Discovering the Body's Wisdom [NOOK Book]


In an attractive, oversized format, enlivened with illustrations, sidebar quotes, personal accounts, techniques to try, and profiles of leaders in the field, Discovering the Body's Wisdom is a basic resource for well-being and natural health.

Body disciplines and therapies have enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past decade, becoming a major alternative to mainstream medicine and traditional psychotherapy. But with more than 100,000 ...
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Discovering the Body's Wisdom

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In an attractive, oversized format, enlivened with illustrations, sidebar quotes, personal accounts, techniques to try, and profiles of leaders in the field, Discovering the Body's Wisdom is a basic resource for well-being and natural health.

Body disciplines and therapies have enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past decade, becoming a major alternative to mainstream medicine and traditional psychotherapy. But with more than 100,000 practitioners and dozens of methods available in the United States alone, how can consumers choose the right one for themselves?

Mirka Knaster's richly informative guide provides an overview of the principles and theories underlying the major Eastern and Western body therapies, or "bodyways." It shows readers how to befriend their own bodies, getting back in touch with their internal sources of health and wisdom. It also describes more than 75 individual approaches, answering such questions as: How does each therapy work? What can we expect from one session or a series? What are the reasons for selecting this method? How do we find a qualified practitioner? What, if any, are the "consumer-bewares"?

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If ever a book could have used a subtitle, this is one. An explanatory phrase like "Bodywork Therapies Old and New" would go far to alerting readers to the scope and purpose of this comprehensive consumer guide to the myriad bodywork disciplines currently available. After explaining the purpose of bodywork and the psychological and physical benefits ascribed to it, Knaster, a licensed massage therapist and former Ford Foundation Fellow, suggests how best to choose a therapeutic approach and what to expect from it, and how to find and evaluate bodywork practitioners. Knaster considers Western systems, with their emphasis on structure, function and movement, and Eastern approaches, which emphasize energy, or the life force. Each section concludes with information on training. The margins of the pages are distractingly busy with quotations, which, while relevant, make the necessarily complex explanations more difficult to follow. Long paragraphs set off by shading offer valuable first-person accounts or do-it-yourself exercises by which a reader can sample the practice of a therapy, but these too are interruptive. Despite its design flaws, Knaster's comprehensive study will be of considerable help to those who want to know the differences between the Alexander Technique and the Rosen Method or between Shiatsu and Aikido. (July)
Library Journal
This is one of the most complete books available on bodywork. The author, a licensed massage therapist, uses the term bodyways to describe any technique that involves movement to improve the structure, function, and feeling of the human body. More than 75 different types of therapies are discussed, ranging from the different kinds of massage therapy to those with a more philosophical bent, like postural integration or t'ai chi chuan. Readers are also told how to "befriend" their own body and how to choose and work with a bodyworks practitioner, and they can dip into the book to study just one particular therapy. A useful appendix tells "How To Deal with Sexual Misconduct." The book's extensive bibliography should be useful to those doing further research. This book will appeal to both the practitioner and the consumer and is recommended for medical and public libraries.Natalie Kupferberg, Ferris State Univ. Lib., Big Rapids, Mich.
Whitney Scott
Media attention to alternative treatments grows apace with public skepticism toward traditional Western medical practices, but current and potential consumers of alternative body disciplines and therapies find themselves confused and overwhelmed by a sea of choices. Into the breach steps Knaster with a much needed compendium of the principles and theories that underlie the major Eastern and Western body therapies, or "bodyways." She begins by thoroughly examining the mind-body-spirit disjunction and its attendant ills and alienations and proceeds to advice on choosing among bodyways and practitioners. She discusses massage therapies; rolfing; myofascial release; sensory awareness; contact improvisation; shiatsu; reiki; t'ai chi chuan; and yoga--to name just a few. The book is attractively illustrated with useful diagrams and boasts sidebar quotes and shaded boxes on special topics. With its reader-friendly organization, which includes personal accounts and profiles of pioneers in this field, its resource list, and detailed endnotes, Knaster's overview should find an enthusiastic audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307575500
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/29/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,424,642
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Mirka Knaster was born in Europe and raised in New York City. Her life-long experience of living, traveling, and conducting research in different parts of the world have contributed to her cross-cultural perspective on how people view, take care of, and heal their bodies.

A licensed massage therapist who has trained in diverse body methods and disciplines, she has been involved in the alternative health field for more than twenty years. As a contributing editor of East/West (now Natural Health) and Massage Therapy Journal, she has interviewed many of the field’s luminaries and reported on the latest trends. Her writing on health and other subjects has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Women’s Health Care: A Guide to Alternatives. She was a consultant, writer, and on-screen instructor for the best-selling video “Massage for Health,” hosted by Shari Belafonte.

Prior to her work in holistic health, Mirka was a Ford Foundation Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Latin American Studies and taught English in Colombia. She also did research and published academically in the field of women’s studies.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Journey of a Lifetime
Ch. 1 The Benefits of Bodyways
Ch. 2 Body Alienation: Where We Lost the Body
Ch. 3 Body Wisdom
Ch. 4 Choosing and Working with a Practitioner
Ch. 5 Deciding on a Bodyway
Ch. 6 Psychological Dimensions of Bodyways
Ch. 7 How to Use This Guide
Ch. 8 Western Structure and Function: Traditional Massage and Contemporary Therapies
Ch. 9 Structural Approaches
Ch. 10 Functional Approaches
Ch. 11 Western Movement Arts
Ch. 12 Eastern Energy
Ch. 13 Other Energetic Systems
Ch. 14 Eastern Movement Arts
Ch. 15 Convergence Systems
Appendix: How to Deal with Sexual Misconduct
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