Life 2 the Full by Raymond Floodgate

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Life 2 the Full by Raymond Floodgate

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Category: Lifestyle
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A thought-provoking look at how we could make our lives so much better, both on a personal and a global level.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 238 Date: August 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1524661540

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Raymond Floodgate is a certified Reiki master and teacher amongst other things. He was a practitioner and instructor of Shokotan karate, but concluded that it wasn't right for him. He's now moved to Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation: but his primary aim is preventing illness and it was this which tempted me to read his book. After a health scare some years ago I took a hard look at my lifestyle, changed a lot about the way that I ate and exercised - and have never looked back since: I was interested to know what Floodgate could add to my knowledge. He stresses that the changes he'll suggest will not make you live longer but they will make you live better.

I've read far too many book recently where simply eliminating certain elements from your diet (gluten seems to be the current favourite) will turn your life around: there's little or no consideration of the other factors which affect health. Floodgate takes a multi-pronged approach, covering exercise, the food we eat, energy, breathing, relaxation and stress. He's living proof that the approach works, not having been to the doctor for some twenty years. Refreshingly there's stress on the fact that exercise should be appropriate: exercise which is too strenuous will harm you and is thus counter-productive. He favours qigong and t'ai chi and the arguments which he puts forward are compelling. His advice on food is perhaps more forgiving that my own approach - he recommends 80% healthy food and some leeway in the other 20% - but following his advice you'll eat well. He's open-minded about food, to the point where he wouldn't eat genetically modified food now but accepts that it might be necessary and acceptable in the future.

I'd been following his method of breathing (from the diaphragm, rather than heaving the shoulders up and down which results in shallow breathing) without knowing the background. I'd add to what Floodgate says that it's actually easier to breathe properly if you're not overweight. There's excellent advice on chi, relaxation and stress management. I liked his advice on not gossiping and avoiding egotistical behaviour - if everyone followed this the world would be a better place! I liked too his approach of preventing illness rather than curing it - it makes sense all round, economically and physically to use remedies for problems which don't involve taking drugs first.

I found the second part of Floodgate's book more challenging, not because it was difficult to understand but because I reacted against it, but then realised that there were elements of it with which I agreed, or at least could see the rationale. He advocates the abolition of money, with everyone being given what they need to lead a fulfilling, happy and healthy life. Each of us would be working for the common good, but this would require that there was global agreement for this to be implemented. Floodgate paints an enticing picture of the resulting Utopia, but does admit that it's unlikely to come about. I could argue with numerous individual suggestions, but Floodgate makes a valid point when he says that the world is not in a good state and something needs to be done to improve it. His ideas are thought-provoking, if impractical.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

Raymond Floodgate believes that the world is run by wealthy, manipulative people who run everything for their own benefit. He might find himself in sympathy with Owen Jones.

You can read more about Raymond Floodgate here.

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