Interview with Alan Smith

Tell us a bit about your book 'UnBreak your health'.

UnBreak Your Health is the complete guide to the world of complementary and alternative therapies. It's like a map to help you find your own path to better health. I like to think of it as the view from the top of a mountain so you can see everything that's available and the best way to get there.

The book features 300+ listings in 138 different subjects, testimonials and some of the most interesting recent scientific discoveries in a very concise, easy-to-read style. By focusing on therapies and not diet or supplements I've been able to put together a guide to a lot of different healing options. It's the place to start a journey toward better health because if readers find something of interest there is always a website or recommendation where they can go to learn more.

Why did you write this book?

I've been in situations where the doctor says "you'll just have to learn to live with it" and I know from personal experience that it's not a nice place to be. I wanted to help others who found themselves in similar situations or just wanted better health without prescription drugs. When you're sitting there with no idea of what to do next, it can be very scary.

What doctors don't tell you is that what they really mean is there's nothing more they can do for you ... but that there are hundreds of other therapies waiting to help you! There are therapies that have been proven safe and effective for decades, hundreds, even thousands of years that today's medical doctors ignore. We all need to become empowered with as much information as possible so that we know all of our options because that will lead to making the best possible decisions about our own health care.

How did you research for this book?

I had to research in a variety of ways because each therapy was a different situation. Some therapies have been around for thousands of years and have lots of books and articles about them while others were more recent innovations and have very little information available. There were lots of phone calls to national trade associations and interviews with practitioners, and of course I had to try several of them along the way too!

You have a journalism degree. How did this help in the writing of this book?

The process of researching and writing a story is a craft that takes time to learn. I'm very fortunate to have been trained at one of the finest journalism schools in America , the University of Missouri , and that experience made developing UnBreak Your Health much easier. Granted, I was a little rusty at first, but it really was like riding a bike. The more work I did the more my journalism training came back to me.

The most important skill I acquired many years ago was a reporter's perspective for what people want to read. Writing news stories for newspapers, radio and TV in college taught me how to separate the important information from the fluff, the wheat from the chaff as they say. As I was researching my way through a lot of information on a particular subject I had to filter everything out but the most important material. I know the short, simple style of the book is a feature readers appreciate a great deal.

You have taken part in several events as a speaker. How has this affected your book sales?

I've been pleasantly surprised at how many people come up after a speech to buy a copy of UnBreak Your Health. My presentation themes are to take responsibility for your own health, to empower yourself with information and to find your own path to better health. Those aren't easy topics to talk about but there are so many folks who are dissatisfied with their own health and the state of mainstream medicine that they're delighted to discover there are so many options available.

Speaking gives me an opportunity to improve the credibility of complementary and alternative medicine. I talk about how we're at the crossroads of medical research (epigenetics) because how you live your life, down to the power of your own thoughts and feelings can change the functioning of your genes. Today's science is crossing the path of mind-body medicine. We're discovering how many of these complementary and alternative therapies work and it gives them more credibility so people are more likely to try something new, or something old. At least I can make the subject of health entertaining as well as educational!

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

The best place to learn more is on the book's website at There are book reviews, radio interviews and podcasts about complementary and alternative therapies. My publisher tried to get me started doing podcasts for a long time but since I don't own an iPod I kept putting it off because I didn't think it would be very popular. Boy was I wrong! Before I had 25 shows posted on the website we were getting over 6,000 hits and over 700 downloads every week.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Yes, that there is always hope! Just because you haven't found the right therapy yet doesn't mean that there isn't one waiting for you. That's the most important message in UnBreak Your Health. Anyone who's gone from medical specialist to medical specialist knows how frustrating it can be to find the right treatment for a health problem. It can be challenging to find the right CAM therapy too, but just discovering how many more options are out there offers hope. When you discover the right therapy (body, mind, spirit/energy or combination) the improvements in your health can be amazing. It's not just repairing broken health, it really is "unbreaking" your health or taking it back to a point that you didn't even think was possible.

Thanks for talking with me about UnBreak Your Health!


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