Thursday, April 2, 2009

It Started with a Hug

Have you ever considered that one hug could redirect your life?
That is the personal testimony of author Dr. Earl Henslin who starts his book, "This is Your Brain on Joy", with an account of how a hug gave him a new world view.

If you are interested in how your brain works but are daunted by technical medical terms you cannot pronounce , much less remember, then welcome Dr. Henslin to the rescue. He takes the complicated and reduces it to layman's terms with a sense of fun in making science intelligible to the average person.
He speaks of the different parts of the brain in terms of a house with two stories and a basement, fitting the functions of the brain to the use of the different areas of the house. For example the Basal Ganglia resides in the basement where we find all our terrifying fears!

He explains how the brain is affected by scents, music, exercise , humour and beauty.
Our brains are enriched by reading books, controlling our thought life, relaxing, praying and getting enough rest. It is not only our bodies that need nutrition but also our brains. Dr. Henslin explains the kind of foods and supplements our brains require to function, along with exercise and when appropriate , medication.

Suffering from ADD himself, the author gives helpful information regarding this affliction and also addresses OCD.

Dr. Henslin believes that a healthy brain brings joy - and that is the purpose of his book - to educate his readers in understanding what that means and how to attain it!

I do have a couple of criticisms.. One ... I appreciate that the author is a Christian and brought scripture into his book.. but I found that the scripture references were weak, as though inserted as an afterthought.
The other criticism I have is that Henslin seems to put an unbalanced emphasis on the value of SPECT brain imaging based on his belief that there is no such thing as a normal brain.
He believes that many of our `sins' (pg12) are really due to a knock on the head that we received during our childhood.
He suggests that most everyone should have their brain imaged to see if there is lingering damage from some forgotten fall.

"This is Your Brain on Joy" presents a lot of good, helpful information in a very understandable format ... but personally I would recommend "Who Switched off My Brain" by Dr. Caroline Leaf as a more scientific study of our brain as the control center of our emotional and mental health.

2 comments:

Lovella said...

as always. . you make the complicated seem simple and understandable. . for the rest of us .. Thanks Julie.

Sara said...

Interesting post Julie. Thanks for the review and recommendation of the other book also.