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Book Review for "This is Your Brain on Joy"

I recently got the opportunity to read “This is Your Brain on Joy” by Dr. Earl Henslin for Thomas Nelson as a book reviewer. Thinking the title was a bit cheesy, I nonetheless ordered the book because I was intrigued by its tag line as “A Revolutionary Program for Balancing Mood, Restoring Brain Health, and Nurturing Spiritual Growth”.
Dr. Henslin takes a largely medicinal and spiritual approach to treating disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression, and etc. Using Dr. Daniel Amen's method of SPECT scans, which are essentially 3D brain scans that indicate different areas of lower and higher activity, Dr. Henslin focuses on methods of “balancing the brain”. He makes recommendations such as specific over the counter supplements and even prescription drugs.
Dr. Henslin's book is a very interesting read that will definitely expand your understanding of how the brain functions and proven ways of treating it. However, what it will not do is fix all of your problems. My only real problems with this book are twofold: the constant references to Dr. Amen's supplements for sale on his website and the impression given that by following Dr. Henslin and Dr. Amen's tips, you will always be joyous. This is simply not true. However, what Dr. Henslin has recommended will certainly improve your life and help to balance out a lot of problems rooted in the chemistry of the mind. I recommend this book with minor reservations.

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Comment by Edythe Stromme on February 25, 2009 at 9:57am
I would like to find a supplement or technique that would bring me joy. I have to agree with Lisa that it is found in small actions rather than pills or potions. I think our attitude is at least 90% of the equation. As Abraham Lincoln said, "People are about as happy as they made up their minds to be." I recommend dog walking for a good endorphin boost. See my post "Walking the Walk" for further details.
Comment by Chuck Stromme on February 25, 2009 at 9:43am
Nicely said Lisa, if a bit dogmatic. Wonder where you got that? Try to leave just a little room for the faint possibility of someone else being right or at least being on to something. I haven't done well with that myself, but I do know it's the right way to go. And take a moment to realize how kind Joshua was in his response.
Comment by Joshua Shiver on February 24, 2009 at 8:44pm
Oh I definitely agree with you. While I certainly think that the book is right about some of the supplements and medications helping with brain chemistry (think Adderall for ADD, fish oil for brain function), I certainly don't think they are going to bring constant joy. The author walks a fine line, and while he definitely goes overboard in my opinion, he's not way out there.

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