Author: Laura Perry
Trade Paperback, 219 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: January 2003
Price & More Info: Click Here
Unless you live far away from magazines and newspapers, you are bound to have noticed an increasing interest in alternative health care over the past decade. There has also been a growing interest in holistic methods, especially since changes to the medical system in the US have made it more impersonal and focused on solving the immediate problem quickly. As there are many books on alternative health care on the shelves, new books have to carve out a niche for themselves. Laura Perry, a Wiccan priestess and naturopath, has written one specially for Wiccans. The Wiccan Wellness Book presents a well-written and practical discussion of alternative and holistic health care methods along with practical wellness advice and Wiccan-style rituals.
Perry begins by describing what wellness and wholeness are and by encouraging her readers to honestly evaluate where they are and where they can go. The next chapter is devoted to journaling, both as a method of keeping track of where one is health wise and as a method for improving oneself by changing/improving one's attitudes. Exercise is next up. Perry considers it just as important as any other health care professional, but suggests ways to find a form of exercise that is right for the reader. The next chapter considers improving one's health by improving one's surroundings using some of the techniques of Feng Shui. According to the author, a through "spring cleaning" of one's surroundings on both the physical and magickal level can make a big difference in one's life. Simple things like avoiding clutter in the bedroom may help one sleep better, for example.
The next section is a brief introduction to a number of different systems of alternative medicine. Fourteen different systems are introduced in about 25 pages. The descriptions are brief but clear. Additional references (both books and organizations) are provided for each system so one can learn more about those that seem interesting or find a professional practitioner. The only major problem I have with this book is that the author doesn't even mention the drawbacks and possible problems associated with some of the systems. The book concludes with a chapter on plants and herbs and a lengthy chapter of wellness rituals. The book has a bibliography (in addition to the books mentioned in the text) and a useful index.
My feelings on The Wiccan Wellness Book are somewhat mixed. The scholar in me would have loved some footnotes on some of the claims made, not so much because I mistrust some of the statements the author makes, but because I would love to read more about some of them. And, as I said above, I really have a problem with the way some of the alternative health systems are presented -- with little or no warning about the possible problems the system (or a bad practitioner of it) can cause. On the other hand, the book is a joy to read and many of the ideas friom the early chapters can be put into practice fairly easily if the reader chooses and is willing to make the effort. Perry's book is a good introduction to alternative health techniques for a Wiccan (or member of a Wiccan-like belief system) who is willing to read more before deciding a particular alternative system is "just right" for him or her.
Reviewed by Randall