Massive Book Reviews

Not since the record-selling child care “bible” by Dr. Benjamin Spock was published has a parenting book made such an impact on helping the parenting community understand the importance of child psychiatry and breaking the doctor-diagnosis-drug cycle. The title says it all, “Please Don’t Label My Child”!

 Scott M. Shannon, MD, a highly experienced pediatric psychiatrist who is board certified in general psychiatry, child/adolescent psychiatry, and holistic medicine has hit the head on the proverbial nail. Dr. Shannon has written a book which defies the current medical system used today which labels our children. In great detail, Dr. Shannon explains the damage currently being done by medical professionals and others who choose to label and medicate our kids instead of treating the behavioral and emotional problems “as the relational, nutritional, and environmental problems they are.”

Have you ever wondered why so many kids in this world today are on psychiatric medication? Kids are getting labeled and mislabeled and are being medicated at astounding rates, yet they don’t seem to be getting much better. To me, that should send up a RED flag to physicians and medical health professionals in the mental health field. Dr. Shannon waives his RED FLAG by writing this book, which explores the very important issue. It’s true—kids are being diagnosed at alarming rates with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder, “and even autistic spectrum disorders”. Dr. Shannon challenges, “Is it because more and more of our children are born with faulty brain chemistry or some other genetically related weakness that makes them more susceptible to these very serious illnesses? I highly doubt it.”

 How do we stop health professionals from mislabeling our children? Could it be that due to our health insurance industry that doctors are feeling the pinch to choose diagnostic codes (labels, if you will) as quick and possible and write prescriptions instead of seek the reason for complex behavioral health issues?

Although life stressors which burden entire families are at an all-time high, it seems that Shannon is on to something big. Attaching a label to a child will not make the child feel better, a label will not make the parents feel good for very long. We need to think outside the box, and define what is considered “normal” in a child.

Kids fall through cracks in the precarious medical system at alarming rates in today’s world. Even “gifted” children are being affected by these labels. Since being labelled, could a child like this suffer from chronic anxiety because he or she is “expected to excel academically at all times.”

Children today need consistent, unconditional love and focused attention. Shannon insists that our tendency to label things has not only left our kids without these important needs, but the right to enjoy a childhood free of damaging and debilitating diagnostic labels.

I would recommend this book to parents, caregivers and those in the health care industry for children of all ages. Whether you are the fortunate parent of an innocent newborn, or whether you are dealing with an out-of-control teenager, this book will help you see beyond the labels and it will show you that the current system is totally upside down. It’s backward, according to Shannon, and after his heart-warming examples and keen insight into the unique problems kids experience, I will say that this book should be in every public library system and hospital/institutional systems in the nation and in the world. Every parenting library—whether it be your personal library or your community’s (your doctor’s, your hospital’s library)– should have access to this revolutionary book which is a treasure to read as it is well written and nicely organized—it is easy enough for parents to understand, whether they have one child or 8 children. It presents complex issues for physicians and healthcare providers. Make it required reading in every medical school in the country. Seriously. This book breaks new grounds for healthcare professionals and Dr. Scott Shannon is a practical physician in this age-old field. He makes sense when the whole system is broken. Let’s fix the bridges and stop the gaps. More importantly, let’s get our children healthy.

By reading this book, you can help your health care provider break up the “rigid doctor-diagnosis-drug cycle” that our system is currently in. Children and their highly adaptable brains need our help to see things from their perspective. It is only then that we can stop the doctors from reaching out to the prescription pad first. Since there is very little science behind most psychiatric labels, psychiatry is the only branch of medicine that has no biochemical test or form of imaging to verify clinical diagnosis. Because clinicians know so very little about the individual brain (as it is based on patient history and personal, subjective judgment), the reliability of psychiatric diagnosis remains poor in clinical practice (according to a recent psychiatry journal article on the consistency of psychiatric diagnosis).

