When looking for information on natural healing or non-prescription ways to improve health, people commonly visit a local retailer that specializes in health products. While some local businesses offer supplements and natural products on their shelves, they also contain small libraries with information for improving or maintaining good health.
Nature’s RX, owned by Trish and Jim Day who have been in the business for more than 20 years, offers books for sale that address a myriad of health conditions, maintaining wellness, and also specific supplements.
“The books cover things like cooking, specific types of supplements like herbs and vitamins, specific conditions such as cancer, arthritis, pain, diabetes…” Jim Day said.
He added that one of the most popular-selling books in his store over the years is one called “The Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” which is also on the shelf in a Spanish-language version.
“It tells about the nutrients, how to use them, what conditions they apply to,” he said.
On the shelves are single copies of different books, as well as titles with multiple copies in stock for students who are taking health classes in massage, chemistry and nutrition, and such.
Day pointed out, that as the storeowners, they don’t make medical claims but can help direct people to certain products or to certain books to learn more about a topic if they have more questions.
Nature’s RX manager Jenny Knowles said that along with the shelves of books, they also have a number of 10- to 40-page booklets that are under $5 each with information about various supplements.
“They’re great guides for people to get started,” she said of the booklets.
Day added that the booklets are about specific issues such as ADHD, heart health, arthritis, or specific supplements like SAMe or glucosamine.
In addition, the supplement manufacturers also provide free pamphlets or booklets about the science behind the products, he said.
“There’s a tremendous amount of information on the Internet but you have to be very careful about it because there can be a lot of exaggerated claims, which can make people sour on the industry as a whole,” Day added. “We don’t deal in miracles. We deal in safe and sane approaches… A lot of the things we recommend, we’ve tried… My wife and I complement each other as far as information goes.”
Lori Salsa-Scheftic, owner of Oakdale Nutrition Center (ONC), agrees about the risks of getting health information solely off the Internet.
“I think books are better than the Internet for information because they have (citations) to back up what they say,” she said. “…In a book, I think (the information) is a lot more reliable.”
She reported that she’s owned her store for 22 years. One of her best sellers, and one she views as her “health bible” is called “Healthy Healing.” She keeps an edition open and on display for her customers to use as a reference and also has copies for sale. It contains alphabetized information on health conditions and recommends diet and lifestyle support therapy, as well as herbal, super food, and supplement therapy.
ONC also offers subject-specific booklets, manufacturers booklets, and other full-length books with information on wide-ranging health topics.
Abundance!, an annex book and gift shop that opened this past summer and shares space with the Holistic Life Institute in Oakdale, features a few spiritual, massage, and holistic health textbooks.
“Most of the books are metaphysical in nature,” said owner Patti Vargas, who has been in the holistic health business since 2005.
She added her shop also has other types of spiritual healing books and noted that she carries textbooks that are used by the students at the Institute but that they are available to anyone who’s interested.
Some of the other books in her shop include topics specific to reflexology, acupressure, herb-ology, homeopathy, aromatherapy, crystal healing, and other practices. Vargas said that her most popular books are those on holistic healing, especially about massage.
“It’s great to look at a book, but it’s great to have hands-on practice,” she said, noting that she also refers people to the Institute to take classes for more learning.
Each of the business owners noted that they will also special order books for customers if they don’t have something on the shelf and can all make recommendations if someone needs help being pointed in a particular direction to find more information.