tell from their reviews that they haven't given the ideas in Perfect Health a test drive, and that's a shame, because their skepticism is making them miss out on a healthier and happier life.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deepak, come on now!, January 3, 2009
This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
Needs to get to the point and be clearer.
Good intro to ayurveda, but I have to agree with other reviewers, too much of an advertisement for chopra products and services...which are outrageously priced. In all fairness, if I had tons of money to throw around, I would give some of the programs a try...well, the ones that aren't held in crowded, polluted southern California.

Deepak, love ya, but stop advertising.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ayurveda made simple, March 10, 2007
By 
D. S. Tait "Danibal" (Catalina Is., California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition (Paperback)
This book was recommended (prescribed) by Mary Jo Cravatta, my ayurvedic physician. The book covers a lot of ground, from the basics of ayurveda, to practical elements such as diet and basic yoga exercises, abhyanga daily massage, and the ever-important daily routine. The book has been invaluable in helping me understand my specific imbalance, and how to practically address this. I have made phenomenal improvements with my digestive problems and numerous other ailments. Ayurveda is not about a quick fix, like fixing a broken machine. It addresses the whole body as, well, an ecosystem, taking account of environment, physical body, mental body, and spiritual body. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a persistent chronic disease. You will discover that the body is always trying to maintain balance & equilibrium with its environment, like all things in nature. It is the lifestyle, habits, and daily choices that brings us out of balance over time.
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Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition
Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition by Deepak Chopra (Paperback - February 20, 2001)
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