“When a physician with as much practical Western and Oriental medicine experience as Dr. Viana takes the time to document his life’s work, we would be foolish not to take advantage.” — Customer Review by Steve Amoia
“I had been labeled “mentally retarded” by a young Dutch school psychiatrist on Aruba who could not understand the mixed bag of five languages I had grown up speaking, and consequently, was sent to Miami Country Day and Residence School for Boys, with apologies that I was `unteachable.’ But as fate would have it, halfway to the school, `Doc’ Abele, a founder who had picked me up, stopped at a convenience store and left me alone in the car alone staring at its fancy radio with enticing knobs.
Being curious, I began playing with them, and after Doc returned he came to the conclusion that only a `normal’ boy would fiddle with radio knobs, and turned me over to the school’s other founder, Mr. Sommers, with reassurances that there was nothing wrong with me. This was my first experience in the limitations of a medical prognosis that fails to take into account the whole human being, social conditions, and cultural factors–and its potentially devastating consequences.”
— Dr. Carlos M. Viana
Early experiences in life often have lasting repercussions. Western medicine is often seen as having a know-it-all approach where an initial diagnosis is set in stone. Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with other alternative therapies, view diagnoses as dynamic: Shaped more by the individual components of each patient rather than by a rigid diagnostic manual. Or by a rigid, non-flexible mindset that is common with the Western approach to medicine.
I was pleased to find a physician such as Dr. Viana who takes a holistic and common-sense approach to the practice of medicine. The “Barefoot Doctor” has swum on both sides of the ocean: The Atlantic as the Pacific. This book is an educational, informative, enlightening and comprehensive guide to our most precious commodity: Our physical and mental health and well-being.
Let’s take a look at what you will find.
Extremely Organized Format
The author made his book one of the best-indexed I have ever reviewed. The A to Z alphabetical format for each chapter topic of actual medical issues, along with an equally corresponding comprehensive index, will make this book a valuable time-saving resource. There are also two helpful appendices and a notes section. You will find specific topics of interest quickly which enhances your reading experience significantly.
Most readers of medically-related books don’t read them in their entirety. They like to read and/or refer to areas of specific interest. While reading this book in its entirety would be beneficial for all of us, I liked Dr. Viana’s common-sense approach. He kept his readers in mind to make his research and practical advice user-friendly. The author also used two concise helpful sections at the end of each topic: “The Biocompatible View” and “Words of Advice” to reinforce your understanding of key concepts.
Balanced Writing Style
Dr. Viana’s writing style is educational, insightful and is predominantly composed at a high level. He doesn’t dumb-down difficult concepts nor does he present others with a condescending attitude. His narrative assumes you want to become educated and won’t mind looking up more than few words and/or medical terms. I liked the balance between complicated themes and others that were easier to grasp.
Some readers may find certain topics difficult to comprehend at first glance. For example:
“Magnesium is involved in more than three hundred essential metabolic reactions, including the conversion of creatine into the ATP it synthesizes (MgATP). Magnesium deficiency causes increased levels of adrenaline, which can lead to anxiety and the development of dysfunctional mitochondria.” (Page 108)
The author does discuss commonly known, yet complicated concepts, in easy-to-understand language:
“Cancer occurs when the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells is replaced by the fermentation of sugar, which is why control of insulin, exercise, and eating right for metabolic type all serve as preventives. Cancer is thus a message from the body to examine one’s life and determine the factors that have contributed to the illness.” (Page 69)
“Although most people believe that going barefoot is undignified, a sign of poverty, or unhealthy, in the People’s Republic of China a barefoot doctor is a positive role model since the Chinese know that only healthy people can walk barefoot, as I learned during my internship at Longhua Hospital in Shanghai. There, a barefoot doctor is a healthy doctor who can show you how to regain your health.” (Page 19)
“The biocompatible protocol is therefore concerned primarily with identifying and detoxifying the body from the stressors that set the degenerative disease in motion. Once the body burden of toxicities has been removed and a healthy biochemical metabolism has been restored, the body’s instinctive healing mechanisms can regain their functioning with amazing success.” (Page 23)
“Interestingly, hygienists since biblical times have maintained that aging starts in the colon, and colon toxicity is indeed one of the main contributors to acid stress–the hallmark of chronic inflammation and the foundation of degenerative conditions.” (Page 38)
“We also look for links between the back pain and causes that might not be immediately apparent. For example, if a patient comes in complaining of a stiff neck, we ask about the person’s digestion and arrange for a blood test to check for Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacterium, because stiff necks are often the result of stomach problems.” (Page 58)
“Colon toxicity can be the underlying cause of many commonly reported health problems, including constipation, backaches, diarrhea, skin problems, difficulty with weight loss, insomnia, hypertension, headaches, arthritis, bad breath, asthma, and allergies.” (Page 86)
“For example, to treat anxiety, especially in older patients, they may prescribe antidepressants (rather than anti-anxiety medication) and psychosocial therapies, although clinical research findings on their effectiveness is still limited. On the other hand, biocompatible practitioners
have found that many times all we have to do to treat a patient’s anxiety attacks is teach them deep breathing techniques, which effectively produce the needed oxygen exchange.” (Page 108)
“Oxidative stress, which forms the foundation of biocompatible medicine, describes the ongoing damage occurring in cells, tissues, or organs caused by burned-up oxygen, which takes place when the generation of oxygen free radicals exceeds the body’s natural ability to eliminate them. (Page 162)
“I believe, along with my Chinese colleagues, that a moderate amount of healthy sex supports a good flow of chi and too much sex–specifically, ejaculation for men and childbearing for women–depletes the chi, blood, and kidneys. Moderate sexual activity has also been shown to release endorphins and other feel-good hormones, inspiring endocrinologists to research its impact on the central nervous system, especially its positive effects on stress.” (Page 178)
“Learning to take control by perceiving a stressful situation as a challenge rather than a threat is probably the most critical element in defeating the negative consequences of stress.” (Page 190)
“We believe that most health problems have the common denominator of chronic inflammation stemming from the colon, a natural breeding ground for both healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Procedures for cleaning the colon have been in place since biblical times.” (Page 210)
A Medical School Education in a Book
When a physician with as much practical Western and Oriental medicine experience as Dr. Viana takes the time to document his life’s work, we would be foolish not to take advantage. Regardless if you are an adherent of Oriental or Western medicine, this book will make a valuable addition to your library.
Editorial Format: 9/10
Writing Style: 8/10
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from a representative of the publisher, Healing Spirit Press. I was not compensated by the publisher, author or any other party who would benefit from a positive review.