Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, wellness wasn’t nearly the cultural phenomenon it is now. It was long before the days of superfoods and meditation retreats and trend-setting celebrity lifestyle gurus took centre stage in the mainstream. Before all THIS, wellness advice was a very different beast – it was a simpler time for every body-dwelling human being and health books followed suit.
Here are six classic books worth checking out for their back-to-basics wisdom.
Our Bodies, Ourselves
By Boston Women’s Health Book Collective and Judy Norsigian
Originally published: 1970
This feminist classic from 1971 went against the grain by helping women to own their sexuality and pleasure, learn more about their reproductive health and rights, and also included chapters specific to lesbian sexuality. This exemplary product of the 70’s has since been revised in 2011 and is as thorough as ever. If you want to master your menstrual cycle, your orgasm, your fertility, don’t Google – refer to this resource.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
By Phyllis A. Balch CNC
Originally published: 1990
Since this book was published in 1990, herbs have made their way well out of niche health food stores and info on them is not hard to find, but this book, a bestseller for years, has stood the test of time and gained trusted-pioneer-status. Gain an overview of the culture of nutritional healing, and refer to the A-to-Z reference guide to illnesses, including what to eat to prevent them.
You Can Heal Your Life
By Louise Hay
Originally published: 1984
I’m not alone when I say I have a place in my heart for Louise Hay. Her books generally fall into the realm of new age, but personally, when I really need to find my inner parent, Louise’s voice HELPS. This is her first book, where she laid the foundation for her (influential) approach to health. In Louise’s world, causes of “dis-ease” include stress and unhealthy thought patterns. This book instructs positive thinking in the most simple-as-possible way. If you’re into affirmations and you haven’t checked out this book, definitely do.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing
By Christiane Northrup
Originally published: 1994
This is the closest thing you’ll find in a bookstore to an owner’s manual for the female body. Women’s health expert Dr. Northrup covers everything you need to know about your bod – the ins and outs of your reproductive system to your breast tissue to your chakras. After reading this, you’ll know how to manage PMS, transform infertility, and more intuitively understand your body’s messages.
Staying Healthy With the Seasons
By Elson M. Haas
Originally published: 1981
This book was a foundational part of the season-based lifestyle theory, which is all about eating with the seasons and resting when the world is and taking action when it is too. We may be basically cyborgs at this stage in world history, but this guide will give you everything you need to know to get in-sync with nature from the inside out – exercise practices, diet plans, DIY herbal recipes, etc. Unplug and read this, feel a little more human.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy
By Sarah Ban Breathnach
Originally published: 1995
In a similar vein to Chicken Soup for the Soul, Simple Abundance is a collection of feel-good essays that focus on joy, gratitude, and happiness. With 366 dedicated snack-sized readings, it could be used as a ‘mindful moment in your day’ – a ritual so many women who have loved this book over the years have benefited from. Keep it in your bedside drawer, and start, or close your day off right.