Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body

Overview

This Breakthrough Book presents a disarmingly simple idea: The way we pay attention in daily life can play a critical role in our health and well-being. According to Dr. Les Fehmi, a clinical psychologist and researcher, many of us have become stuck in "narrow-focus attention": a tense, survival mode of attention that holds us in a state of chronic stress-and which lies at the root of common ailments including anxiety, depression, ADD, stress-related migraines, and more. To improve these conditions, Dr. Fehmi ...
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Overview

This Breakthrough Book presents a disarmingly simple idea: The way we pay attention in daily life can play a critical role in our health and well-being. According to Dr. Les Fehmi, a clinical psychologist and researcher, many of us have become stuck in "narrow-focus attention": a tense, survival mode of attention that holds us in a state of chronic stress-and which lies at the root of common ailments including anxiety, depression, ADD, stress-related migraines, and more. To improve these conditions, Dr. Fehmi explains that we must learn to return to a relaxed, diffuse, and creative form of attention, which he calls "Open Focus."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Alongtime clinician and researcher in biofeedback, Fehmi (with the assistance of science writer Robbins, author of A Symphony in the Brain) advances his program for learning to relieve stress by attaining what he calls open focus-a more diffuse, flexible form of attention that, paradoxically, allows one to focus better and in a more relaxed way. According to Fehmi, most of us habitually operate in a narrow-focus stress mode that results in anxiety and a host of physical problems, including digestive upsets, rashes and migraines. Fehmi draws on his experience with neurofeedback (brain-wave biofeedback) to explain how we can shift our brain waves to attain open focus. These mental techniques help you to experience your body and even your heart in a new way and change how you perceive the space around you. Fehmi grounds his plan in research and patient anecdotes showing the techniques can reduce pain and improve relationships and athletic performance. Fehmi acknowledges the results of open focus are similar to those from meditation, but even readers skeptical of Eastern spirituality may find Fehmi's science-based program useful. (The accompanying audio CD was not heard by PW). (July 10)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
“These mental techniques help you to experience your body and even your heart in a new way. Fehmi grounds his plan in research and patient anecdotes showing the techniques can reduce pain and improve relationships and athletic performance.”—Publishers Weekly

"Fehmi and award-winning science writer and journalist Robbins present a convincing argument for the effectiveness of neurofeedback in a self-help format for those who want to try the techniques. . . . This well-written book will be of interest to anyone in the alternative healing community."—Library Journal

“Based on thirty-plus years of research and professional experience, this book reveals a startling truth: how you deploy your attention in your daily life is centrally important for your mental and physical health. It also describes a breakthrough methodology for overcoming depression, anxiety, and other hard-to-manage emotional states. As a colleague of Dr. Fehmi from the earliest days of brainwave-biofeedback  research, I can trust the credibility of his reports. He is a creative and critical thinker in the field. I heartily recommend this book.”—Joe Kamiya, PhD, research psychologist at Langley Porter Institute of Psychiatry

“I’ve used the Open-Focus techniques in my work with NFL players, and I’ve shared this knowledge with other athletes and coaches. These attention exercises are applicable across all disciplines.”—Bob Ward, Director of Sports Science, former conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys

“The techniques described in this book can make life fuller, more enjoyable, and more productive. I recommend it.”—Andrew Weil, MD, author of Healthy Aging

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590303764
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.85 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Robbins is an award-winning journalist and science writer, with frequent contributions to the New York Times, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Discover, and Psychology Today. In connection with his reporting, he has appeared on ABC’s Nightline and on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 An Addiction to Narrow Focus 11

Exercise: Expanding Your Awareness of Visual Space 25

2 Sweet Surrender: Discovering the Benefits of Synchronous Alpha Brain Waves 29

3 The Full Complement of Attention 41

4 What Lies Beneath: Anxiety 55

Exercise: Head and Hands in Open Focus 63

5 Dissolving Physical Pain 71

6 Dissolving Emotional Pain 79

Exercise: Dissolving Pain 92

7 Love Is a Way of Paying Attention: Open-Focus Tools for Relationships 96

Exercise: Heart-Centered Open Focus 105

8 Peak Performance 113

9 Living in Open Focus 127

Exercise: How Am I Now Paying Attention? 139

10 Attention and Psychotherapy 142

Exercise: Thinking in Open Focus 149

Exercise: Seeing in Open Focus 156

Conclusion: Thoughts on the Evolution of Attention 167

Epilogue 175

Notes 177

Index 185

About the Authors 191

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    A reviewer

    Very good topic, and very true stuff, in my opinion. I would strongly recommend this book if you are at the stage of your life where you want to travel deeper into our potential as Humans. Author does repeat himself quite a bit, but this is forgivable. Subject, material, premise, etc., are all right on.

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