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Book Review: Sustainable Wellness: An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body and Spirit by Matt Mumber, MD and Heather Reed

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What do you get when a board-certified oncologist and an experienced yoga instructor get together to write out an integrative approach to health and wellness? A new book packed full of suggestions for improving your mind, body, and spirit called Sustainable Wellness: An Integrative Approach to Transform Your Mind, Body and Spirit (New Page Books, 2012) by Matt Mumber, MD and Heather Reed.

Each chapter of the book examines a “particular area of wellness.” A bit of inspiration and sample exercises are integral to the message of the book. One of the main focuses is an eight-step plan to improved and sustainable health that has been developed by the two authors.

The eight steps include:
1. Mindfulness
2. Know thyself
3. Life review and planning
4. Nutrition
5. Physical activity
6. Stress management
7. Spirituality
8. Bringing it all together

The authors write, “This book is combination of the wise master and the finger pointing to the moon. The most important piece is what you bring to it-the goals that you set for yourself-and these will look different for every group and individual. Maintain flexibility,” they continue, “within a safe and sacred container as we move forward. This is an adventure of a lifetime and every moment and can bring enlightenment.”

Readers learn detailed definitions of health, wellness, illness, and disease. And, the authors include a graphic of the three-legged stool of health. The legs include physical activity, nutrition, and stress management with spirituality at the top of the stool and awareness at the bottom.

Sustainable Wellness also goes into great detail on nutrition, the why we eat, what we eat, and when we eat. There are also some easy to do exercises mixed in with yoga bits. A sample yoga bit includes “pick two times during your day that will serve as reminders to stop and take a conscious breath.”

There is also a personality type graph with descriptions of each personality type in the “Know Thyself” chapter. The Nutrition chapter includes an interesting Food Color Chart listing foods by color. The “Stress Management” chapter offers a list of stress factors the PQRRS-Practice, Question, Reframe, Respond and Surrender-approach to managing stress.

Sustainable Wellness offers an easy to implement plan to changing bad health habits to good habits. It’s a no-nonsense approach to getting and staying healthy, offering an all encompassing strategy from mind and spirituality to body and nutrition.

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  • Most people would probably agree that wellness is a goal worth attaining and sustaining. The term “wellness” describes much more than just those periods of time between illnesses in our lives—it describes a lifestyle. Wellness is the result of making changes in your whole life, anchored by the understanding of the body as a whole system. We often refer to this systemic view as the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection. Each of these three components requires attention to support the interconnectedness among them.