First things first: Shapiro makes herself very clear right at the beginning of Chapter One: "Illness is real. Accidents happen. Medicine can help. I am not writing this book in order to convince you that the sole reason for your illness is in your mind and you must have done something wrong or to blame for being ill." I breathed a sigh of relief when I read that -- it meant that this body-mind connection book would not be playing the blame game. However, the author maintains, your symptoms and illnesses are giving you vital information about yourself if you stop and listen. Going first into an overview of how the body is affected by thoughts, Shapiro then follows with a thorough listing of just about anything that can go awry illness-wise, and what the possible root causes are.


As my own example, I thought back to a time several years ago when I broke my hand.  It seemed like an unfortunate accident -- I was walking my very playful and large chow-chow in the snow with improper footwear on, slid, and landed with my full weight upon one hand.  It was a sickening feeling as I felt that bone snap. Now, dissecting that incident with Shapiro's help, I found "the hands are where you create, so they represent all the ways you do things and all the feelings you have about what you are doing." Okay…now on to broken bones. "A broken bone means you have to stop whatever you are doing.  Make a list of the ways it has changed events or relationships." Aha! At the time this event occurred, I was working as a transcriptionist (with my hands) at a job I hated. The company was making it difficult for me to quit. When I broke my hand, I had to stop performing the job, the company was forced to replace me, and I ultimately never went back. An amazing (albeit very painful) way to manifest a different reality.


As much as part one -- "Finding Meaning in the Midst of Chaos" -- needs to be read to truly understand Shapiro's concepts, it is in part two -- "Your Bodymind Revealed" -- that this text comes alive with chapters on the nervous system, the heart, the digestive system, the skin, and just about everything from the head to the toes.  It is in the second part of the book that one can look up their symptoms and determine what it is the malady is trying to express.


The book itself is worth the price alone, but it also includes a CD with two guided meditations: "Talking with Your Body," and "Bodymind Appreciation."  Together, the text and the CD make for a wonderful addition to your health library. 


~ Review by Diane Saarinen

Author: Deb Shapiro

Sounds True, Inc. 2006

347 pgs, plus meditation CD, $19.95