Yes, these doctors are overwhelmed, as are their patients and the parents and caregivers of the patients. Dr. Scott Shannon aims to practice in a system that puts the “power to heal squarely back into the hands of the children and parents” he works with. He sees how strong the young brain is, how adaptable and resilient. He is a great educator. He encourages parents (and institutions) to “look at children differently and to understand more fully how a child’s brain actually works.” By doing this, he is helping our children develop “the mental and emotional resources they’ll need for succeeding in life”. His goal? Quite simple, yet so challenging. Says Dr. Shannon, “My goal is to empower families to take ownership of their emotional and mental health, to learn the tools needed to identify and combat brain stress, and to learn how to effectively eliminate the offending stressers from their lives. When I’m able to facilitate this, I get to step back and watch the flowering of ever member of a family, from the youngest to the oldest.” It should be noted that Dr. Shannon’s method is one of moderation and restraint. His book is meant to empower others to break free of the doctor-diagnosis drug cycle. He strongly believes that labeling is used too often, but notes that sometimes it can be useful to first aggressively treat initial symptoms a child may display.

Julie Lowicki is a wife and super mom to five young children in Chandler, AZ. I asked Julie to read this book and to give me her opinion on it, based on her years of parenting young children with her husband. Julie called this book “a good wake up call to parents that they should be more involved and in tune with their children”. She cited Dr. Shannon’s mention of the environmental stressers as causes of children’s mental unhealthiness as one of the most valuable parts of this book.

Julie’s favorite chapter was Relationships and the Young Brain. According to Julie, “it affirmed how I raised my kids, but also provided the scientific facts to prove that attachment parenting is BEST! In my 10 years as a parent, there has been a wave of influence on parents to practice the opposite: all in the name of scheduling a child to fit the caregiver’s routine. I have seen children in their toddler years and older with major detachment issues as well as signs of significant stress because of this,” adds Julie.

There are many examples of children that Dr. Shannon has seen through his years in his pediatric practice. Julie loved the examples that Dr Shannon gave. She said that they provided the reader with great insight into how a balanced psychiatrist would handle many different issues.

Julie admits that while she hasn’t experienced teaches getting involved in psychiatric diagnoses of children, she has heard “from too many friends lately” that their children have been diagnosed with mild forms of autism, ADHD, violent behavior, and even bipolar disorder.

Dr. Shannon provides great insight into the importance of nutrition and the child brain. Julie also felt that the dietary guidelines for a healthy child were “key”. Other critical areas which she identified with included the “fit” dynamic in a family. Respecting and being in tune with all of the family’s differences were addressed and Julie found these mentions important in their method to rearing their own young family.

Also important were practical sections on helping your kids deal with stress, and the different learning styles of children.

“I loved the whole book!! I highly recommend it to all adults but especially parents, teachers, pastors, counselors and anyone who is involved with children,” Julie said.

We totally agree with Julie, here at The Review Two thumbs up to Dr. Scott Shannon for his “must-read” book which provides parents and health care providers with a well-written medical reference which spells out, loud and clear, how labeling a child has proved to be dangerous and has caused millions of our children to suffer greatly (their health, their self-esteem, their ability to thrive and fit in and their capacity for joy and success).

Although labels may have been thought to help our children initially, the facts are staggering. The number of children in our country who were prescribed psychiatric medication TRIPLED from 1987 to 1996. If this horrible trend is allowed to continue, within a generation, accord to Dr. Scott Shannon, half of all American children will be on some kind of psychiatric drug. Truly, this should be a RED light alert to physicians and mental health providers everywhere. It is time to look at the numbers and realize that according to at least one study, 65 percent of children and adolescents taking behavioral medications were also on antidepressants. What this means is frightening: kids are on two or more psychiatric drugs at a time despite there being “little or no research on what the effects of combining such drugs has on children”. Our doctors, who continue to pull out the prescription pads, have “no body of scientific research to prove that these drugs are safe for our children over the long term.”

Let’s help our physicians “undiagnose” our children by addressing each label that has been stuck on to our kids today. Put the P-Touch label maker away and save the labels for scrapbooking projects! Perhaps, by hesitating to label children so often, their brains will given the chance to continue to grow and heal themselves, adapting to their stresser environments by tapering off (slowly discontinuing) psychiatric drugs which may, in fact, compound their problems. It is then that our children’s self esteem will thrive. And it is then that our families will develop total awareness of the frightening amount of labelling going on in the medical world.There is no one-size-fits all diagnosis when it comes to our kids. Let’s take Dr. Shannon’s advice and break away from the label system, which seems to do more damage than good.

