Your Body Believes Every Word You Say: The Language of the Body/Mind Connection


Barbara Levine's struggle with a then-inoperatable brain tumor led her to discover "seedthoughts" and "core beliefs" that link one's mind and body. She traced common phrases like "that breaks my heart" and "it's a pain in the butt" to underlying beliefs on which they are based and the symptoms they cause. The revise and updated edition clearly describes this mind/body language link.
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Barbara Levine's struggle with a then-inoperatable brain tumor led her to discover "seedthoughts" and "core beliefs" that link one's mind and body. She traced common phrases like "that breaks my heart" and "it's a pain in the butt" to underlying beliefs on which they are based and the symptoms they cause. The revise and updated edition clearly describes this mind/body language link.
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What People Are Saying

Christiane Northrup
My twenty years of medical practice has confirmed the truth found in Your Body Believes Every Word You Say. Barbara's message is an eye-opener. (Christiane Northrup M. D., Author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom)
Steven Rosman
In simple, non-medical terminology, Levine's inspiring story demonstrates how, instead of remaining a passive victim, you can use illness as a tool for increased self-understanding and, ultimately, healing. (Rabbi Steven Rosman author of Jewish Healing Wisdom)
Bernie Siegel
Barbara Levine's journey is one of courage and growth. We can all learn from her experience. She shows us what we are capable of and how to achieve our full healing potential. (Bernie Siegel, M. D., Author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780883312193
  • Publisher: Aslan Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: revised edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 225,392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Your Body Believes Every Word You Say : The Language of the Bodymind Connection by Barbara Hoberman Levine. Copyright © 2001. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
[If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again] [I can complain because a rose bush has thorns or rejoice because a thorn bush has roses.]

Who would have guessed that having a brain tumor would be the most beneficial, life saving adventure of my life? If anyone had told me the day would come when I would give thanks for having a brain tumor, I would have said, “You’re crazy.” If anyone had told me back in 1970 that 25 years later I would be thanking God for the gift of a brain tumor, I would have thought “You have rocks in your head.”

Nevertheless, it’s true! I would not even have this wonderful, exciting, fulfilling life now except for the fact that for many years I lived with, learned from, and wrote about this awesome brain tumor experience. And I do thank God for the ability to use this seemingly adverse event as a positive one rather than as a tragedy. Make no mistake, going through it wasn’t pleasant. There were days when I wallowed in despair, anger and self-pity. I am a master of self-pity. Yet I do give thanks for the many blessings I received from learning, healing and growing along with the tumor.


The ideas in this book arose from the life-changing experience that seemed to begin in 1970 with the birth of my third child, Jennifer. But looking back, I see the experience actually began in 1966 when I became an adult orphan. Both my parents died, in their early fifties of heart disease, 10 months apart. This mind-boggling event came as an enormous shock. I became fearful and depressed, but I wasn't adept at handling or understanding my feelings at that time. Then, after Jennifer's birth, I thought I was finally perfectly happy. But the stress of the previous four years had affected me physically as well as emotionally.

I developed a weakness in my voice and could barely talk above a whisper. Doctors told me my left vocal cord was paralyzed, but they didn't know why. I was 32 years old. The pain I suffered searching for a diagnosis was almost unbearable, making me feel even sicker. Every test came back negative. A virus was blamed, when no one could find another cause. After that I lived in terror — afraid of getting sicker, afraid of taking more medical tests, not even sure I would live. A year later I became deaf in my left ear. Doctors again blamed a virus.

At that time, I was fat, a heavy smoker, and in poor physical condition. Having a paralyzed left vocal cord and a deaf left ear actually helped push me in the right direction. I realized I needed to find a way to live longer and healthier, so I could be with my two sons and my new daughter as they grew into adulthood. Living to see my children grow up was very important to me, motivating me to survive--no matter what.

I began to live one day at a time, relieving my fear whenever possible by enjoying some of the good things in my life—a nice family, good friends, and a comfortable home. After a year, my voice began to improve somewhat, even though the paralysis and deafness remained. My fear became more bearable when I focused on my newly-found-life-purpose, which was to perfect my ability to think for myself and help others to do the same. Working for women's rights, helping women become more self-aware and learning how to heal myself were key elements in this quest.

My real growth began when I learned to live each day more fully--- because I didn't know how much time I had left. As I successfully lived through each day, I started to believe that I might live long enough to see my children grow up. "One day at a time" became a guiding principle in my life.


For the next four years, my doctors and I blamed my debilitating physical symptoms on viruses, because the need to have a reason was so strong. I didn’t have any further tests until 1974 when---after getting myself in shape mentally and physically--- I felt I was ready to handle anything that came up. I remember prophetically thinking, "Even if I need brain surgery I can handle it now." After more tests, I finally received an accurate diagnosis, I had a rare, slow-growing, non-malignant tumor. A biopsy, done through my left ear proved that I had a growth in my head.....(TO READ MORE PLEASE PURCHASE THIS BOOK)

