The Edge Effect: A Must Read

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I recently read Dr. Bravermen’s, The Edge Effect. I read it upon recommendation from Beverly Meyer. I love this book and I think everyone can improve their health by reading it so I decided to write a review and see if I can spark anyone’s interest:

The director behind every human melodrama is the brain. We credit our brains for our eureka moments, foggy memories, and any sort of mood or funk we may be in. However, most people completely ignore the brain’s ties with the body’s physical function. Before reading Dr. Braverman’s book, The Edge Effect, I had never thought to associate allergies, arthritis, osteoporosis, weight gain, food cravings, backaches, or muscle tension with brain function. Now it seems so obvious–of course the brain and spinal cord control every movement, reflex, decision, and sensation in the body! Most people learn that in basic high school biology. But from a treatment standpoint, the role of the brain and neurotransmitters is often overlooked in favor of a symptom’s local dysfunction. While this manner of treatment can often produce effective reduction in symptoms, Dr. Braverman persuasively argues for a more global treatment approach by taking a closer look at the patterns and the effectiveness of the brains internal communication and it’s communication with the rest of the body.

Every message is sent through our body by electrical pulses. These electrical pulses are transmitted from neuron to tiny neuron via neurotransmitters. Neurons do not physically touch other neurons; it is neurotransmitters that carry electrical pulses across these neuron-neuron gaps and thus have an integral impact on the effectiveness of the body’s internal communication system. Dr. Braverman explores the function of the body’s communication with respect to these chemical messengers and the speed, voltage, rhythm, and synchrony of electrical signals they transmit. Dopamine, Acetylcholine, GABA, and Serotonin are four primary neurotransmitters in the brain and the stars of The Edge Effect.

In his book, Dr. Braverman gives a great introduction to how neurotransmitters function in the brain and the responsibility that each of the four primary neurotransmitters has in a healthy functioning body. Dopamine is responsible for voltage which translates to power and excitement but a deficiency can manifest itself as balance problems, joint pain, and low sex drive–just to name a few; Acetylcholine is responsible for brain speed, of which an abundance manifests as creativity and a deficit can appear in the form of arthritis, autism, glaucoma, osteoporosis, and more; GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and has a calming, stabilizing effect but you wouldn’t expect that low levels could result in allergies, chronic pain and muscle tension–even stroke and seizures; Serotonin resynchronizes the brain and lends itself to present and playful temperaments whereas a lack of serotonin is associated with PMS, allergies, urinary frequency, insomnia, and headaches among others (85% of Serotonin is found in the gut, therefore gut health and Serotonin levels are closely related). This is a very simplified review of the role that these influential neurotransmitters play. To find out more I highly recommend reading The Edge Effect for yourself.

Even if you are not suffering from any particular ailment, Dr. Braverman gives you the tools you need to sharpen your brain, and even adjust flaws in your temperament. He calls this “the edge effect”. Though I would not recommend following his diet plan (I disagree with his advocation for artificial sweeteners, whole grains, and low-fat foods) he does provide a lot of valuable insight into the workings of the body. The book includes a test to determine your ‘dominant nature’ (which of the primary neurotransmitters is dominant in your brain) as well as any deficiencies that you may have. He also provides some lifestyle changes and herbal supplements to use to restore balance to your brain and achieve the edge effect.

I have loved reading this book and now refer to it frequently for any questions I have about neurotransmitter balance. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to explore his or her health and well being from a fresh and informative perspective. Dr. Eric Braverman has written this scientifically based book in language that any one can understand and it is full of valuable information that everyone interested in their personal health should know.

Thanks for reading! I would love to know about any health related books that you have enjoyed lately–whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Leave me a comment if you have a recommendation!

Lauren

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