How to Stop Your Bike Being Stolen

Imagine the situation: you have dropped in at the café but you can’t concentrate on talking with your friend because your bike is parked outside and not in a proper way; or you are lying in your bed, the window in your room is open and whenever you hear some noise you rush to the window to see whether your bike is still tied to the bike rack. Sounds familiar? If your answer is yes, then you definitely have a problem with your bike security.

As we know to get over a problem one needs either to get rid of the problem or to change their attitude to it. As for the attitude one really needs iron nerves not to care about the security of their bike when it is tied to the pole with just a weak chain. But to get rid of the problem itself one just need the best bike lock.

If you carefully look through bike lock reviews you will be relieved to find out how many options to secure your bike there are: chain and cable locks, u-locks made of a variety of materials and coming in different sizes. Of course, professional bike thieves keep inventing new ways to take possession of your bike, still bike lock manufacturers are not legging behind. Bike lock is finally a reality.

Insuring a bike lock against theft is common practice nowadays. But even if you get a refund you still can’t get back your bike that probably took you a lot of time to find. Besides with some bike locks there is an opportunity to register for an anti-theft protection of quite considerable amount money. That means that in case the bike lock fails to protect the bicycle you can still get money back.

Bike lock reviews will give you an insight in this wonderful world of bike locks. Keen cyclists probably will not restrict themselves to buying only one item. It’s just that each type of lock is good for each particular situation. Heavy chain looks are irreplaceable for home use, long cable ones are necessary if you take a lot of friends on your cycling trips and need to tie your bikes together, quality u-locks are universal and a set of several locks are required if you are not ready to sacrifice any of the parts of your bike (some thieves may choose to remove one of the wheels if they can’t unlock the whole unit. But in case both wheels are fastened to the frame with bike locks there is no way they can do it). Of course, you don’t need to buy all the above-mentioned – it all depends.

As a result of buying a bike lock you sleep tight, you can drop by any place when cycling without the fear that the bike can be stolen. There are so many things we constantly worry about but don’t let bike security be one of these things. There are not that many appliances you can rely on these days but a good bike lock is worth your trust.

Clore Automotive JNC660 1700 Peak Portable Jump Starter Review

The JNC660 portable jump starter, considered by pros to be the best automotive battery charger.  Clore Automotive JNC660 Jump StarterHaving your car battery die is one of the most frustrating and common car problems, right up there with oil leaks.  If your automobile breaks down, and you don’t have a car battery jumper, then your only hope is for someone to help you jump start your car.  The big difference between a dead battery and the other typical car issues is that when your car battery dies, you aren’t going anywhere. You’ll be stuck by the side of the road, stranded, and in extreme cases, in the middle of nowhere, with no one around to offer assistance!

That’s why it just makes sense to invest in a car battery jumper.  If you’re looking for a reliable portable battery jumper packed with power then the Clore Automotive JNC660 is an excellent choice. The Clore automotive portable jump starter is the best starter and the most powerful auto battery charger in the market.

Clore Automotive Portable Jump Starter Features

  • It provides a powerful 12v jump starter peak amp to immediately jump start your vehicle.
  • It’s efficient as well as small enough to store just about anywhere.
  • The JNC660 jump starter also comes with cables that are about four feet long, long enough to make jump starting your car hassle-free.
  • Its own built-in DC outlet, just in case you want to plug in DC accessories.
  • Its real bargain for its price when you consider the peace of mind and convenience it provides.

The biggest benefit of the Clore JNC660 portable jump starter is that it offers a much more powerful charge than the majority of other jump starters on the market today. If you can’t manage to get your car started with this, then chances are you have a bigger issue other than a dead battery.  This jumper has received a variety of positive reviews from actual users who were completely satisfied with their purchase. Many stated that they couldn’t believe they waited this long to purchase one. Owner Reviews

However, the Clore automotive battery charger is not for everyone. This charger is made for professionals or anyone with a technical knowledge on charging car batteries.  Unlike less superior commercial portable jump starters the Clore JNC660 doesn’t come with added safety features for less mechanically inclined users, such as: improper connection safety and an overcharging indicator.

