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The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger Hardcover – September 23, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Woodson Merrell, named by New York magazine a "Leader for the New Millennium," is chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan campus of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Since 1985 he has maintained a high-profile private practice in integrative medicine and acupuncture on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Dr. Merrell has chaired and been scientific director for numerous medical and consumer health care conferences, and is featured regularly in the national media for his expertise in integrative medicine.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Science of Personal Energy

From a strictly medical point of view, energy is a measurable biological commodity. Scientists working in biomolecular medicine have created a much clearer picture of how this common energy that powers life works and how the body creates energy. They have also made new discoveries into why the body begins to experience fatigue and slide into poor health. Working independently in myriad disciplines from neuroscience to exercise physiology to nutrition and mind-body medicine, researchers have begun to delineate the sources of energy in your body and identify new ways to tap them. In The Source I will show you how to apply the results of these findings to create more abundant energy and achieve more vibrant health.

Your body stays near 98.6 degrees throughout your life, which could be for the better part of a century, by making its own thermal energy day in and day out. Scientists have identified the carriers of the energy your body creates; they are present in every cell of the body -- everywhere from your skeleton to your brain -- as tiny rechargeable battery-like packets of available energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The act of making these molecules of energy, also known as energy metabolism, depends on some very primitive DNA called mitochondrial DNA.Mitochondria are like tiny factories -- thousands of them are within each and every cell (with DNA as the plant supervisor) -- and they work ceaselessly to transfer the potential energy from food, air, and water into active human energy. With a complex cycle of chemical transformations that requires many essential vitamins and other nutrients, mitochondria are able to extract about 40% of the energy available in food and turn it into ATP, the universal currency of energy in your body that can be used anywhere to do any kind of work, from fueling your heartbeat, to providing the chemical energy to process thoughts,mustering the biological energy to attack a flu virus, or supplying the power to create a human life if you are pregnant.

The energy system in your body is highly dynamic, it constantly recycles energy, and it's exquisitely sensitive to change. Your activity level, your environment, the food you eat, the water you drink, your stress levels, your emotional state, the amount of sleep you've had -- are all factors that can affect your energy-generating system. What makes the body's energy supply so susceptible to shifts in the biological machine is the fact that the energy packets of ATP cannot be stored. ATP is constantly made on demand, used up, and quickly recycled, which makes the energy your body works so hard to manufacture quite fleeting -- though almost infinitely replaceable if you properly care for and maintain your body.

The amount of energy your body is required to make every day is absolutely astonishing.At any given moment you've got about three ounces of energy (ATP) in your body -- just enough to power ten seconds of intense exercise, or an all-out sprint to catch a train. And then your body starts all over again constantly remaking ATP thousands of times a minute. Even a sedentary person recycles an amount of ATP each day equal to about 75% of his total body weight (a 180-pound man would recycle almost 135 pounds of ATP just sitting on the couch with the flipper). A person running a marathon can recycle twice as much energy as a sedentary person -- that would be a whopping 270 pounds of pure energy molecules processed by that same 180-pound guy while running a marathon.Considering the hefty energy requirements for keeping a body going, it is no wonder that people develop problems and inadequacies with their energy-generating system.

Energy metabolism -- which is how biologists describe the body's energy-making activities -- plays an important role in health and aging. The healthy functioning of mitochondria is a key component in longevity, according to a wide range of research -- from a leading gerontologist in England to neuroscientists at UCLA. Using this latest research, and my decades of experience with patients, The Source can improve your body's ability to extract and transform energy from your environment.

The message of energy philosophy behind The Source -- that your body is designed to be an energy creator, not an energy consumer -- is easily translated to daily living by following the 21-Day Plan. Exhaustion does not have to be the inevitable by-product of coping with continual stressful demands. I will teach you how to build your energy through all your waking hours. Your mental acuity and creativity will increase day by day, as will your health. As you work with the 21-Day Plan -- with its numerous methods for relaxation, exercise, eating for energy, emotional balance, sleep, spiritual development, and detoxification -- you will find that all of your physical and mental systems function more efficiently and work together to support your energy needs. You will be at ease with your body; you will become more resilient and feel an ever-expanding capacity for engaging in all activities with a full sense of vital energy and total well-being.

