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Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing [Paperback]

Christiane Northrup
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 2010
When it was first published in 1994, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom quickly became an international bestseller, and for the past fifteen years it has remained the veritable bible of women’s health. Now, in this revised and updated edition, world-renowned and much-beloved women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup shares with us the latest developments and advances that will maximize our potential for living well in our bodies today. Inside you will discover
 
• new material on sexuality—and how to have a more fulfilling sex life
• the spiritual and scientific principles behind healing from terminal illnesses, and how you can utilize these principles for your own health and the health of others
• vital information about how to truly dissolve PMS and ease menstrual cramps
• extraordinary facts on Vitamin D—and why it is crucial for breast, cardiovascular, and immune system health
• the importance of the preconception diet and how to greatly decrease your risk of birth defects
• how to birth naturally, despite the current induction and C-section epidemic
• all you need to know about thyroid function, including proper blood tests
• life-saving facts about cellular inflammation—the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases—and how to prevent this condition
• the essentials on the “fountain of youth molecule”—and how to enhance your levels of it for vibrant health
 
Living a healthy life in a woman’s body can be downright fun—even ecstatic! And that’s good news for everyone—women, men, and their children.
 


Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Rev Upd edition (Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553386735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553386738
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.8 x 5.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Christiane Northrup has been a practising holistic physician for over twenty years, and is the former Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Maine Medical Center. Along with three other practitioners, Christiane founded the Women to Women clinic in Yarmouth, Maine.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soooooooo useful 30 Sep 2011
By Jocelyn
Format:Hardcover
I'm a scientist and it suppose that I know many things, but reading this book I figure out how few I know about my own body! The chapter of "eat to flourish" is essential; it helps me to solve my conflicts with food and weight. Now I'm reading about menstrual cycle and it's changing all the way that I have been thinking in my period and pre-menstrual pain... The best investment ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it 30 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I truly love this book it has become my great Guru and I can recommend it whole heartedly to all woman young and old.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of wisdom. 20 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this on recommendation. Well worth every penny and there are lots of areas Dr Northrup explores that i would never had considered before and got me to re-evaluate my own beliefs. So good i purchased another as a present for my mum- she cant put it down either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Women's bodies, Women's wisdom 4 Mar 2011
By Chantal
Format:Hardcover
Great book full of women's wisdom and very relevant in today's world.
I enjoy giving it to my women friends.

Chantal
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  100 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Revision of a Book Already Way Ahead of its time... 18 Jun 2010
By bunnyrabbit4 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First!!! Please make sure you are looking at the new 2010 edition with the White cover and standing photo of Dr. Northrup. Amazon is posting all the reviews to ALL the editions! You can reach the other book by clicking on the above link that says which version this review refers too.

This is a brand new, newly researched and very updated version of an important book. I'm sorry that Amazon didn't list the updates from the back of the book first on the main product page. Here they are:

* new material on sexuality--and how to have a more fulfilling sex life
* the spiritual and scientific principles behind healing from terminal illnesses, and how you can utilize these principles for your own health and the health of others
* vital information about how to truly dissolve PMS and ease menstrual cramps
* extraordinary facts on Vitamin D--and why it is crucial for breast, cardiovascular, and immune system health
* the importance of the preconception diet and how to greatly decrease your risk of birth defects
* how to birth naturally, despite the current induction and C-section epidemic
* all you need to know about thyroid function, including proper blood tests
* life-saving facts about cellular inflammation--the root cause of all chronic degenerative diseases--and how to prevent this condition
* the essentials on the "fountain of youth molecule"--and how to enhance your levels of it for vibrant health

It is also important to look at the dates on the reviews when considering them. Many of them are 10 or more years old. Not only has the over 900 pages of information been significantly updated, but attitudes towards its content have changed dramatically since it was first published.

Back in 1994 when the first edition was published, the idea that the mind could control the body was something contemplated mostly by "New Agers" and anthropologists studying Amazonian tribes. Ten years earlier Louise Hay's, "You Can Heal Your Life" had introduced the idea with a non-scientific book based mainly on personal experience. The 90's opened the door further when medical doctors like Deepak Chopra and Bernie Siegel, aided by medical researcher and journalist Norman Cousins, began to talk about the clinical evidence for a mind/body connection and how it could be manipulated. They had some incredible stories to tell, but it wasn't until Dr. Northrup came along that a board certified OB/GYN started to connect the psychological, spiritual and medical dots that led to health or ill-health for women.

