The idea of stress contributing to poor health is an old one, but often patients are simply told to "relax"--and it's even rarer that researchers take the time to carefully study how relaxation can improve physical conditions. Tackling both these issues, Dr. Richard Surwit combines specific relaxation techniques with a solid research background in an effort to help control blood sugar levels. The first few chapters are rather technical but are explained in an approachable manner. He identifies several chemicals such as cortisol and growth hormone that are related to blood sugar management and discusses how depression, hostility, and anxiety can affect these chemicals. He refers to specific research, both with mice and with humans, and includes simple tests to help you analyze these problems and develop a combination of techniques to combat them. Later chapters explain these techniques in detail, particularly progressive relaxation therapy (similar to biofeedback, but without the machine) and cognitive behavior therapy. Each routine is broken down into simple daily steps, and pages can be used as workbook sheets --much of the daily effort involved is simply tracking your progress. While nowhere does Dr. Surwit suggest these as a total replacement for diet control and insulin treatments, the specific steps aren't difficult to add to your daily routine and may make just the difference you've been hoping for. --Jill Lightner
"A must-read for physicians and their patients." -- Lois Jovanovic, M.D., Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Sansum Medical Research Institute
"At last, a book about diabetes that gives individuals precisely the tools they need to thrive on all levels." -- Christiane Northrup, M.D.
"Dr. Surwit has written the premier guidebook to living a healed, whole and healthy life with diabetes." -- Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of MINDING THE BODY, MENDING THE MIND
"Mind-body approaches are generally neglected in clinical medicine...Dr. Surwit is a welcome exception." -- Andrew Weil, M.D.
"There is no better individual to convey the beneficial contributions of a mind/body program to the management of diabetes." -- Herbert Benson, M.D., author of THE RELAXATION RESPONSE
Lois Jovanovic, M.D. Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Sansum Medical Research Institute Dr. Surwit shows that diabetes has a mind of its own -- in other words, stress can raise the blood glucose higher than all the dietary indiscretions and indulgence that most humans allow themselves. With Dr. Surwit's easy-to-follow program for managing stress and depression, people with diabetes can conquer their demons and take charge of their health. A must-read for physicians and their patients. -- Review