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Primal Health: A Blueprint for Survival [Hardcover]

Michel Odent
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 July 1986
Michel Odent, the leading pioneer for natural childbirth, indicates that the period between conception and a child's first birthday is critical to life-long health. In this prophetic book - first published in 1986 and reproduced here in its original form - he argues that different parts of the 'primal adaptive system' develop, regulate and adjust themselves during foetal life and the time around birth and infancy. 'Everything which happens during this period of dependence on the mother has an influence on this basic state of health, this primal health.' He suggests that the later well-being of adults, their ability to withstand the 'diseases of civilization' such as hypertension, cancer, alcoholism and failures of the immune system resulting in AIDS, allergies and viral diseases, can all be traced back to society's ignorance of the vital importance of the primal period. Since the first edition of this groundbreaking work, research has continued apace, offering further evidence to substantiate Odent's ideas. In the important new "Introduction and Postscript", the author reviews recent developments and relates them to the central themes of Primal Health. This book is essential reading for all who care about the health of our children and the ongoing health of society as a whole.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Century (10 July 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712612688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712612685
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Michel Odent asks the fundamental question that is often avoided: What is health? If you don't find it easy to come up with an answer - and especially if you do - read this book. It is brilliant!' - Sheila Kitzinger, author of Rediscovering Birth and Birth Your Way --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

MICHEL ODENT was born in 1930. Originally qualified as a surgeon, he is popularly known as the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of birthing pools and homelike birthing rooms. His ongoing influential work in childbirth and health research has featured in TV documentaries such as the BBC's 'Birth Reborn', and in authoritative medical journals. Odent founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London, which focuses on the long-term consequences of early childhood experiences. The Primal Health Research data bank ( features material which indicates that health is shaped during the primal period (from conception until the first birthday), and that the way we are born affects our sociability, aggression and capacity to love. He has also developed a preconceptional programme (the 'accordion method') to minimize the effects of intrauterine and milk pollution by synthetic fat soluble chemicals. Odent's other principal research interest is the non-specific, long-term effect on health of early multiple vaccinations. He is the author of dozens of scientific papers and 11 books published in 21 languages, including Primal Health and The Farmer and the Obstetrician. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lone voice of sanity in the wilderness 5 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Odent's research is exemplary. His startling conclusion, that most modern medical intervention in the birthing process is not only superfluous but damaging, needs to be heard by obstetricians and doctors - as well as prospective parents - now. As he says, the very health of our civilization is at stake. Read this book before you consider that hospital birth!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, charming, revolutionary 1 Dec 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Michel Odent's writing has a style all of its own. He is capable of generalisations, going off at tangents and starting incomplete topics. But if you can stick with his charmingly quirky musings, there is genius behind his message.
He highlights the prime importance of life 'in utero' and the effect that a traumatic birth experience can have on us throughout our lives. He knowledgably and thoroughly illustrates the science (including hormonal reactions, brain formation and immune system development) behind his argument to give foetal life back the respect it is due.
But this is more than a book on childbirth, it is an open invitation to the entire medical profession - and anyone who cares about their own health - to consider how we view disease today. Odent suggests that most doctors are far too eager to treat symptoms of an illness (symptoms which are the body's way of raising the alarm) rather than look at the cause behind it. He encourages a comprehensively holistic approach, likening his method to constantly tending a garden to maintain optimum health.
Very thought-provoking - it should be standard issue to all health professionals!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 12 Nov 2012
By ces123
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone who cares specifically about the health of their children and in general, the health of society. Easy to read for the lay person, without missing the very important scientific explanations. This book will change the way you view health and society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Primal Health 21 Feb 2014
By megan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book and I would recommend all health professionals who are involved in childbirth to read it. Enlightening and certainly gives you something to think about.

Book arrived within the time frame.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a mind broader ! 3 July 2007
By Octavio Pontes - Published on
If you believe we can make a difference in the world, please read this book and any other book by Michel Odent. He is knowledge enlighter, a mind broader. As a surgeon he proved we can humanize birth, as a scientist and a philosopher he is proving we can pave the way to a better humanitary civilization through love, in many levels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read book for pregnant women and men!!! 7 Dec 2010
By Bernardo Savinon Padilla - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a must read book for pregnant women and men!!!
Its a great lecture for getting to understand your childs real needs!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Primal Birth Connection 4 July 2009
By Salli Gonzalez - Published on
This book gives the connection between our innate desire to nurture. You will be amazed and enlightened.
Salli Gonzalez, Licensed Midwife
San Antonio, TX
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Instincts of "Primal Health' pioneers for us 20 May 2011
By Michael B. Sprague - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book as each edition gets better exposing how deeply influential our 'Primal period' from conception to weaning on effects our whole life growing naturally or normal & sick. I've known Odent's work since 1990s when he came to Hawaii to teach his waterbirthing & 'The Nature of Birth & Breastfeeding' to us you natural living families where waterbirthing was growing our hearts in love. 'Primal Health' keeps growing our awareness of what causes our experiences of birth for mother & baby together. He keeps surprising us with ?s & connecting how natural we're born, bonding & living healthy that medicine is afraid to even learn. Learning feeling our 'primal awareness makes us more healthy now & able to do natural homebirthing together, leadingn to sensitive creative living,
Odent's awareness in print deeply ??s how our birthing systems are roots, tools & habits we learned from womb to walking depending on parents & birthing. Primal Health keeps inspiring me like 'pre & para-natal psychology studying & exposing how natural & traumatic birth imprints our lives. Thankfully Odent keeps expanding our consciousness with-ever new editions by connecting how our hormones work in 'Primal period' inside mother, bonding & lifelong health. His infinite interest reveals how our organic health instincts & needs are replacing most biology & physiology school, diets, evolution & standard OB-Gyn SOProtocols. Going beyond DR. Robert Mendelson MD exposed in "MALEPRACTICE", & "Immaculate Deception" by Suzzane Arms & "IMPRINTS - The Lifelong Effects of Birth Experience" by Art (Primal scream) Janov in since '70s. 'Primal health' is pioneering our visions & feeling needs for being naturally vital lifelong in family love from our roots of how birthing is most important phase of life as our organic instincts guide us. It helps liberate us from medical science & SAD = 'standard American Diet'. Plus his 'Primal health' & WOMBECOLOGY' websites are even deeper, & updated research expanding on his many brilliant books.
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