Book Review: Strong Medicine by Chris Hardy

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This was the very first book read when I started my health changing journey, one which. I continue to refer to it in almost all of my consultations. It really helped me understand in a clear clever methodology, how and why stress is the main driver of chronic disease and obesity through poor nutritional and lifestyle choices.

Strong Medicine is written in a totally different style to any other book I have read. It places the reader at the forefront of the narrative, asking you to assume the position of a soldier at war. A war against poor health, chronic disease, and early debilitating death. Here is the introduction:

We are at war, and we are losing. We are losing badly. This is not a war against countries or ideologies. This war is not fought with bullets or bombs, but with pharmaceuticals. The frontlines of the battleground are our hospitals, clinics, and local doctors’ offices. This is a worldwide war against chronic disease and there are few places on Earth left untouched. The enemy is upon us in full force and the frontlines are collapsing.

Chronic disease is the biggest killer of humanity. As I write this today at the end of April 2019, we sit in a new world of Covid-19 which has to date killed over 200,000 people. Chronic diseases which include cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease and many more, were estimated to have killed more than 30 million people in 2016. That number continues to rise and is predicted to climb even further.

Let’s just take a moment here shall we and look at that again. Globally, more than 30 million people will die each year from chronic disease. That is 30 million people tied up in healthcare systems, being treated for preventable diseases at enormous cost. In the USA, it is estimated that 70% of deaths are associated with chronic disease, with close to 150 million people being affected by these diseases at any one time.

The saddest part to all of this is that most chronic diseases are preventable. Of course not all cancers as an example are preventable. But many are, as they are caused by a chronic build up of stress and poor lifestyle habits over many years of neglect. Neglect which is often not the fault of the disease carrier, because they are simply not aware of the damage they are doing to their bodies.

Strong Medicine breaks down the knowledge into 3 main phases:

  • Phase 1: Basic Training
  • Phase 2: Knowing The Enemy
  • Phase 3: Battle Plan

Each phase builds upon the knowledge previously learned, until you have a bulletproof armour of knowledge against the advance of stress and chronic disease.

Phase 1 focuses on the causes of stress, and how this stress inflames your body with damaged cells called “free radicals”. It also explains the basics of macronutrient and micronutrient nutrition. 

Although Basic Training is a complicated subject and can be hard to get through, Strong Medicine uses images and analogies to make even the most technical subject easy to understand and retain. These are analogies I use in all of my nutrition coaching as they have proven time and again to be incredibly effective at getting the message across.

Phase 2 tackles the enemies fighting our desire for a healthy life. Incorrect doctrines inbuilt over the years of listening to false information propagated by big pharmacy, food and government. It looks in detail at the obesity epidemic, how to tackle stress, and ways to improve sleep.

Phase 3 builds a battle plan as to how to build your bulletproof armour through using quality nutrition sources which help reduce stress and inflammation. This section also defines the best exercise strategy to help build your armour, being muscle growth through resistance training. 

Strong Medicine remains one of my most important go-to books when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. The analogies and diagrams used are invaluable as learning tools. I would recommend this to anybody who has a desire to improve their health, but has struggled to grasp basic principles elsewhere. A true gem of a book, and one I will read over and refer to multiple times.

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