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February 23, 1990 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Some Tips
From 'Hints'


Special to The Jewish News


f "wellness" is one of the
health field's buzzwords
for the '90s, then Dr. Don
Powell is probably going
to do very — uh, you
should excuse the expression
— well.
In fact, as the decade
rounds out it first month, a
chat with Powell reveals he's
doing just fine, thank you.
Powell, a psychologist who
heads the Southfield-based
American Institute for
Preventive Medicine, finds
himself on the receiving end
of a mini-blitz of local and na-
tional media attention as
sharply rising medical costs
push the focus of staying
healthy into the "before" — as
opposed to the "after" —
illness-hits mode.
The favorable reception to
Powell's A Year of Health
Hints: 365 Practical Ways to
Feel Better and Live Longer
published by Rodale Press
last December, has increased
that recognition. The book,
Powell's first, has sold more
than 50,000 copies and is in-
to its second hardcover prin-
ting, Powell said.
The slick, breezy 372-page
combination self-help
manual/medical reference
book was the subject of a re-
cent short feature in Gan-
USA Weekend
magazine. And health tips
culled from the book began
appearing daily in the Detroit
Free Press in late January.
Powell meanwhile has logg-
ed television appearances on
the weekday morning pro-
grams of all three major na-
tional networks, as well as
cable, to discuss preventive
medicine, or the art of staying
out of the doctor's office
unless it's absolutely



Powell's expertise is health psychology.

A Tip A Day

. . . will help keep the doctor away, says
`Hints' author, preventive medicine
specialist Dr. Ron Powell.

So how does Powell deal
with his newfound semi-
celebrity status? Apparently
with his head on straight.
Like the time earlier this
winter when he was involved
in a minor automobile acci-
dent not far from his West
Bloomfield home. "Here I was
trying to get all the pertinent
information from the other
driver, and all the woman
kept saying was, 'You're the
psychologist who's always on
TV. Who are you, anyway?' "
Then there's his youngest
son, Brett, 41/2, who Powell
said sometimes parades
around the house in Daddy's

coat and tie, telling anyone
who cares to listen that he's
"Dr. Don Powell, Ph.D."
Powell isn't frowning on the
added prestige and income,
but his real satisfactions
come from his belief in the
book's mission and the ac-
complishment represented by
its completion.
"I've written journal ar-
ticles and that sort of thing
before, but never anything
like this," the 39-year-old
Powell said. "It was a two-
year process and a lot more
work than I anticipated."
In fact, the volume's catchy
theme of one health tip per

day has more to do with his
editor's talent with a scissors
than to his brilliance, Powell
admitted. "I started out with
about 500 tips that ran about
four or five pages each. At the
rate I was going, the book was
going to run about a thou-
sand pages," said the first-
time author.
The goal, Powell said, was
to write a user-friendly
health manual that wouldn't
end up stacked in-
conspicuously on the back of
the bookshelf. He believes he
was successful. He describes
the end product as "kind of a
hybrid between the American

Don Powell offers what
he calls "user-friendly"
health advice in his guide,
A Year of Health Hints: 365
Practical Ways to Feel Bet-
ter and Live Longer. "Prac-
tical" doesn't necessarily
mean "dull," though. Most
of the advice put together
by Powell and his cast of
experts relates to serious
health issues, and all of it
is informative. Some of it
makes for entertaining
reading, too.
Here are a few edited
• Tip Number 150, titled
"Painless Ways to Eat Less
without Starving," in-
cludes suggestions to "Use
small plates, so portions
look larger" and "Take the
lightbulb out of your
refrigerator — it will cut
down on 'search and con-
sume' forays."
• Tip Number 13, which
lists some of the popular
folk remedies for curing
hiccups, along with the
time-honored paper bag —
and — drinking water
remedies, also suggests
"Swallow(ing) a small
amount of finely cracked
ice" or "Hold(ing) your
tongue with your thumb
and index finger and gent-
ly pull it forward."
And, with the author be-
ing Jewish, it's no surprise
that he includes the follow-
ing in Tip Number 16 on
cold remedies: "Yes,
chicken soup really can
fight a cold. It helps to
clear mucus from nasal
passages, and the broth
contains a substance that
has been shown to inhibit
the common cold virus."



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