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Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing Paperback – January, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Robbins, heir to the ice cream fortune and author of the best-selling Diet for a New America (Stillpoint, 1987), seeks to analyze the American healthcare system and posit a more effective model. He succeeds in his first goal and fails in his second. Robbin rails against the male-dominated medical industry and contrasts its "dominator" model to a "partnership" model, which is rather fuzzily defined. Most of his book focuses on women's health issues, primarily the medicalization of normal processes such as childbirth and menopause, none of which is particularly new. Alternately amusing and annoying are Robbins's frequent exclamations along the lines of "Wow, how awful! I never realized it was this bad for you gals!" His book includes a resource guide, and the copious footnotes, which read like a women's studies syllabus, cite a wide array of sources whose validity is sometimes questionable. But Robbins is not a doctor, and his book is intended as a popular, rather than a scientific, work. Anticipated high demand from the New Age, alternative medicine, and feminist communities makes this title essential for public libraries.?Eris Weaver, Marin Inst. for the Prevention of Alcohol & Other Drug Problems, San Rafael, Cal.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


1997 Body Mind Spirit Book Award given to a handful of books which provide valuable messages to help transform lives. Each book chosen for an award of excellence makes a unique contribution to our knowledge, our growth, and our self-transformation. We commend the authors and their publishers for their outstanding work. -- Jim Valliere, Publisher, Body Mind Spirit magazine

Essential for public libraries. -- Library Journal, October 1996

Have you ever watched a friend or loved one die? Did you wonder why they had to endure so much, especially at the hands of those you had expected to help? Have you ever wondered why it is taking so long to find a cure for cancer or AIDS? Have you ever had a baby in this country? Have you every tried to tell your healthcare provider something and been told he or she know best and not to worry? I believe these questions would elicit at least one affirmative answer from just about everyone in our country.

The title is descriptive and, I believe, correct - we will feel an explosion from reading this book. People will be shocked and angered. I certainly was! John Robbins has let the cat out of the bag - the cat being the way Americans are manipulated by the American Medical Association, the tobacco industry, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and by the multi-million dollar industry we call healthcare.

Robbins reveals the cover-ups, the scandals, and the greed that feed on the most vulnerable segments of our society: women, children, the elderly, and those who are already struggling with health issues. He exposes the ridicule and outright lies broadcast in an attempt to eliminate chiropractic and other alternative healing practices, not because they were not helping those who sought out alternative care, but because they were taking money from those who would rather line their pockets than cure millions of ill individuals.

Robbins outlines a practical approach using both conventional and alternative care so that we can benefit from the best of both resources. This book is well-written and researched. It has an extensive notes section that documents facts and a resource directory that give pertinent information about where to obtain more information on womens issues, parenting and children, healthy diet, alternative medicine, consumer rights, and much more. I would recommend this book to any adult, especially someone who is dealing with medical issues. Reclaiming Our Health is a must-read for any person who strives to be well-informed. -- New Age Retailer, November/December 1996

John Robbins reminds us that true healing is the return of the memory of wholeness. Gorgeously written, with vast and profound vision, Reclaiming Our Health embraces healing with a perspective that includes us as individuals, societies and the universe. I recommend it highly. -- Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of The Seven Laws of Success

Robbins, who revealed hidden truths about the meat industry in the best-selling Diet for a New America, now takes on the medical establishment. Packed with shocking facts, this new expose leaves few stones unturned, from cancer treatment and menopause to obstetrical practices, infant mortality, and alternative medicine. Did you know, for example, that while 75% of all cancer patients receive chemo treatment, only 3% are cured? This despite the fact that 75% of all oncologists would not use chemotherapy on themselves because they feel it's ineffective and unacceptably toxic. Did you know that the vice-chairman of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the world's largest private cancer treatment and research center, is also Chairman of the board for Bristol-Meyers-Squibb, the largest chemotherapy manufacturers in the world? Robbins doesn't just point fingers, though; he offers sensible, well-thought out suggestions for improving our health as well as our health care system. There are no easy answers here, but change begins with knowledge, and readers will get plenty of that. Expect a lot of buzz around this one. -- NAPRA ReVIEW, Holiday 1996

This is a fascinating portrait of the current state of the medical system in the United States. Particularly interesting is the historical background explaining how the current system has become to entrenched. Robbins presents some sobering statistics about the effectiveness of our technological approach when compared to the lower cost and less invasive approached found in other countries. Anyone with an interest in the current health care crisis will find this book extremely informative.

