Thursday, March 05, 2009

Book Review: This is Your Brain on Joy

image Book title: This is Your Brain on Joy
Author: Dr. Earl Henslin
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2008
Number of pages: 236

"After the Fall, everything in creation took a hit, including the hardwiring of our brains. In other words, all brains today are not equal." That is a concept I've never considered. Look around and it seems pretty obvious, but for some reason, I've never attached oblongata inequality to the Fall. I guess I just thought God gives us the same deck of cards. We just play it differently. But I'll admit, I never put any real thought into it. But the world makes more sense when you realize that we're all dealing with the residual effects of original sin. Hmmmm.

ADD, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, GAD, and any other acronym that afflicts you can all be treated. Your brain can be brought back into balance. The brain is plastic posits Henslin. We can train and retrain the mushy gray matter. It can be coaxed in off the ledge with nutrition, therapies, and when necessary, drug protocols. Balance your brain and issues like anger, phobias, eating disorders, and addiction can be managed and brought under control.

Henslin introduces SPECT (single photon emission computerized topography) image technology in this book. He praises the contributions of Dr. Daniel Amen to brain science and imaging. Henslin uses layman's terms to explain the study of the brain and how it effects our lives.

The main point is if we have a happy brain, we can live a healthy, Christian life. A Christian with an "unhappy" brain tries unsuccessfully to live an impulsively religious life. "Before" pictures of brain scans show overly active regions of the brain sparking unproductive chemical activity. "After" pictures show us what a healthy brain scan looks like. Henslin includes surveys and self-test to help the reader evaluate whether her brain may need a little help. And there are charts aplenty to match up mood malfunction with a remedy.

Henslin's argument is compelling. He gives strong support for his thesis, but better yet, he offers solutions that are within reach through, in many cases, just a few environmental adjustments.

Henslin writes about "Joy Boosters" in one chapter. This is the most informative and practical chapter in this very informative and practical book. Every way you can adjust and impact your environment internally, externally, emotionally, spiritually and physically are covered in this chapter. Making changes in what you eat, read, watch, or smell can boost the joy in your life.

This book is for the curious. If you want to know how the brain works, or better yet, how to manage your brain, give this book a read. It'll take you about three or four hours to get through the book, but I promise you'll spend much more time later referencing and rereading it. Stamp your name in it because once you start discussing it with friends, they'll want to borrow it.

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Anonymous said...

"A Christian with an 'unhappy' brain tries unsuccessfully to live an impulsively religious life." Or a *compulsively* religious life.

Anonymous said...

Goodness! You are a book review-writin' fiend! I feel so inadequate! :o)