Although the the Clore Automotive JNC660 battery jumper doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles that other battery charger contain. The Clore battery booster is a smart investment and is one of the best options available today for its price, reliability and power.

Schwinn Airdyne Exercise Bike: A Balanced Review

With today’s society focusing so much on the weight loss and staying fit and active, it is important to know what exercise equipment is worth the investment, and which ones fall completely short. Today, we are looking at the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike, one of the more prestigious pieces of exercise equipment available today. Schwinn has made quite a name for itself selling high quality bikes and exercise equipment, and their name represents durability, comfort, as well as effective fitness techniques. Does the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike hold up to Schwinn’s tradition of quality?

While being very expensive, it does indeed. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to this model. It ranges from around 630 dollars to 750 dollars new and can be purchased used from anywhere between 450 to 550 dollars. They are available online and through various outlets that carry exercise equipment, luckily being a Schwinn it is not very hard to come by, and if you don’t like shopping online is most likely available at a store near you.

Most of the reviews out there give the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike 9 out of 10, while they vary, most of the positive reviews say it’s a deal even at the price because of the amount of use one can get out of it. It is not something you will likely have to replace in your lifetime and the lifestyle change and comfort that comes with it is easily worth the money you have to invest. Many of the reviews of this bike say they have had theirs working for around a decade and the newer models continually improve on older ones.

The most frequent complaints that the Schwinn receives about these bikes are that they are difficult to assemble; and while it does require assembly, so does nearly any other bike of this model unless you are buying the floor model. Once you have the thing assembled it can last you decades before having any issues. Also, since the majority of the reviews don’t mention issues with assembly and only praise the quality and comfort of the bike, one can assume that it is only user error that leads to issues with the assembly of the bike.

When you purchase a piece of Schwinn equipment, one expects a standard of quality, comfort, durability, and satisfactory results when working out. The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike continues to deliver these results after decades of selling them, and today is only more reliable than ever. For the price that it costs, you get a product that is completely worth the money, and will most likely never have to be replaced. The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike continues to be a symbol of quality amidst the massive amounts of exercise equipment out there.

Do you own a Stamina exercise bike? Also, are you finding your elliptical and/or rowing machine boring? Well who wouldn’t get tired of doing the same old exercises every week?! Did you know that stationary cycling is one of the most effective low-impact aerobic exercises for increasing your metabolism? This results in efficient calorie burning which is as effective as running but you will save your joints a lifetime of pain when you reach old age.

I first noticed the Stamina exercise bike at a gym that my neighbor took me to. I only use exercise bikes on the days I work my legs and, fortunately, that day was such a day. I am going to talk about that particular Stamina exercise bike model I used which was the Stamina Magnetic Upright 5325 Exercise Bike. This particular bike was designed for those who want to push themselves harder in every new workout. The features on this bike have the ability to take your training to the next level for every single workout.

The Features

  • Smooth, quiet, magnetic resistance
  • 6 preset fitness programs with pace guide
  • Easy-to-reach tension dial controls the tension levels
  • InTouch® monitor with large, easy to read numbers
  • Monitor tracks time, seed, distance, calories, pulse, and scans with simple, one-button control
  • Oversized, weighted pedals
  • Levelling stabilizer caps
  • And many more…

A Few Pros and Cons

Let’s start off with the con(s). Okay, the first time I used this bike it felt as if I was going to break it somehow, seriously! I was so paranoid every time I pushed down on the pedals. At first, it seemed so fragile but I kind of got the hang of it 10 minutes later. Also, I have seen better exercise bikes go for a little bit cheaper.

So, what I love about this Stamina exercise bike is that it is extremely easy to put together. I had bought this for my dad’s birthday present and he said it took him less than an hour to set it up from scratch. Also, this bike is very easy on my knee joints, given that I have a history of knee injuries. I can step up my workouts every day without worrying about re-injuring my knee.


For effective training and intensity purposes, I would definitely recommend this Stamina exercise bike. It has all the features (listed and more) necessary for a great workout that would help you burn fat and calories. However, if you are a person who is more into the looks and appearance then you may want to try some other bike.

