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Customer Review

77 of 89 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Tao, December 29, 2007
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This review is from: The Tao of Detox: The Secrets of Yang-Sheng Dao (Paperback)
I was excited to buy this book because I am familiar with some of Reid's other books on Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I was hoping for some authentic Taoist and Traditional Chinese dietary and detox processes. Alas, what I got was an uncritical promotion of the worst fads, snake oil, and expensive products and devices imaginable. Taoist teachings emphisize the ability to discern reality from delusion, most of this stuff is pure magical thinking. It reads like Reid is just citing promotional literature for a lot of this stuff. Some of what he says is pure nonsense that circulates around the internet with no substantiation, such as Pasteur's deathbed recantation of the germ theory (never been documented) and the notion that colons are packed full of hard plaque (never been seen at an autoposy). In at least 2 of the products he discusses, the manufacturers have been subject to prosecution for false and misleading claims.

The good - A couple of useful chapters dealing with detox by diet and detox by fasting. Some useful food ideas and several herbal mixtures, both American herbal and TCM, that might be useful. Some simple exercises. These sections warrent 2 stars.

The so-so - The promotion of colon hydrotherapy. There is no evidence of hard plaque in anyone's colon, however the cleansing of the colon is typically part of any detox, so this may be a useful addition to herbs and foods. Despite Reid's uncritical acceptance of the manufacturer's claims, the product he discusses for home use is at least not very expensive and appears well-made. I, for one, wouldn't want to do 14 colonics in 7 days. This would seem awfully disturbing to normal gut flora. But at least it is probably not harmful nor too expensive for those who want it.

The bad - Uncritical acceptance of science fiction theories and products and promotion of these (often very expensive) products with stuff straight from the company's literature. Things like: the Grander Living Water Sytem, proven in independant lab tests to do nothing and which is extremely expensive; "alkaline water" generators which are expensive and produce a product which is immediately acidified by the stomach; water "microclusters" when in fact the stomach and intestinal lining can absorb any conformation of water with ease, body pH (I thought this fad had died out several years back)... the list goes on and on and on. Only 1 page of discussion of the yin and yang of foods, pretty much reduced to yang = acid = bad, yin = alkaline = good. Minus 1 star.

I don't usually like to chime in on the skeptic side of things and sound like some quackbuster. I'm willing to be open-minded and try a lot of new stuff. But I also worked as a microbiologist and in chemistry for a number of years and I know when things just don't work on a physical level. Much of this is just magical thinking and I hate to see people waste a lot of money on it.

I'd suggest skipping this one and just look at some simpler, more basic books on diet and detox. You don't need a lot of expensive products to turn your kitchen into a chemistry lab and your bathroom into a colon treatment center to do a little internal cleansing.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2010 2:12:48 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 25, 2013 12:03:30 AM PST]

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 2:06:19 PM PDT
"alkaline water" generators which are expensive and produce a product which is immediately acidified by the stomach...

... acidified by the stomach and same stomach producing balancing alkalinity into the rest of the body! As all systems are balanced in the body. Acidity in the stomach is produced along with alkalinity in the rest of the body. And that alkalinity is then goes and repairs damaged DNA cells. This issue is researched for more then 3 decades and benefits widely documented in Japan. But if people get healthy then what will doctors do? Go to unemployment? Just think about it...

Posted on Mar 2, 2011 8:24:37 PM PST
Genghis Khan says:
Zen Druid claims that there is no evidence for the existence of mucoid plaque. Though he cloaks himself in the mantle of science, he gives no references for his claim. One is all too familiar with critics of alternative and complementary medicine who repeat favorite scientistic (scientistic, not scientific) canards--big lies if the truth be told--in order to discredit all that is discordant and undermining (and thus anxiety producing) to the cherished ideal scientifico-mechanistic world of soul-dead robotic scientistic types. One of the favorite "big lies" of the scientistic robots is that there is no scientific research which supports homeopathy. This lie is oft quoted in the media. The truth is that there are thousands of scientific studies of homeopathy's effectiveness!
A similar phenomenon is at work here with regard to mucoid plaque. The big lie is that it does not exist. One can find on the internet many accounts--albeit anecdotal--of persons who pursued various detox procedures and discovered rubbery, mucoid-like masses expelled from the rectum. There are reports--you can find them on the internet--of colon therapists which validate the existence of these rubbery mucoid "things" which are expelled from the colon during cleanses. I knew a woman who healed herself of breast cancer through vigorously following the Gerson regimen; she told me that early on while undergoing the Gerson detox/cancer diet she was astonished one day to find something strange in her toilet after an evacuation. She lifted out a long rubbery substance which appeared to be a casting of her colon. It had the haustral contours of the colon. She rolled it up into a ball--she did not tell me why--impelled by curiousity I would guess--and found that it bounced when she threw it down on her bathroom floor!
One can find many reviews which attack alternative/complementary medicine books from the (falsely and mendaciously) appropriated) pedestal of "science". These days, as many more of us have turned to alternative/complementary medicine, organic foods and other means of aiding health, so many of us have found these "discredited" methods to be extremely helpful. Personal experience, for so many of us, trumps the self-serving discrediting machine of the "scientific community." And when one looks at the associations and funding sources of those who claim to speak for science, it is astonishing how many of them are funded, directly and indirectly, by the pharmaceutical and academic establishment....who are understandably upset by we upstarts who are now taking control of our own health!

Posted on Sep 2, 2012 8:33:50 AM PDT
John Truitt says:
I think that when people expel these masses of mucous that the body excretes this waste into the digestive tract and then expells it. In other words it is not just sitting around in the gut. The body creates mucous as a substance in which to capture and wash away microbes and toxins. Your sinuses do this too and sometimes that mucous can be very thick. But there are not buckets of mucous just hanging out in there, it is constantly being produced and when expelling heavy loads of contaminants it can become very thick and sticky. This would explain why stuff is not found in peoples colons. I have done cleanses and expelled these ropes that are shaped like the colon. One thing it could also be is insoluble fiber that turns into a thick gel. Many of theses cleanses have u use stuff like psyllium, which turns into a thick rubbery gel. This would easily take on the bowel contours.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 4:02:08 AM PST
Steven Hazel says:
I agree with this review completely. I read this book a couple years ago and it was absolutely awful. One of the worst books I've ever read, for exactly the same reasons mentioned above. You constantly feel like you're at a MLM sales pitch and the people doing the pitching think you're too stupid to think for yourself.

I have since heard that Reid has written some good books on Daoist health principles but I can't bring myself to read them. Once an author blows their credibility you can't really trust anything they say.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2013 10:24:11 PM PDT
InfoJunkie says:
The author is credible and has a history of good books. Obviously, he either believes in this stuff OR he's doing it to make money. (very possible) In any case it's not a good idea to dismiss everything as snake oil. Some things like alkaline water actually have been proven to be beneficial. This reviewer is NOT the person to listen to. His just as far off as the people that tout the snake oil stuff. Why? He is a very left-brain, micro-biologist who is skewed. Everything is either black or white in his world. There is no grey. I've tried to reason with people like this about thing that have helped many people like homeopathy, to no avail. They are so black and white in their thinking they can't see the forest for the trees. It's sad because these days, we are quickly finding out that what we don't know is in the grey areas, not in what we THINK we know about how things are. Whether in science, health, or the universe.
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