Monday, January 7, 2013

Radical Well-Being: A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness, & Addictions by Rita Hancock, MD – Book Review

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The beginning of a New Year always brings with it the thought that we want to improve our lives. The latest book on my nightstand, Radical Well-Being: A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness, &Addictions, will definitely help with those resolutions!

Here is the synopsis of this book:

What’s Keeping You From Total Wellness? Research increasingly shows a strong connection between our spiritual life, our emotions, and our physical well-being. Yet too often our physical conditions are treated without taking our lives into account. In Radical Well-Being Dr. Rita Hancock shows you how your mind, body, and spirit are connected and addresses the factors that can contribute to – and even cause – illness, addictions, and chronic pain.

If you suffer from medical conditions like fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, neck or back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaw pain, food and drug allergies, depression, anxiety, or unwanted behaviors such as overeating, an eating disorder, overspending, drug abuse or alcoholism, Radical Well-Being will show you a biblical, whole-body approach to overcoming your condition. With nearly twenty years of experience counseling patients from a balanced, mind/body/spirit perspective, Dr. Rita gives you practical advice for healing and wholeness, including how to:

·         identify the lies that affect you on a subconscious level
·         deal with emotional factors that can make your pain feel worse
·         address unwanted addictive behaviors
·         fully accept God’s love and forgiveness on a deep, healing level

True freedom and improved health come when deeply-rooted lies are illuminated and replaced with knowledge from the merciful heart of God. Radical Well-being will help you feel better in all three domains—in your mind, body, and in your spirit. You will end up feeling the way one of Dr. Rita's patients put it: "Like the weight of a skyscraper has been lifted off my shoulders."

Here is the biography of this author:

Rita Hancock, MD, is a board-certified physical medicine specialist with subspecialty board certification in pain management, and she has been in full-time practice in Norman, Oklahoma, for fourteen years. Currently she serves as the Oklahoma delegate for the Christian Medical and Dental Association, as well as their official spokesperson on matters of diet and nutrition.

Dr. Rita's books include The Eden Diet and The Eden Diet Workbook which are about learning to eat in response to physical rather than emotional hunger. Her second book, Radical Well-being:A Biblical Guide to Overcoming Pain, Illness, and Addictions, offers a road map for finding relief if you suffer with nearly any type of symptom or behavior that can be magnified by stress. Examples of such stress-related symptoms or conditions include fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, back or neck pain, migraine headaches, and others.

Dr. Rita writes from the Christian perspective and lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and children. To find out more about her, visit and

This book is divided into five parts:

1.   “You’re No Good” – Bad Old Lies and What They Do to You
2.   The Whole You – Connecting Mind, Body, and Spirit
3.   The Spiritual One – Seeing Through God’s Eyes
4.   Take Captive Every Thought – How Right Thinking Leads to Right Action
    5.   Hope In Your Future – Biblical Steps to Healing and               Health     

In the Introduction, Dr. Hancock asks the question, “Are you eager to get started?:”

Are you at the point where you’re sick and tired of wasting time, money, and mental energy on your problems? Are you finally willing to dig deeper into the emotions and subconscious lies that trigger your unhealthy behavior rather than simply cover up your problems with temporary false comfort? Are you willing to get real with yourself?

By the time patients get to me for their pain and weight problems, they are generally exhausted and ready for deep-down help. I imagine you are too, or you wouldn’t have picked up this book.

My friend, I praise God for your faith and courage! And I pray that your continued reading is blessed with supernatural clarity and receptiveness so that you can feel the same emotional freedom I have experienced, as well as find relief from your unwanted addictive behaviors, physical pain, and stress-induced illness. (p. xix)

Yes, half the battle is acknowledging we are at the end of ourselves and need to ask for help.

Each chapter ends with an ‘Action Point – Questions to Ask God in Prayer.’ I really liked the ones at the end of the chapter entitled ‘Trace Your Triggers:’

·         Lord, will You search my innermost places for areas in which I need emotional, spiritual, and/or physical healing?
·         If I need to revisit past memories, will You promise to help me do that at a rate I can handle?
·         Lord, are there false beliefs mixed into my childhood memories? If so, please bring them to light. Are those beliefs about how I see myself? Or how I see You? Or someone else? Or some situation?
·         Lord, in the place of those false beliefs, will You reveal healing truth? What is the truth about me, You, or the other person or situation?
(p. 19)

Another section that resonated with me was in the chapter ‘You Are Delightful.’ Many Christian women are taught that they are inferior to me. It is not always overt, but it is often there. In the section entitled ‘The Lie That Women Are Worthless or Inferior,’ Dr. Hancock makes this important point:

A stay-at-home, homeschooling mom is not better than a brain surgeon because she spends more time with her kids. And the male CEO of the Fortune 500 company is not better than the mom because he drives a more expensive car. Don’t fall into the accuser’s trap and judge yourself and others with gender-based lies. The judgment is what gets you into trouble. Your worth is not determined by your gender. Your worth is determined by the fact that God sent His only Son to die so that you could be reconciled with Him. (p. 88)

One of the important biblical principles we’ve been focusing on in church is forgiveness. Dr. Hancock has a chapter entitled ‘Forgiveness Sets You Free.’  She shares the importance of forgiving others:
Just as love gives us free will, love requires you to forgive. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He sent His only son to die for our sins. By sending Jesus to die on the cross, God created a bridge to connect Himself with mankind so He could forgive us and be reconciled with us. If God hadn’t loved us so much, He wouldn’t have made this kind of sacrifice. That’s how importance forgiveness is to God. (p. 186)

Dr. Hancock uses several real-life examples of people whose lives have been changed by her medical practice and by applying these life changes. They are inspiring!

In the Conclusion, Dr. Hancock shares that change does not happen overnight:
Your journey to wholeness and healing is a lifelong process, not an instantaneous fix. Hold firm to your Christian belief system, and God will bless you abundantly, not only in terms of your physical health but also with overall peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. (p. 243)

Most of us need help in many areas of life. We often can effectively work on a few issues at a time. I appreciate the fact that this book is broken into sections that we can look at individually. I thank Dr. Hancock for writing this very helpful and important book!

This book was published by Siloam. The Advance Reading Copy was generously provided by the author.

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