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on January 21, 2000
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 Although some of the research he cites is a little outdated now, nothing he says is (to my knowledge) contradicted by recent studies.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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on January 17, 2011
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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on June 19, 2014
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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on January 8, 2013
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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on February 15, 2016
Excellent introduction to increasing bodily awareness through movement, and correcting things we do subconsciously without realizing it.
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on June 3, 2016
I am using this book for daily excercises. I am a firm believer in this method. The book is as described in fine condition. Thank you.
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on September 26, 2013
This man is a saint.. every thing he writes about makes sense.. he is awesome and has changed so many lives for the better.
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on May 10, 2016
Great book, this is where it is at, if people really want to understand movement.
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on June 5, 2013
Even the language is a little technical, it is worth reading it, since he is good explaining the main roots of the body mind connection. I consider that he was one of the best pupils of Feldenkrais.
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on October 27, 2014
Great book and lots of information.
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