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The Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement Paperback – May 1, 1993


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The Body of Life: Creating New Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement + Somatics: Reawakening The Mind's Control Of Movement, Flexibility, And Health
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892814810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892814817
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a landmark book with principles useful for all approaches to somatic education." (Somatics)

From the Back Cover


BODYWORK / EDUCATION

The Body of Life


Creating new Pathways for Sensory Awareness and Fluid Movement


In this classic book on bodywork education, Thomas Hanna builds on the theoories of Functional Integration, a method that applies gentle physical manipulation to fine-tune the nervous system and eliminate involuntary responses to tension, anxiety, and emotional pain. Through case histories, the author describes methods for improving bodily coordination, balance, and range of movement. With enhanced awareness, we gain a greater understanding of our internal states and our ability to affect them. He also surveys the pioneering work of Moshe Feldenkrais, who devised the system of Functional Integration, and many other somatic educators. Hanna’s engaging account offers a profound understanding of the precise relationship between mind and body that can be applied in our day-to-day living.

Author of the groundbreaking book, Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health, THOMAS HANNA (1928-1990) was the director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training in San Francisco and the founder and editor of Somatics: Magazine-Journal of the Bodily Arts and Sciences.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 133 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a clear, easy-to-read introduction to the body-mind theory behind Hanna's "Somatics" system, and how the system works in practice. The anecdotes he tells are engaging, and I especially liked his insistence that the process is a collaboration: the practitioner isn't a "healer" so much as a teacher, and healing takes place because the sufferer re-learns how to use the forgotten parts of his/her body. I also found his explanation of the "soma" concept very enlightening: too many thinkers (even those of the "New Age" persuasion) promote the view that we are spirits trapped in bodies and that we should hence adopt a "mind over matter" philosophy. Hanna, by contrast, insists that the two are interdependent and that what happens to one affects the other -- in both directions. He points out that this idea is reflected in Zen Buddhism, yoga, and other Eastern philosophies. (Western thinkers have tended to misunderstand it, possibly because of the mind-vs-body dichotomy in Christian thought, but Hanna clarifies the matter nicely.) I also found his explanation of the Feldenkrais system and its relationship to other methods of bodywork (such as Alexander) very useful. Although some of the research he cites is a little outdated now, nothing he says is (to my knowledge) contradicted by recent studies. Despite its age, this is still a very useful book for anyone interested in the mind-body relationship.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend turned me on to Feldenkrais and somatics a while ago, after I'd discovered the basic understandings on my own through trial and error and self-development. Immediately, I began buying books on the subject, filling out the missing pieces that I hadn't yet found on my own. Nearly all of the books I've read on the subject have been difficult to understand, though they were certainly accurate and useful. Hanna's "The Body of Life" is the first book on somatics I've found that is very easily readable, and it accomplishes this without turning the "meat" to "fluff," as many other "pop" books do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane C., Goelz on January 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This gives insight into the mind body connection. I am a personal trainer and this helped me understand my clients situations
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By P.Robinson on June 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
I decided to read this book as an introduction to various types of body work. I plan on reading Thomas Hanna's other book "Somatics" next, and also Feldenkrais's "Awareness Through Movement" and doing the exercises. I found the clinical case histories at the beginning of this book particularly interesting because I am a pre-medical student and never heard of such "mind-body" conditions. This book was very well written and was a pleasure to read. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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