In her latest book “Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to a Divinely Inspired Life”, Dr. Christiane Northrup has put together a truly holistic guide to the good life. She brings together medical research with time-honoured wisdom, as well as decades of experience as an obstetrician/gynecologist, to provide a comprehensive approach to living life fully and joyfully.
Dr. Northrup has long championed a holistic view of women’s health, one that includes a woman’s life story in her health history. In her latest volume, she continues to embrace the fundamental idea that body, mind, spirit and soul are one. In order for the physical body to be healthy, the other elements likewise must be in a state of health. Physical symptoms are a sign of dis-ease inviting us to look inward to find wholeness and healing.
Much of the book is devoted to different domains of physical, emotional and spiritual health, told through anecdotes and encouraging stories in an empowering voice. However, the central tenet of this work is creating a healthier life by co-creating with spirit through prayer and devotional practices, and allowing the divine to guide our choices. Inherent to this idea is trust in a larger blueprint of life and unconditional acceptance of the present as part of an intelligent whole.
Dr. Northrup broadens her view of health to a transpersonal or cosmic dimension, so that it includes astrology, reincarnation and past life regression. She argues that these “unconventional” concepts, although not recognized or accepted in mainstream medicine, may in fact play a key role in healing. She posits that knowledge of past lives may guide us in the lessons we are to learn in this lifetime. The ultimate goal, however, is to learn to be a “divine co-creator” in this life.
Though Dr. Northrup’s body of work has focused largely on women’s health, she shifts in this offering to speak to an audience of both men and women. Her prose is accessible, honest and inviting. Most of all, I found it to be not only an exploration of wellness, but a guide to a joyful orientation towards life.
As a medical doctor myself, I agree with her argument that the current reductionist model of Western medicine is lacking and cannot create health simply by eradicating disease. One of the common criticisms of so-called holistic medicine is the inability to evaluate certain non-physical principles vis-à-vis the body and its workings in a scientifically rigorous way. While that may be true to some degree—or perhaps no longer so true as technology now allows us to explore the material world, the human brain and mind in remarkable depth—the truth remains that love, belonging and community, and a sense of mystery of our place within all of life, are fundamental to the human condition, and therefore a fundamental determinant of health. My hope is that as a society, we continue to evolve to a view that recognizes and harmonizes with timeless, creative forces. I feel that Dr. Northrup’s book helps to move us positively in that direction.
Karen Ho, MD, received a medical degree and completed her neurology residency training at Queen’s University Medical School in Kingston. She is currently in private practice in Ottawa, Ontario and also takes part in teaching and mentorship. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, dance and visual arts.