From Library Journal
Feng shui, magnet therapy, polarity therapy, qigong, reiki, therapeutic touchAwhat do they have in common? They are all "subtle energy practices," just one section in this wide-ranging encyclopedia. Others include skeletal manipulation methods, mind/body medicine, sensory therapies, massage (from infant massage to myofascial trigger point therapy), movement therapy, somatic practices, and body-oriented psychotherapies. Editor Allison defines a body-mind discipline as "an organized program of activity that seeks to awaken and activate the links between body, mind, and spirit." This very well arranged text is divided into 16 sections, each of which begins with an introductory essay discussing the disciplines included in that section. Each discipline is described by a certified practitioner in terms of history, basic principles, and potential benefits and risks. Short resource/reading lists follow each discipline description. Allison, a dancer and educator, has done an excellent job of pulling together information on some 125 therapies. Whether you want to know about brain gym or just plain old yoga, this encyclopedia is a great starting point. Recommended for general reference and consumer health collections.AKate Kelly, Massachusetts General Hosp. Lib., Boston
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The increasing awareness of the value of alternative medicine has brought attention to practices that have roots as far back as the ancient world. This encyclopedia focuses on more than 100 of the body-mind disciplines being used today. All disciplines subscribe to the premise that the body is a totality in which mind and body work together to create ideal mental and physical health. The methods included come from a broad range of sources such as health care, physical conditioning, psychology, spirituality, and the arts. They range from very old practices such as yoga and ancient Chinese medicine to more recent therapies like ROM (range of motion) dance and the St. John Method of Neuromuscular Therapy.
The information is organized under 16 major topics covering, among others, movement therapies, manipulative and sensory techniques, and martial and creative arts. An introductory essay gives an overview of the histories, theoretical foundations, and methodologies of the disciplines included in the section. These essays also point out the relationships among other sections in the book and how therapies are sometimes combined to treat patients.
The entries for specific disciplines give their history, theory, use, benefits, and risks. A referral list of contacts and a bibliography are provided for each entry. Fact boxes highlight additional information. The range of disciplines is broad and covers familiar therapies such as chiropractic medicine and acupressure and lesser-known practices such as flower therapy and sounding. More than 120 therapies are covered. The entries are written by practitioners in the field and their credentials are given.
The use of the word illustrated in the title is somewhat misleading. There are black-and-white photographs of practitioners working with patients but there are no step-by-step illustrations of specific exercises or movement techniques such as appear in Alternative Medicine: A Definitive Guide (Future Medicine Publishing, 1993).
The encyclopedia is a comprehensive, up-to-date compilation of disciplines in the emerging area of wellness practices. It is an excellent supplement to other guides to alternative practices and is recommended for public libraries and other institutions serving health-information consumers.
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