- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NoblePatient, Heal Thyself
Dr. Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist and self-proclaimed practicing intuitive, has a vision for the future of health care: a holistic approach that melds technology and hard science with the sixth sense we call intuition. And now Orloff takes the first step toward making her vision a reality with Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing: 5 Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness. By providing a step-by-step guide for tapping into the metaphysical powers she insists we all possess, Orloff hopes to guide us into harnessing that power so as to enhance our health, welfare, and sexuality.
Nontraditional forms of health care are not new. Therapies such as homeopathy, herbology, acupressure, and acupuncture have been practiced alongside scientific medicine for centuries. The belief that spirituality can affect health and healing has existed for eons, but a recent remarkable study showed that patients who were prayed for exhibited better recovery abilities than those who were not. Orloff's program is less about external forces, such as drugs, prayers, and treatments, than it is about internal forces -- building a stronger link between our minds and our bodies. Orloff believes we are the keepers of our own health and that each of us possesses an innate intuitive intelligence that has the power to heal. She describes this sixth sense as a code composed of emotions, sensations, and metaphorical images -- the same sense that we experience when we have a "gut" reaction or feel a strong pull to do something.
To help readers understand and harness this intuitive ability, Orloff provides a framework of five steps. She examines each of these steps in detail as she reviews three basic areas of health and wellness: the body, emotions, and sexuality. She touts developing and nurturing intuition so that we become better tuned to the messages our minds and bodies send out. Such intuition enables us to detect the earliest signs of physical and mental disease by noting changes -- even subtle ones -- in our energy, emotions, or bodily aches and pains. It also provides a mechanism for healing, soothing, and stabilizing.
Orloff's first step toward intuitive healing is an attitude adjustment: noticing your beliefs about health, disease, and stress, and changing those that may be harmful. For instance, illness can be used a means of getting what we want or need -- rest, love, or attention. Recognizing this behavior allows us to seek other, healthier ways of meeting these needs. Orloff's second step involves various exercises and activities designed to help you get to know your body better. Not only is Orloff a proponent of the benefits of such therapies as massage and meditation, but she also encourages the study of basic anatomy and physiology using a textbook like Gray's Anatomy or a 3-D software program for the human body. This enables us to visualize certain parts of our bodies and better understand their functions, an important aspect to the imagery exercises Orloff suggests.
The third step in Orloff's framework involves sensing your body's subtle energy. For this she focuses on the seven chakras, identifying these bodily "hotspots" and learning to "read" them. The fourth step involves asking for inner guidance, a process that Orloff likens to having a guardian angel, a higher power, or a spiritual figure that can be "consulted" whenever answers are needed or decisions need to be made. Answers and decisions can also be found by exercising the final step -- listening to your dreams. Orloff is a big advocate of dream therapy and cites several examples of patients who found solutions to their problems through dreaming.
Orloff's advice is very metaphysical in nature, but it has an underlying bedrock of psychiatry. The breathing and imagery exercises, meditations, and biofeedback techniques she presents are not new, but the intuitive insights she espouses will likely seem a bit foreign to many. Anticipating that, Orloff explains things in detail and provides exercises designed to hone the sensitivities she advocates. She goes through the five steps in each chapter and for each subject, detailing the ways each step can be implemented. Rather than scorning or discounting traditional medicine, Orloff embraces it and recognizes its importance. She sees intuitive healing as an enhancement of traditional medicine and suggests techniques that can be used to do everything from picking out a health-care provider to minimizing the amount of medication you take.
While much of Orloff's focus is on health and wellness, she also looks at ways to deal with illness, minimize pain, and face (and even visualize!) death. Not only are her exercises designed to help you better tune into your own body and psyche, but she also discusses ways of intuitively reading others. While Orloff claims paranormal abilities that allow her to obtain more extensive "readings" than those most people are capable of, the anecdotal evidence she provides of others' experiences demonstrates how often our inner voices speak to us. With Orloff's help, we may become smart enough to listen.