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Discovering the Body's Wisdom Paperback – June 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553373277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553373271
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

There are so many different kinds of bodywork available these days, many people find it hard to choose. Massage therapist and health writer Mirka Knaster's comprehensive book is a good place to start. She covers just about everything in both the Eastern and Western traditions--from various types of yoga, martial arts, and massage to newer practices such as Rolfing and the Alexander Technique to esoteric movement and touching practices of which most people have never even heard. The one thing all these techniques have in common is that they seek to bring healing and self-discovery through physical practices. "Many people first turn to bodyways because the pain of an injury or chronic condition forces them to seek alternatives," Knaster writes. "The other motivation ... comes from a natural drive toward healthy or optional functioning." Either way, she says, these practices help us overcome our disconnection from our body and our feelings.

It would be hard to overstate how much sheer information is supplied in this book. Not only does Knaster describe each technique and explain what it's supposed to do for you, she gives its history and a brief biography of the inventors, along with addresses and phone numbers for obtaining more information. A chapter on working with a given practitioner helps answer the multitude of questions readers are likely to have: How do you know if he or she is properly trained? How should you feel after a session? What do you do if your relationship with the practitioner seems too intimate or even improper? While anyone looking to get involved with a given technique would do well to find books that discuss it in greater depth, some may find that Discovering the Body's Wisdom already provides everything they need. Either way, it's a fascinating book, and a great reference to keep around.

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
Discovering the Body's Wisdom - A Book Review By Monica Roseberry
When America was a "new" territory being explored by the Europeans, there were the trailblazers, trackers, pioneers, and others who opened the continent up to eventually millions of new residents. Of those original forerunners, the pathfinders and mapmakers were crucial, for without their vision, expertise and labors, new arrivals would have never found their way into the future and promise of uncharted frontiers.
In the world of holistic health, healing, touch therapies and alternative medicine, a vast terrain has been opened, new ground has been taken and diverse grassroots efforts have grown and flourished. However, for others to find or follow the trails blazed by the ancient and modern pioneers in the healing arts, a guide, a map, was needed.
Like Lewis and Clark exploring and charting the new frontier of America, Mirka Knaster, author of the book, Discovering the Body's Wisdom, traveled around the world, studying, researching and cataloging many methods of healing, observing and recording how people view, take care of and heal their bodies. Ms. Knaster's 20 years of experience in the alternative health field culminate in one of the most comprehensive, useful and powerful beacons to help pilot newcomers onto the shores and across the plains to the "new world" of wellness.
For Massage Therapists, Discovering the Body's Wisdom offers many valuable tools, resources and perspectives on our growing and thriving industry. Covering 75 Body/Mind practices that can "relieve pain, reduce stress, and foster health, spiritual growth, and inner peace," this book has something for just about everyone in the massage profession. Three sections comprise the book, beginning with an overview of "Bodyways," a term Ms.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm often asked by my patients for recommended reading on natural medicine. Below I suggest some excellent reference books for consumers, listed by topic.... Bodywork . "Discovering the Body's Wisdom" by Mirka Knaster. This is an informative and inspiring guide to more than 60 body-oriented approaches--from traditional Eastern disciplines, such as tai chi and yoga, to modern Western techniques, such as Rolding and the Feldenkrais Method. The author--a massage therapist and writer--includes many illustrated exercises to try at home. --Andrew Weil, M.D., "Self Healing" (August 1999)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michelle M. Normand on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has been crucial in my career as a Mind-Body specialist. I began using some of the techniques on my own back pain before I had even finished the book. At over 400 pages it packs quite a bit of information on a wide variety of mind-body healing processes. I highly recommend it as a reference book for anyone in the fields of massage, physical therapy, reiki, and the like. I wish medical programs would make this book (or Human Kinetics) part of their teaching.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David L. Patterson on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This product is a must read for practitioner and client. It is filled with information to ask a practitioner before getting any type of bodywork. Information such as education, years experience, licensing, and so on. It also provides hints to receiving the best massage, reflexology, and other treatment for stress relief and health. For the practitoner it educates on ambience, dress, professionalism, and safety to insure a good experinece for the client. As a reflexologist, I found the scenarios presented humorous and helpful. I wanted to know how to enhance my practice through brochures, definitions of various types of body work for my position as a Delaware Board Massage/Bodywork member to use as we review law and make changes. It has great descriptions as to what each body wisdom/work is which helps all concerned. I highly recommend this book even though it has been around for a while, it is very informative.
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By Chickenhawk on September 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great overview of various modalities. I've used it many times and have friends who borrow it whenever they need to research treatments. Great to have in your healthcare library
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By Cally on May 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great information in a good flow to understand and retain! I highly recommend this tool for improvement and awareness to anyone interested in better health and mindset.
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