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Fall is upon us, and it’s time to curl up with a good book!Here are a few recommendations…

If you notice that your mood tends to down-shift as the season changes, you may be

experiencing some seasonal effects of less sunlight, shorter days, and perhaps less time outdoors. You don’t need a medical diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder to make simple changes that can benefit you simply because you live in an Upper Midwest climate. A wonderful resource is Winter Blues, by Normal Rosenthal, MD. Dr. Rosenthal’s research began by observing his own seasonal mood and energy challenges, so this book is written in a very authentic personal tone. In it he provides helpful ways to assess the seriousness of seasonal issues, suggestions for the use of bright light therapy, dietary recommendations,

and advice for getting through the darker times. If you have any question about whether this book might be helpful for you, I suggest you read the reviews, many of which describe it as life-changing.

If you have ever struggled with snoring, nasal or breathing issues, the book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor is a must-read. Personally, I found

this book far more interesting than I expected – and about halfway through it I realized that my own story of failed sinus surgery, “required” tooth removal for braces, and sleep issues put me exactly into one of the challenged groups that Nestor describes. The book takes an evolutionary and historical view of how our physical structures have changed over time, as well as how breathing itself has been understood in different cultures, in research, and in both past and present medical treatment. As part of his research, Nestor volunteers himself as a test subject in breathing research, a participant in breathing classes, and is willing to try out numerous strategies on himself. The results are fascinating, encouraging, and will leave you asking why we don’t discuss this topic a whole lot more! If you’re on the fence about reading this, go online and read the book’s 9-page introduction – I suspect it will hook you.

Okay, I know this is a controversial recommendation. Apart from the many social aspects

of modern life that can divide us – if you really want to stir up a hot topic, all you need to do is ask someone to pass you the salt-shaker, and the opinions will fly! Our bodies actually need salt, yet it has been vilified – why is this? Healthy food advocates, amateur detectives, conspiracy theorists, this book is for you. I urge you check out The Salt Fix (Why the Experts Got it All Wrong – And How Eating More Might Save Your Life), by Dr. James DiNicolantonio. The author builds a solid case that the salt-restriction advice we’ve been given, as though it applied to ALL of us, is really only significant for a small segment of the population. What (or who) is behind the smear campaign against salt? (And why is sugar pushed on us, in various forms, and hidden in almost any processed food you can name…) No spoiler alerts here, read the book!

(And Happy Fall!)

Dianne Frances, MFA, MS, LPC, NCC Psychotherapist Integrative Mental Health Specialist


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