8 Weeks to Optimum Health

A Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy- 8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, MD

Synopsis of Content:

In 8 Weeks to Optimum Health the author teaches the reader about the need to change bad health habits, the potential rewards for doing so, including a longer life, and the methods for doing so.

Dr. Weil presents an 8 week program. He uses 8 weeks because he says that is how long it will take for someone to truly make a lasting change in their health related habits. In each week the author instructs you on how to make changes in different health related activities and also introduces new concepts.

In Week One he touts the value of supplements. Weil is a big believer in supplements, the right kinds that is and for the right reason. He suggests going through your pantry to get rid of foods that are not good for you and stocking those that are. He also begins the pattern for each part discussing recommended supplements, diet, exercise and attention to one’s spiritual and mental health.

In Week Two the project is to insure that you have safe drinking water. He expounds upon the chemicals and metals found in much of our drinking water and discusses filtering systems. In Week Three the project is about organic foods and certain threatening devises such as electric blankets. In Week Four Focuses on the need for and ways to insure adequate sleep. Week Five suggests the benefits of steam baths and saunas. Week Six suggests some tonics that can help enhance health. Week Seven stresses the need to do for others as a way of maintain a healthy mental and social life. Each of these chapters includes the discussion of additional recommended supplements, diet, exercise and attention to one’s spiritual and mental health. He wraps up with actual recipes for healthy eating.

In each chapter he includes the story of someone who has experienced healing through modification of their lifestyle along the lines he recommends. Most chapters include recipes.

In the last 12 chapters Dr. Weil modifies and customizes the 8 week plan for those over 50, those over 70, those under 20, for men, for women, for pregnant women, parents of young children, those living in big cities, those who travel frequently, those who are overweight and those for heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The book is thorough and well thought out. Dr. Weil advocates some theories and ideas that are not widely accepted in the medical or scientific community. To some extent he may be ahead of his time and to some extent he may be just plain wrong. The reader must look at this information with a critical eye and one should not depend upon any single source as their only source of health care information.

Regardless of how much of his theories one accepts this book is engaging and informative and would be good for anyone to read to expand their understanding of what is required for good health.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

Weil writes in a very easy style to read. His book is very well organized.

Notes on Author:

Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, is a graduate of the Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He worked as a research assistant with the National Institute of Mental Health for 15 years. He is founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona and director of the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine. He is a big proponent of integrative medicine, adopting practices not only from Western allopathic theory but from Eastern and Third World theory as well.

Related Website:


Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

Disclaimer: this information is drawn from Dr. Weil’s book but is not intended to be used as medical advice. The review author is not a medical professional. You should consult your medical professional for personal medical advice.

1. What you put in your body, including food, water and air, has a large impact on your health. You need to insure that the quality of those things is the very best you can acquire.

2. Your mental and spiritual health is as important as your physical well being – they are interconnected and you cannot maintain good health in one sphere without good health in the other.

3. Health is a dynamic condition which is always changing. You must be aware of your health and act to protect it to remain healthy. There are no quickie health solutions. 

Publication Information:  

8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil, MD

©1997 Andrew Weil, MD. Published by Alfred K. Knopf

Rating for this Book:        

Overall Rating:         Very Good with Appropriate Caution

Writing Style:            Very Good

Application:              Very Useful

Technical Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.