Our Bodies Ourselves, first published in the early 1970's had been the first book to openly insist that women take control of their bodies, but it was still more a manual for working "with" a largely authoritarian and at times misogynistic medical community. Later editions become more focused on the culture of younger women. Dr. Northrup's book is perhaps the graduate course for OBO, fusing cradle to grave medical advice for women with support for dealing with the impact of culture, self-worth issues and spiritual beliefs on a woman's health. It provides guidance in creating positive, health affirming outcomes rather than viewing the female body from the medical model of diseases waiting to happen.

Take a look at the table of contents available in the "Look Inside" guide. While a large portion of the book is dedicated to discussing issues affecting a woman's body from the menstrual cycle through menopause, the rest of the book focuses largely on wellness, including affirmations designed to "protect and serve" the body rather than "cut and control" it. This makes the book not only a valuable reference manual for those times when things go wrong, but an encyclopedia of protective spiritual wisdom from someone who is an expert on both women's bodies and their spirits. In many ways this book is still ahead of its time, which makes it a good buy for the present and the future.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a review of the original edition 3 Oct 2010
By TurquoiseEyes13579 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't have the revised version, so I can't speak on that. But the original book changed me profoundly. I came from a typical American, Western-civilization, patriarchal belief system & lifestyle. That was the type of church I was involved in, it was the type of family I came from & thus it was how my mind had been trained to work. And work I did, never understanding why trying to achieve the American Dream was so hollow & exhausting at the end of the day. I first read this when I was eighteen, and used it for a couple of years afterwards to work through some very painful memories & experiences. Although it was not a cure-all, doing the exercises in the book really helped me to start uncovering who I was underneath my social environment & upbringing.

Dr. Northrup brings to the table historical information, dozens of case studies from her own & other doctors' work & perhaps most valuable of all, her own experiences. I greatly appreciate her being willing to share her own struggles with her readers. I found what she was saying echoing through me as FINALLY, another person understanding why I was never content with my traditional, extremely male-dominated religion. Although I didn't fully recognize it or even be able to name it for years to come, I started to understand why I had lived virtually my whole life with an immense sense of cognitive dissonance. Partially because of this book, I started reading a lot more, challenging so-called authority more often, started doing yoga & studied a more Eastern philosophy, diet & lifestyle. It was one of the most transformative periods of my life, a time of a lot of emotional purging through tons of writing, tons of thinking & tons of tears. I am grateful I had the time & space to do this at such a young age, a chance many people never get. I stopped the world because I wanted to get off & figure out who the hell I was before I went on with my life as an adult. This is not to say I haven't had my fair share of struggles, false starts & just plain failures, because I have. But I would much rather go through those things as my true self than as someone in constant inner turmoil over who they REALLY are vs. who they present themselves to be. This book helped me to be more honest with myself & with others, though it took years for the voice to grow strong enough to not back down.

This should be required reading for everyone. Not just women- everyone. I don't say that about many books. I've read no other book written by a doctor (and certainly not by any self-help author) that I would recommend so soundly. It makes one think about how a matriarchal vs. a patriarchal society functions. It makes one think about the various means of birth control available, and what a lack of having such options causes. It makes one think about why abortion is so prevalent in the States & yet so taboo in the country- and how that topic is thought of in other parts of the world. For example, China, where abortion's essentially been demanded if the fetus isn't a boy. Or in those countries where abortion's not allowed at all- one cannot study the topic without learning of the devastating effects of such a ban, including preventing further education for women, children being born & raised knowing they weren't wanted, and the all-too-common result of women & children staying in abusive relationships. Regardless of your opinion on the topic, there is food for thought here, and what I read was an eye-opener. I imagine Northrup's tone would be too "leftist" for some. But to not read the facts & stories presented here would be to deny oneself much knowledge. Even if you remain against what Dr. Northrup believes in, it's at least fair to look at all of the information presented with an open mind.

Northrup doesn't attack Christianity or any other faith, but as with every other topic she touches on, the history of what has truly happened over the years in the formation of various religions has to be given careful consideration. If we continue our participation in these congregations & belief systems, without looking at the facts- on both sides of the spectrum- we are only living in ignorance. As for me, I know that I could never again look at the topic from a purely & only emotional point of view. You could say that this book was perhaps the first which taught me to critically analyze, at the root, what I followed & what I fled from.

