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  • Writer's picturelizbutler

Understanding the Heart - Book Review

Updated: Jun 21

It surprises me, in a time when heart disease is such a huge problem worldwide, and post-Covid has become even more of an urgent issue, that there are so few good books showcasing the up-to-date science on heart-related diet and lifestyle factors. Recently, as I put together my course, ‘Nurturing the Physical Heart’, I spent a long time searching for good books in this area and was disappointed in what I found. Incidentally, it was also difficult to find nutritional therapists with up-to-date knowledge on the subject (in the UK, at least).

 

Thankfully, I did find a handful of excellent books and the one I rate particularly highly is Understanding the Heart by Stephen Hussey. There are many reasons why I like this book, most importantly the fact that its author is not only a health professional – chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner, with years of experience supporting people with heart disease, but has first-hand experience of the disease having suffered a very serious heart attack himself a few years ago when he was just 34.



 Diagnosed with type I diabetes as a child, Stephen was well aware his risk of heart disease was greater than normal and he had already made many positive changes to his diet and lifestyle before the heart attack. In fact, his interest in heart disease was so significant he had already decided to write a book and had completed most of the writing. His sudden illness was a shock, to say the least, but the deep research and, no doubt, writing revision he did as a result has led to a book that pushes the boundaries. Stephen is not afraid to address the numerous flaws in the current thinking of how the heart works, what makes it sick and how it recovers, and his deep research and experiences allow him to make lifestyle recommendations that cover a broad spectrum. Heart disease is not simply a diet-related problem, it is greatly impacted by the way we think, the way we feel, the way we move, as well as our toxicity levels and sunlight exposure, amongst other things.

 

Because the topics covered span a wide spectrum, there is a lot to take in when reading this book, especially if you are new to the world of integrative health. However, the book is a great introduction to many ideas and often neglected areas of heart health and I hope will spark many conversations amongst practitioners and general public alike.



 Stephen doesn’t have all the answers, of course, there is still so much to learn about why the physical heart gets sick, but for where we are now, with the knowledge available, this is a brilliantly detailed book that draws on the evidence and connects many dots. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to support their recovery from heart disease or protect against a future decline in heart health.

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen and will be posting the video on my website soon – look out for it.

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