Specifically, The Source will show you:

• A new perspective on illness and health that stimulates and incorporates your inherent healing energy;
• The six essentials of energy creation: Power Mind (stress management), Power Food (diet), Power Exercise, Power Detox, Power Rest, and Power of Connection (spirituality);
• The latest scientific breakthroughs on how the body generates energy and ways you can maximize your body's energymaking mechanisms;
• How to think about, conserve, and create energy the way Eastern cultures do, with simple ways to practice energizing meditation and yogic breathing;
• Complementary/alternative approaches to curing fatigue and improving health, such as acupuncture, herbs, and body work;
• A 21-day, step-by-step plan -- complete with recipes -- for increasing energy.

The book is organized into three parts: Part One, "Transforming Energy, Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality"; Part Two, "21 Days to Optimal Energy"; and Part Three,"Menus and Recipes." Each part stands alone as a usable guide to energy creation. But taken together, all of the parts will magnify and deepen your understanding of how to increase energy and create a uniquely personal, healthy lifestyle.

Part One, "Transforming Energy, Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality," will help you identify your own energy issues with the Energy Quiz. It also recounts patients' stories of their energy epiphanies and reveals the latest scientific research.My goal is for you to come away from Part One with an appreciation of the miraculous web of emotional-physicalspiritual well-being that underlies vitality and health. And you will learn the relatively simple, straightforward things you can immediately do in your daily life to renew your energy.

Power Mind, Boundless Energy

This chapter explains recent discoveries about the link between thought patterns, stress, and energy production. It will give you a clear idea of the plan I've developed for using your mind to reduce stress as easily -- and stresslessly! -- as possible. It reveals how stress saps your energy and health because of its effects on myriad systems (hormonal, cardiac, nervous, digestive). Power Mind gives a clear prescription for managing and reducing stress -- and for freeing up energy you can use to regain health.

Power Food, Your High Performance Fuel

Power Food reveals the latest information from the emerging science of functional medicine, a new nutrition science that emphasizes the molecular basis of how food produces energy. Food consists of molecules that provide substrates for rebuilding and creating energy. Food also sends specific signals to your DNA. Also in Power Food is cutting-edge science on the treatment of food allergies and sensitivities and the growing role of superfoods and supplements in achieving optimum health and energy -- all of which are incorporated into the menus of the 21-Day Plan.

Power Detox, Increase Vitality by Removing Toxins

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 148 different industrial chemicals circulate in the average American's bloodstream. Every individual varies in his or her capacity to process toxins -- much of which depends on lifestyle factors. This program includes a one-day juice cleanse that has been shown to increase the efficiency of your energycreating mechanisms. Power Detox drives home the critical importance of following the personal environmental clean-up protocol I've developed.

Power Exercise

A fourth key to understanding energy is realizing that the human body is built to move.A sedentary lifestyle dramatically inhibits energy creation. Even moderate exercise (30 minutes three times a week of brisk walking), has been shown to increase the number and efficiency of mitochondria to produce energy. It also helps repair the nervous system by producing brain peptides that are critical for retaining a youthful mind. Power Exercise also gives easy, practical suggestions to act on right away and throughout the 21-Day Plan for moving and increasing energy.

Power Rest, How to Recharge Your Battery

Recharging your battery is all about rest...whether this means resting between exercises sessions or sleeping properly every night. You probably don't get optimal sleep, which means your body doesn't have time to repair and renew, or to allow for proper energy creation. Lack of sleep is associated with some very common diseases, including heart disease, and weight gain! My program will show you how to overcome insomnia and sleep problems to significantly increase your energy and improve your health. Details on how to do this on a daily basis are in the 21-Day Plan.

Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416568166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416568162
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,483,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You could read a book on New Thought and ditch this book. Most statements DO NOT have scientific backing or references and are portrayed in way to make it LOOK like he's using valid research but doesn't.