The author doesn't come off as a know-it-all, not by a long shot. It was clear to me (even when I was a teenager reading this) that she considered her life a journey, and was still only in the middle of it. Her advice on diet, exercise & other "physical" concerns was based on science, the advisement to use our own intuition in such matters & also documented personal experience from herself & her patients. She did not say "This is the right way to live/do/be, and if you don't do it my way, you're setting yourself up for illness & an early death." No, it was far from a bashing & more a suggestion to celebrate life by treating ourselves with the care we deserve. Which, really, was the entire purpose of the book.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars some good information but troubling views on pregnancy, infertility and abortion 7 Feb 2012
By kaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My initial opinion of the book was overwhelmingly positive, though I do feel I need to "caution" prospective readers because it certainly will not be for everyone. I focused on the women's health aspects, ignoring the chapters on pregnancy and menopause as neither applied to me. Dr. Northrop couples traditional "Western medicine" and by-the-book discussions of female anatomy and biologial functions with a holistic, soulful approach to understanding why our bodies work the way they do, the way society and emotional footprints influence women's perceptions of themselves and, subsequently, the way our bodies react to their woman-ness. I find that this approach fits nicely with my own perceptions of understanding our bodies and maintaining health in that I appreciate such non-Western aspects as chakra energy and the benefits of acupuncture, but also realize when Western medicine may provide assistance. Also, I do believe emotional and external influences do have an impact on how we feel and that this can sometimes manifest in physical symptoms. With that said, I think sometimes Dr. Northrop takes the ideas a bit too far--it seems that many times she suggests that some sort of emotional/relationship unrest is the underlying cause of physical problems. This could certainly be upsetting to, say, a very loving and committed couple who experience fertility issues. However, taken with a grain of salt, I think Dr. Northrop's messages should be heard and I've found benefit from the book already.

I returned to do a light brush-up with the information after several years and found myself caught by the "Abortion" segment since the Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood issue has been in the news lately. Although I generally avoid the subject since I have my own very firm convictions about it, I couldn't help but sneak a peak here.

I wish I hadn't.

I was deeply troubled at what Dr. Northrup had to say about the subject. While I certainly do not want to attack her personal beliefs, I was surprised that she conveyed them in this medical book and I do not believe that most people from either the Pro-Life or Pro-Choice camp would find much to agree with in her discussion.

Dr. Northrup believes in reincarnation. Now, I have no trouble with this but here she mentions that the aborted soul will come back another time when the parents are ready (or, assuming the mother never gets pregnant again, I guess the little soul would go to another woman's uterus?) which seems to make the choice about having an abortion much easier. Now, she does not believe in abortion as a casual birth control method and she admits her anger when performing a fourth abortion on a women who is simply careless and that she wishes we lived in a world where abortions are not necessary (and believes in a grieving process for terminated pregnancies). However, she does feel it is perhaps best to have an abortion if the mother feels the pregnancy is "not right" (she is not singling out cases of rape and incest here, but even for married couples who feel that it is not the right time for them, etc.) In one example, she told of a woman who felt that her pregnancy was "wrong" and talked to her baby asking it to leave, but it stayed. Finally, she called the abortion clinic and later that day she had a miscarriage, to the mother's great relief.

The idea that there IS a soul inside the growing fetus, but that it can be aborted without blame, is one I have never encountered before. Perhaps it is not unique to Dr. Northrup, but, again, I found it a troubling inclusion in a medical book.

Moreover, she says that the damage done by carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term is perhaps so great that abortion is the more compassionate choice as the child would otherwise likely live out his/her life in misery. As the wife of a happy and well-adjusted man who was adopted (and sister-in-law to his two equally well-adjusted adopted siblings), I find Northrup's ideas deeply disturbing and offensive and I feel sorry for adopted women who read this section of the book. Certainly I do not deny that a pregnancy in which the child is wanted well before conception and loved throughout the pregnancy and into its young life is the most preferred. But to claim that when a pregnancy feels "not right" it is often best to abort is deeply troubling to me. Adoption can be a very important way to bring a family together, even if it is not with the birth parents. Also, I have friends who did not plan to conceive, and wrestled with the idea of having an abortion, but chose to keep the baby and are wonderfully loving parents. Of course, I'm sure there are those who had unwanted children and did lead miserable lives, but I felt there was not enough balance presented in this book and feel sad that adopted children might read this and think there is something inherently damaged about their spirits.

I do still feel there is some value in other aspects of Northrup's book and feel that her heart is in the right place in wanting to help women live healthy and happy lives, but the abortion segment really turned me off to her "wisdom" on pregnancy and childbirth, and I'm afraid it will do the same for many others. Moreover, I remain troubled by the idea that women's health problems are all based on underlying psychological problems, especially in the case of infertile women. See the one-star Amazon reviews for their feelings about the book if you fall into this category to see if reading the book would be troubling for you.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Updating new version 7 Feb 2012
By Bella - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This purchase is to replace an older version of this book, I love this book, I think every woman on the planet should own a copy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chew up the meat--spit out the bones 28 Nov 2011
By C. L. Ramsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lots of New Age philosophy is woven into much of what the author presents. The medical information is straightforward and usually right on track. However, when she goes on tangents into the New Age aspects of her world view, then things are less useful to the studied reader. Certainly worth reading but go into it with your eyes open and your mind fully functioning.
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