Happy New Year—Wii love it!

It seems that time just flies when you’re playing the Nintendo Wii. The handhelds can’t compete with the Wii. The Wii can’t compete with Playstation 3 or that other Microsoft product. Wii continue to be impressed, despite ridiculous stories that pop in the media about players who lose control of the Wii remote and break their TV sets. Wii think they’re trying to get Nintendo to divvy up some major change–perhaps hoping the deep pockets at Nintendo will buy them a pricey plasma screen TV because their little brat supposedlly threw their precious Wii remote into the TV set having a tantrum. The Wii is not and should not be used as a babysitter. Especially with little kids, be a responsible adult and supervise the kids.

Wii hope Nintendo’s lawyers stand behind their solid product. Wii is the perfect video gaming platform. It’s safe, it’s the user who has the problems! In the interim, we’re gathering up a bunch of Wii games to let you know what we think of them. It’s pretty safe to say that most Wii games do not disappoint. Here’s to a Wiimarkable New Year–2008!! It’s gotta be great!! Thanks for reading The Review

Start your summer with a bang with Mario and his gang!For one of the hottest entertainment tickets around, don’t miss Nintendo’s Mario Party 8 (Wii). This party game will rock you as you play with motion control–steering hot cars, go-karts, and fun vehicles, rowing down a river in a super-hyper race, walking a tightrope while balancing a pole, and more!Rated E for Everyone, there’s mild cartoon violence but anyone who knows anything about video games will tell you that Mario Party is one of Nintendo’s best selling games and the fact that Mario Party continues to sell nearly 6.5 million games in the USA makes this a huge winner for Nintendo and their loyal fans.

Besides new characters and boards, you’ll get to use the Wii remote in clever way. Motion-sensitive, the Wii remote lets you steer a wheel, operate a boat paddle, or point as you decorate, compete in games, or wage a war against ghosties in a haunted house!  Highly interactive and a great energy source for a real or virtual party, this will be a hot game for your next party with friends whether you’re a kid or a grown-up. Hey, school’s almost out for summer! What a concept!  Dozens of mini-games will have you burning calories as you wield your Wii to success as you beat the competition (mini-games bring out the competitive spirit in anyone semi-serious about gaming)! This comic slugfest is full of fun for most or all of your family!

Wild and definitely crazy, this game lets you shake a can of cola (think your fave brand) and not have to clean up a sticky, gooey mess. Just try not to do in real life, unless you have a maid with time on her hands!  Our favorite? Shooting down ghosties in a haunted house that’ll have you being a hero in no time at all! Think monsters under the bed in a whole new light!!  As always, the Nintendo creative team has outdone themselves with another smash hit–I predict Mario Party 8 will boost sales this summer, considering the timing of the launch just perfect for the end of school PARTIES!! If you’re looking for a hot graduation gift for your favorite gamer, get

So, come along and join the party with a hyped up, energetic, and always hilarious Mario, the delightful Peach and the rest of the gang (including some new characters to spice it up!) as they hit a carnival. Surprises are key to the mini-games and keep your Wii remote hopping with motion control, by pointing, and using the buttons to jump, hop, and run. Lots of action awaits you and your friends in each mini-game–also six new party boards, new game modes and an exciting feature: the ability to transform your character into objects and things (like vampires and boulders). A fresh spin on a format that works well!

Why should you buy this game? This is loaded with exciting mini-games and who can resist Mario Party? Forget the boring board games! Instead, twist and turn it into a digital, interactive romp with tons of mini-games and boards. Search for stars, play one, two, or three or four player modes, and celebrate the power of Wii.

Enjoy as you and your buddies use candy power-ups to transform their characters! Wait until you see Peach transform into a Peach-faced ball!! It’s hilarious! Get Wario to snack on some Vampire Candy and the dude grows wings and flies off to suck coins from the other players!! You gotta get Mario Party 8 (releases May 29, 2007) to understand the intricacies of the games. Definitely worth the $49.99 (MSRP) and we loved every second of game play—it’s one of those games that you’ll play over and over again. Scores high on creativity, replayability and zany entertainment!