What I'm reading: How to Make Disease Disappear

As a health coach, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to convey information to clients, and new ideas to help clients work change into their lives. I recently finished a book I feel I could recommend to almost everyone.

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I first heard of Dr. Rangan Chatterjee via a link to his TED talk, How to make diseases disappear. Dr. Chatterjee is a British medical doctor who has a popular TV show, Doctor in the House , in which he spends time in patients’ homes and uses diet and lifestyle to improve their health, often with dramatic results. When his new book, How to Make Disease Disappear, was released in the US last month, I bought a copy right away.

Dr. Chatterjee’s book is divided info four sections, or pillars (the British version of the book is titled The 4 Pillar Plan): Relax, Eat, Move, and Sleep. In each section, he gives five suggestions for ways readers could improve their health. Some are easy (keep a gratitude journal), while others are more challenging (the screen-free sabbath, a digital detox - very difficult for me!). He emphasizes that attention to each pillar is necessary; having a perfectly dialed-in diet will be of little use if you’re constantly in fight-or-flight mode, your cortisol is sky-high, and you don’t take steps to reduce or mitigate your stress. The book is easy to read and written in a relaxed style, but presents enough science to give clout to his suggestions. 

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I expected a great book for folks beginning a transition to a healthier lifestyle - and it is. However, I was personally impacted by this book more than I expected to be. For instance, I have read for years that using a phone, tablet, or computer before bed is terrible for your sleep due to the blue light they emanate, but I’ve only made the feeblest attempts to reduce my before-bed screen time. Since reading How to Make Disease Disappear, I have worked on implementing the No-Tech 90 rule (part of the Create a Bedtime Routine suggestion), which involves turning off your devices 90 minutes before lights out. I’m not perfect, but I’m improving! Something about the way Dr. Chatterjee presents his information gave me the motivation to finally make that change and have it stick.

The choices we make can have a huge influence on our health and our risk for disease. Dr. Chatterjee shows us ways to implement easy and simple changes that can make a profound difference in our health. Anyone who takes his advice to heart is likely to see improvements in their health. Highly recommended!