Licensed to Thrive: A Mouth Owner’s GPS to Vibrant Health & Innate Immunity
By Dr. Felix Liao, DDS
Crescendo Publishing LLC
The first time I read Dr. Weston A. Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, I was shocked and awed. The words were good. . . but the pictures! The images Dr. Price captured conveyed, by themselves, all that anyone should ever need to know about the unrelenting damage the “displacing foods of modern commerce” do to humanity.
So, any author who includes images from Price’s work immediately warms my heart (and if you haven’t read Price’s book, you should!). Pictures are a big part of Dr. Felix Liao’s book, Licensed to Thrive, one of numerous new titles focusing on the connection between dental health and whole health.
Liao builds on the work of many others. In addition to Dr. Price, influences include Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Dr. David Brownstein, Sally Fallon Morell and dozens more. As a result, well-versed Weston A. Price Foundation members will find a fair bit of information that they are already familiar with. The question is, what does Dr. Liao add to this already large pile of information?
At its core, the book provides practical steps for those who have significant oral health and development issues. With its starting assertion that “oral health is more than healthy teeth,” Licensed to Thrive seeks to lay out what robust oral health looks like, how it connects to other areas of health and disease and what you can do if you suffer from certain oral health issues.
I enjoyed Liao pointing out that health issues are often cyclical in nature. A mouth issue can lead to a health issue (like weight gain), which then creates additional mouth issues (such as sleep apnea). That issue then creates other health issues, and those make the ones that caused them in the first place even worse. Moreover, a problem in one part of the body can lead to a faraway problem in another, leading to yet another problem in another part of the body. These cycles of illness and disease feed upon each other as people feed upon the low-quality foods that rob them of health and life. According to Liao, it isn’t enough to break the cycle; one must create new cycles that support—rather than steal—health.
For some readers, Licensed to Thrive may step on some sacred cows. For example, Liao discusses the problems with drinking cold beverages with meals and points out health connections you may not be aware of, such as the possibility of adult tongue ties causing pain and other problems, or the connection between certain misshapen body parts and improper thyroid function. He also describes the connection between pot belly, sleep apnea and erectile issues in men.
The book is slightly sales-pitchy, as Dr. Liao’s work on “impaired mouth syndrome” has led to the creation of oral appliances that seek to correct issues related to improper form and function. Liao also discusses the benefits people may derive from orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT). The sales pitch, though, is driven by Liao’s success in helping people and his desire to equip others to replicate his work repairing the damage our food system and lifestyles have done to our bodies.
There is a great deal to consider in this over-three-hundred-page book. Liao’s approach to treating problems is both holistic and compelling, as he constantly pushes us to move past symptoms to root causes, focusing on what we can do to fix the root causes rather than throwing time and money away chasing symptoms. Perhaps my biggest (small) quibble in reading this book was that some readers who are interested in pursuing certain techniques to improve their health or address an issue may be left wanting more detailed information and guidance. But perhaps one of Dr. Liao’s other books already covers these details, so I may just need to go and read the rest of his works! Two thumbs up.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2021🖨️ Print post