Areas explored in the book include womens health-care issues such as childbirth, menopause, hysterectomy, and birth control. Other issues explored are cancer treatment, the use of Ritalin as a treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and the emergence of alternative medicine in spite of opposition from the American Medical Association (AMA). Robbins exposes the myth that the AMA has the health of U.S. citizens as its top priority. Alarming evidence is presented indicating that the AMA is interested primarily in maintaining the market share of its physicians.

Invaluable information is presented about the use of midwives versus hospital births. The U.S. has one of the highest cesarean rates and one of the world's highest infant mortality rates of all industrialized nations. In the U.S. 97% of all births occur in hospitals, while in the Netherlands, where the infant mortality rate is lower, 35% of all births occur at home. Robbins presents a convincing case that the welfare of the mother and baby are better served through the use of midwives.

The section of the book dealing with cancer presents alternative treatments which in many cases are more effective than the current protocol of chemotherapy and radiation. Robbins revelation of how radiation became such a prevalent part of cancer therapy is particularly chilling. Memorial Sloan Kettering (the world's largest private cancer treatment center) was given a large donation in 1913 with the condition that radiation be used in all its cancer treatments. The donor owned multiple radium mines and stood to gain financially if additional uses were found for radiation.

In spite of some of the depressing statistics presented, this book is written in a positive and uplifting way. Solutions are offered along with the philosophical shifts that need to occur so that the reader can become more empowered about his or her own health care. This is a very useful and insightful book. -- New Times, May 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: H.J. Kramer; 1 edition (January 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915811804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915811809
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Robbins is the bestselling author of Voices of the Food Revolution, No Happy Cows, Diet for a New America, and many other landmark works. He is founder of EarthSave International and the co-founder and co-host of the 100,000+ member Food Revolution Network, http://foodrevolution.org.

Robbins' books also include THE NEW GOOD LIFE: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less, HEALTHY AT 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples, THE AWAKENED HEART: Meditations on Finding Harmony in a Changing World, and RECLAIMING OUR HEALTH: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing.

Robbins' work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Life, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many of the nation's other major newspapers and magazines. His life and work have also been featured in an hour long PBS special titled Diet For A New America.

The only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented to "...pursue the deeper American Dream...the dream of a society at peace with its conscience because it respects and lives in harmony with all life forms. A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem."

Considered by many to be one of the most eloquent and powerful spokespersons in the world for a sane, ethical and sustainable future, John has been a featured and keynote speaker at major conferences sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Beyond War, Oxfam, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the United Nations Environmental Program, UNICEF, and many other organizations dedicated to creating a healthy, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience Award, and lifetime achievement awards from groups including Green America. The widespread media attention he has received has included numerous appearances on national shows including Oprah, Donahue and Geraldo. When John spoke at the United Nations, he received a standing ovation.

John serves on the Boards of many non-profit groups working toward a thriving, just, and sustainable way of life. He is the Founder and Board Chair Emeritus of EarthSave International (earthsave.org), an organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world.

John's life is dedicated to creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. He lives with his wife Deo, their son Ocean and his wife Michele, and their grandsons River and Bodhi in the hills outside Santa Cruz, California. The Robbins' offices and home run on solar electricity.

