It seems like the medical community is fixated on getting the public to focus on medications that will heal you. They inundate us with ads on what drugs will help get rid of a sickness or make a disease manageable. But all too rarely, does the medical community offer ways in which to prevent the need for any of those medications. Perhaps it’s because many of these practices aren’t approved by any big organization, or perhaps if the practices don’t work they fear being sued. But what is apparent is that there are many people with their own secret healthcare routines that prevent them from every getting ill. Such is the basis of Gene Stone’s (“Forks Over Knives”) new book, “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick.”Essentially the tome consists of twenty-five essays on different people who have unusual (or not so unusual) ways of keeping themselves healthy. And while some of the offerings seem about as effective as an Old Wive’s Tale, some might be worth considering. Meet Ricardo Osorno Fallas from Costa Rica where he and his entire family are all happy and healthy. Why? They live in a Blue Zone. A Blue Zone is a geographic area with high-concentrations of the longest-living people.


There are five known Blue Zones, one being in Linda Loma in Los Angeles county. But what makes an area Blue Zone? Well, no one knows. It just seems like that area has a different – more relaxed – way of life. So perhaps the geographical location is not really the issue, but the lifestyle habits handed down by the families in the area. Who knows? Blue Zones represent one of the odder secrets in the book. Others include Cold Showers (one every morning will apparently boost the immune system), Eating Dirt (which allows our immune system to be strengthened by introducing symbiotes/microbes into our bodies), Hydrogen Peroxide (where one man dunks his face into a sink of the diluted element and apparently feels fantastic after), as well as Germ Avoidance. Germ Avoidance is pretty common nowadays, but Rachel Hill – the subject of Secret 10 – takes it to the extreme.

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She won’t touch handles in the bathroom, won’t use hand dryers because they leave your hands moist and thus, susceptible to germs, and if someone sneezes on an elevator she will hold her breathe until she gets off. These are the more whacky remedies that the people interviewed swear by. And Gene Stone tried. Ultimately, none of these secrets will be 100% effective without also living a fairly healthy lifestyle. Granted, the ideas in the book aren’t all out there: Herbal Remedies, Running, Spirituality, Stresslessness (good luck!), and Yoga are also offerings in order to make you illness free. And aside from Chicken Soup (Secret #4), Stone attempted them all to varying success. (He is a vegan, and such, can’t eat Chicken Soup.) “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick” is a light read and has some amusing anecdotes and interesting scientific research to back up the findings.


But ultimately, none of these secrets will be 100% effective without also living a fairly healthy lifestyle. No amount of cold showers is going to make you illness-free if you consistently hang around sick people and eat fatty foods. They all require you to do your own part in making yourself healthy – with the added bonus of whatever “secret” is your miracle drug. Ultimately, the book is an amusement, but didn’t make me want to try any of the odder remedies myself. The ones I would consider are ones that are pretty commonplace like Lifting Weights, Napping, and having a supportive network of Friends (Secret #8.) For a light and breezy turn through the quirks of other people, “Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick” is an amusing trifle. It’s like a Morgan Spurlock documentary in book form. Fun at the time, but ultimately not that memorable after the fact. It creates a nice momentary diversion, but change your life it won’t. ( By Kevin Taft from )

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