My main problem was with the diet and detoxification - he recommends foods such as soy and grains that are hormone disruptors and nutrient uptake inhibitors while at the same time having a detox program to remove them. He made a reference on how our ancestors used to use protein sparingly....who's ancestors I don't know - if we're talking pre-agriculture, and tribes of present day that live as their ancient ancestors did - high fats and protein were/are the staple and the cultivation of grains started the decline of health into modern day. I don't think he know the difference between organic/free range red meat and conventional and how the fat make up is completely different and it's cascading effect on the entire system. You can't categorize both in the same place. That's like saying grape flavored soda is the same as pure grape juice.

Let me save you some time - for all practical application, all this book says is...

Don't stress.
Stretch and work out.
Don't eat processed crap.
Stop using/consuming chemicals.
Pray to whatever higher power you believe in.

Do that for 21 days and I guarantee you'll feel better too.

The key isn't intellectualizing all of this or arguing if it's right or wrong or why or why it doesn't work - it's just about consistency. I think everybody knows this stuff, it's just tough to stick to it...maybe just by a book that teaches you how to stick to something.
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Format: Hardcover
From: [...]
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Book Review: The Source--A FirstLook Feature

Are you tired of feeling tired? About 75 million of us believe that we feel "extreme fatigue" while at work. An estimated 38% of the workforce really is tired, resulting in $100 billion of healthcare costs.

A newly published book, The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger (Free Press, Sept 2008), written by Woodson Merrell, M.D.* with Kathleen Merrell*, explains that our bodies aren't designed to be simply energy consumers, but also energy creators. A beneficial book for those on a healing journey and wellness guide for everyone else, The Source helps the reader positively alter his life, become an energy producer--without the caffeine fix, and live a healthier life. Dr. Merrell writes that over the counter solutions to energy loss consumed as coffee, energy drinks, sleeping pills, and alertness drugs, do not address the sources of energy drain and they don't really rejuvenate the inner source of natural energy.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I learned a lot reading The Source. I was able to understand complex chemical processes,such as how does the body create energy or how does the liver detox the body, because it's written in an entertaining style. I also liked the fact that it provides suggestions on how to improve your health using both Western as well as alternative medicine principles (so one can chose). As we learn about them, these suggestions are based on extensive research as well as Dr. Merrell's experience with his patients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After being diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D deficiency and several illnesses to go along with it, I bought this book and read it while I was being treated for the deficiency. A MUST read for everyone. Vit D deficiency is quite serious. The sun is our friend,not our enemy as we have been taught.Safety is important for sure,but you can get healthy doses of sun without the harm.Not getting some sun is harmful to your health! I've survived some awful diagnosis and reversed them thankfully.This book is a must read!
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Format: Hardcover
I believe all of the suggestions in the book have great merit, but what I love about the book is how well it is organized. Each day tells you exactly what you need to do for that given day. For menu, similarly, it tells you exactly what you need to eat each day. If there is a recipe you need to follow, the book tells exactly what page to find it.
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Format: Hardcover
As I began my chemotherapy treatment, I found book on CD's very relaxing, and grounding. 'The Source' will guide you to find your core strength, faith and begin the healing process. What a wonderful tool.
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The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, PhD.

Woodson Merrell's 383-page book, The Source: Unleash Your Natural Energy, Power Up Your Health, and Feel 10 Years Younger, is designed to break the fatigue cycle with a six-step 21-Day Plan for becoming an energy creator rather than an energy consumer (from the front jacket). The "Intregrative Medicine" approach (He blends into his practice aspects of foreign cultures' views on health, homeopathy, quantum physics, and spirituality to connect mind, body, heart, and spirit.) explained in Part I, "Transforming Energy: Six Ways to Reclaim Your Vitality (through mind, food, detoxification, exercise, rest, and spirit), is developed/applied in Part II, his "21 Days to Optimal Energy," in which he assists readers through a three-week program of detoxifying, energizing, and maximizing the body's energy output. Whether you follow his plan or not, the part of the book most interesting to me was Part III, "Menus and Recipes." These were created by Stefanie Bryn Sacks, M.S., who is a culinary nutritionist, and many of them looked incredibly appetizing. The book is well-written, contains excellent ideas, valuable research, and practical suggestions.
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