Although vital to our well-being and even to our success as a species, the physical sense of balance has never attained the same recognition as sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste. Now, with an epidemic of debilitating falls sweeping America's aging population, the time is ripe for a lively and illuminating tour of the human body's most exquisitely intricate and least understood faculty. BALANCE is the first book written for a general audience that examines the mysteries of the human balance system--the astonishingly complicated mechanisms that allow our bodies to counteract the force of gravity as we move through space. A scientific, historical, and practical exploration of how balance works, BALANCE also provides the keys to remaining upright for as long as humanly possible. From simple motion sickness to astronauts'"space stupids," and from fetal somersaults to the Flying Wallendas, McCredie guides readers on a delightful quest to elevate balance to its rightful place in the pantheon of the senses.
By Nan - July 20, 2007
Mr. McCredie, while on a hike with his father, witnesses his dad simply drop from sight...he fell, lost his balance. From here Mr. McCredie shares with us his research on this sense. I was hitherto unaware of the magnitude of its importance. Happily, I am not in small minded company as Aristotle, Scott writes, did not include balance in his original list of our senses. Balance's history has been facinating...sea sickness, cognitive thinking, a walk in the park, pilots' training, infants' cognitive abilities, camels, Lawrence of Arabia, Lord Nelson, war, astronauts, birds and cats,the mentally ill, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. are just a few of the people and subjects Scott connects by this sense. I am glad I read the book.
As a literary interviewer for Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, I choose Scott McCredie's book initially because his writing style is compatible with my reading style, i.e.,tell me or teach me information on almost any subject, have it reach my... read more
Lost Sense of Balance
By Rita Lyster "Grateful Reader" - September 6, 2009
Last year I was hospitalized with vertigo and nausea.When the tests revealed that I was not having a strokeand my symptoms persisted and I was not able to walk without falling, they diagnosed "labrynthitis" (a virus attack on the celebellum (inner ear). With the help of therapy I was able to regain my balance. This book and its detailed explanation of the three integral components of balance was both enlightening and encouraging and answered my questions as to why certain exercises were prescribed and the necessity to stimulate and challenge nerves and muscles to reawaken the intricate connections betweenparts of the body and the brain were experienced. So I advanced from a wheelchair, to a walker and then a cane, and now I can walk, run and even do the mumbo!I applaud the author for an illuminating,if somewhat dry and scholarly, book. It is well documentedand understandable to the average reader and answers the questions about balance and the possibilities of regaining it, which... read more
a fun read
By B. Hall - July 12, 2007
This was a fascinating book. Mccredie makes a convincing case for including balance as a 6th sense, supporting his thesis with interesting examples from medical research, historical examples, and personal accounts. The bit about JFK Jr's plane crash attributed to a confused vestibular system was particularly good, and the other stories (the "brainport" device, for one) lent contemporary credence to his ideas. He's a great writer, and covers all the bases. I learned a lot. Highly recommended.
The new book by the Author of The Grog Log, Intoxica and Taboo Table. Beach Bum Berry as he is better known is America s leading authority on tropical drinks and polynesian pop-culture. In this all ...