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 How I Came to Write This Book 1
The Brain Tumor: My Growth
Beginning to Heal
Gaining Perspective
Setbacks and Progress
New Perspective
Chapter 2 The Fundamentals of Healing 14
Holistic Medicine
Ridding the Body of Disease-Causing Pollutants
Contemporary Mind-Body Perspectives
Emotion's Effect on the Body
Body and Mind: Functionally Inseparable
Thought Affects Physiology
Harnessing the Positive Power of Attitude
Chapter 3 How We Think and Talk About Disease 36
Names as Symbols Evoke Images
The Advent of the Sinus Headache
Anorexia and Bulimia
Copy Cat Disease Syndrome
The Grammar of Disease
Ancient Wisdom of the Power of Words
Your Power to Influence Your Health
Chapter 4 Responsibility and Creative Intelligence 52
Meaning and Reality
From Resistance to Acceptance of Reality
Unconscious and Conscious Awareness
Getting the Message Through Disease
We Are Not Victims
Chapter 5 Core Beliefs and Seedthoughts 68
Core Beliefs and Seedthoughts
Flakes As Feedback
Our Internal Chatter
Decoding Sensations
Cliches As Emotional Expressions
Discovering Your Seedthoughts
Which Comes First, Chicken or Egg?
Chapter 6 Emotion and Your Body's Language 80
Emotional Connections to the Past
You Are the Meaning Maker
A Rash Experience: Actions & Antidotes
Mind Over Matter
Chapter 7 The Body As Emotional Barometer 92
Eating Right to Stay Fit
The Body Speaks Its Mind
Pow! That Emotion Just Zapped You
Chapter 8 Cliches and Body Talk 105
Dangerous Seedthoughts
The Body's Messages
Mixed Messages
Rx: Positive Talk, Positive Thoughts, Positive Attitudes
Chapter 9 Perceptions About Health and Disease 124
Beliefs and the Immune System
Flexible Thinking Creates Flexible Bodies
Hypnosis and Beliefs
Pre Menstrual Syndrome
I'm gonna Live Till I Die!
Chapter 10 Mental Projection and Expectations 140
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Healing Conversations
Expectations Have Power
The Placebo Effect
Minding the Body
Media Messages Create Expectations
You Get What You Believe
Hope as Healer
Chapter 11 The Operating Manual 157
Consciousness as Software
Feedback Prevents Breakdown
Flying Blind
Intrapersonal Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Body Messages
Technological Feedback
The Truth Process
Chapter 12 Keys to the Good Health Kingdom 175
Varieties of Meditation
Moving Meditations
Prayer Heals
How You Can Use These Tools
Chapter 13 Healing Techniques 196
Picturing What You Want
Polar Bears Can Chill Cancer
Software for the Mind
Preparation for Surgery
Chapter 14 Healing Through Dreamwork and Artwork 213
The Metaphorical Language of Sleep
Dreams Reveal, Not Conceal
Interpret Dreams with Caution
Dr. Bernie Siegel--Teacher/Healer/Dreamworker
Dreams and Spontaneous Drawings by Bernie & Barbara Siegel
I Turn to Drawings
Predicting the Results of Treatment
Improving the Effects of Treatment
Dreams Guide Treatment
Chapter 15 Creating a New Context: Healing from Within 228
Why Am I Sick? Because...
Tumors and Diabetes
The Authentic You
Creating a Health-Full Context
Forgiveness: How Do I Forgive?
Chapter 16 Keys to My Survival 242
36 Core Beliefs
Epilog 258
End Notes 274
Recommended Reading 280
Resources 286
Index 294
About the Author 301
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Foreword for Your Body Believes Every Word You Say 2nd/ed.
Barbara H. Levine's book stayed with me long after I read it. As a writer with a chronic immune disorder, I have read many books about healing, and spiritual tomes galore. My condition affected my walking, among other things, for nine years. I had inklings that perhaps my condition was symbolic in a sense--trouble walking through life; difficulty "standing up" for myself, and "Your Body...." expanded my understanding of the role played by thought and language in this phenomenon.

In clear yet absorbing prose, Barbara H. Levine explores how her own words, ideas and beliefs had an impact on her health. However, she clearly avoids the blame game played by some alternative healing mavens, a guilt by commission or omission kind of suggestion--in other words, you could heal yourself, so if you're not healed, you're not doing it right. Levine gently deals with this issue and moves on to make me a believer in just what her title so aptly proclaims.

Two years passed after I read the book, and when the time was right, I plucked it off my shelf and reread it--something I often plan with good books, but rarely do. The book was packed with new insights for me, and was just as fresh and interesting the second time around.

Since reading it, I have "caught" myself many times, as I did just last week, when I tripped, acquiring a hairline fracture in my left arm. I heard myself telling a friend that my arm was "killing" me, and made an immediate correction. "It's not killing me," I said. "It just hurts." Why add unnecessary drama, and give my arm's pain power? That's what this book is about, for me, the power of awareness, something anyone can benefit from, whether they are just dealing with everyday challenges or special health issues.

by Judith Wershil-- writer, counselor and Interfaith Minister. She has written for The New York Times and Gannett newspapers among many others.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    A new way to look at things

    This inspiring book is chock full of new ways to look at life -- including health and illness. The exercises are practical and helpful. While I was reading the book and since, I think twice about the words I use when I speak and think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2001

    In Your Heart You'll Know She's Right

    Those who, in the past, might have dismissed that which Barbara Hoberman Levine terms the 'Body/Mind Connection' - the effect our words have on our health --will be hard-pressed to do so after reading her book. Another writer might have been content to simply relate her tale of triumph over a life-threatening brain tumor. However, Ms. Hoberman Levine has a much more important mission: To share with readers the insight she gained during her search for a cure -- as well as during subsequent research -- so that they, too, might live healthier lives. The sheer weight of evidence in this book should influence the most skeptical reader to begin to choose his or her words more carefully. ...And that will be good for everyone's health.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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