For information about John, for access to his articles and posts, or to sign up to be notified of his future posts and events, visit http://www.johnrobbins.info, or join the Food Revolution Network at http://www.foodrevolution.org

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Susan C. Fincher on August 28, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past thirty years I have read about 100 books on the subject of health. Among the very best of the books I have read are two of John Robbins' other books, Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution, but I don't feel the need to review these remarkable books; they have been well reviewed by others, and I recommend you check them both out in Amazon. However, I simply had to add my voice to the reviews of Reclaiming Our Health.
This book is predominantly about the medical establishment, what has gone wrong with it, and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones (if you can get them to listen to you). It is not a condemnation of all things conventional nor an endorsement of all things alternative. Some of the greatest heroes of the book are M.D.'s practicing both conventional and alternative therapies. This book seeks to guide us to the best of both worlds while warning us about the dangers to be found in each. However, the worst dangers by far appear to be in the conventional medical establishment where the admonition "first, do no harm" seems to have been long forgotten.
This book made me cry. This book infuriated me. It is filled with one outrage after another. But wouldn't you rather read about them than be subjected to them (or watch your loved ones be subjected to them) by not being informed beforehand? I know I would.
This is one of those rare books that is truly empowering. That's what John Robbins does so well. He does the intensive research that most of us neither would nor could do. We are blessed by his enormous contribution to mankind.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 19, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since I own and have read other books the author has written I was curious to see what he would share in this book on a subject that is so important to me and many Americans. And he certainly hasn't let me down.
The parts or chapters I liked so much and thank the author for, from the bottom of my heart are Part Two where he goes into great detail about the patriarchal medical system. It is worth the price of the book alone. I also like Part Three where he starts out with a quote from a signer of the Declaration of Independence (Dr Benjamin Rush) who said "Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship". And he offers so much documentation of where and how the big boys of the AMA (American Medical Association) have even gone after their own members who dared not walk the party line. On page 185 he shares how from homeopaths, to midwives, and other nontraditional medical forms, the AMA has been the bully boys who wanted their monopoly and none others. On page 1996 onward he describes once again how the feminine professions which nursing was up until the 1970's, were main targets of the male member run AMA.
Now I was aware that one way the male physicians made midwifery which had been the norm well into the 1900's, illegal was to accuse the women delivering babies of being everything from witches, pagans and even communists. Yet delivering babies in the safe and secure environment had been good enough for Moses, Jesus, George Washington and most heroes and heroines but because the AMA had discovered there was big buck in babies they did everything in their power to make their way the only way to deliver babies and feather their nest along the way.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Reclaiming Our Health" is turning out to be one of the most influential books in my life, and I plan on giving every woman in my life a copy for Christmas this year.
Robbins explodes the myths and outright lies surrounding conventional medicine, alternative medicine, the American Medical Association, the tobacco industry and cancer research. And he doesn't just make wild accusations, he supports his work with a library of footnotes (some of which I've followed up on) and studies. I am honestly stunned and amazed at the horrible decisions made by America's medical community - shunning and destroying alternative approaches over the years, unleashing scare" campaigns to keep us supporting conventional medicine (and our doctors' wallets) and ignoring crucial medical data from alternative sources.
Did you know that the American Medical Association used to be a huge supporter of the tobacco industry & even while our Surgeon General had proof that smoking was horrible for you, they still refused to speak out against smoking... because then they would lose the financial support of the industry (and this didn't just go on for a year or two)? Did you know that chemotherapy & radiation, for most forms of cancer, do absolutely nothing in terms of life-span (sometimes even shortening it)? Did you know that infant mortality rates in the U.S. are higher than most developed, and even some "3rd World" countries, and that most C-sections & hysterectomies are completely unnecessary? Or that midwives have a much better track record (for infant mortality & complications), yet the AMA basically outlawed their use over the past 30 years?
Honestly - I think every single American, especially women and those in medical fields should read this book. It's not a conspiracy theory book, nor is it some crazy person spewing accusations at everyone - it is a brutally honest look at OUR HEALTH, and what is more important?
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