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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
When a self-improvement book is reviewed I always look for actual experience from people who have tried the methods in the book - not just those read it and agree with it. Well now I am reviewing 'Walk Your Blue's Away' and I can say unequivocally IT WORKS, at least for me. All of my adult life I have been prone to depressive episodes from rejection and loss - even if...
Published on November 25, 2007 by Bill

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hartmann tells you how to build the watch
...when all you asked for was the time. This is how all his books are. He should've become a tenured higher ed professor but instead we get to hear his discursive lectures in his books. So 7/8 of the book is the historical perspective and 1/8 is the practical stuff. To be fair, a lot of these books are like this.

And what I feel is a big deficiency is that the...
Published 21 months ago by typo_kign


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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works, November 25, 2007
By 
Bill (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
When a self-improvement book is reviewed I always look for actual experience from people who have tried the methods in the book - not just those read it and agree with it. Well now I am reviewing 'Walk Your Blue's Away' and I can say unequivocally IT WORKS, at least for me. All of my adult life I have been prone to depressive episodes from rejection and loss - even if the loss is very small. Recently a loving and satisfying relationship of 5 years was broken off by my partner. I knew from experience I was poised to nosedive into depression. This was despite many years of zealous embrace of cognitive behavior therapy in which the two sides of the brain battle. An adverse event triggers dejection, anger, depression. With cognitive therapy you have to identify the irrational thought that supposedly triggers your negative emotions, dispute the thought, and find a rational and sensible substitute thought. The problem was the negative emotions would take sometimes years to dissipate and I was constantly ruminating and flashing back to previous events. What Thom's book does is address healing. When you heal from emotional trauma with this method, the two sides of the brain actually are successful in integrating reason and emotion. With cognitive therapy reason and emotion seemed to constantly battle one another without resolution. You might win a battle but the next day another begins. I contend that after 5 daily walks following the simple guidelines of the book, the crushing sadness of rejection has lifted. The memories that previously would trigger bouts of depression are still there but now in the distance. They no longer dominate my mood allowing me to concentrate and get on with my life. At the end of each session my thinking was especially sharp - the corrective rational thoughts that I tried for years to marshal with cognitive therapy were at last automatic. Everyone suffers loss, rejection and emotional trauma. The key, as Thom says is, to facilitate your ability to heal naturally.
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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Breakthrough Book, January 16, 2007
By 
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
Don't let the lightweight title, cover, and page-count fool you. This is a breakthrough book, and not just another self-help, happy-talk rip-off. This book can stand proudly next to the most academic psychological tome, and replace much of the pop psychology pap moldering on our bookshelves.

To be open to something so important, one first has to know who the author is, what he stands for, and why he can be trusted. I've read several of Thom Hartmann's books, and listened to his daily progressive radio program numerous times. I can only state emphatically: This is a gifted man we can trust. He is the real deal. (See my earlier post on him for more info.)

The basics of the book are these:

1. Our bodies are self-healing if we feed it the right food and exercise it properly under the right conditions. Shouldn't our minds and emotions also be self-healing?

2. Rhythmic, bilateral movement is the way we've healed ourselves from traumatic, psychological wounds for hundreds of thousands of years. But until now, we didn't know how it worked.

3. "Bilaterality is the ability to have the right and left hemispheres of the brain fully functional and communicating with each other."

4. Freud's early, very successful work was based on Bilaterality techniques, but after some unfortunate, sensationalistic historical events, he was forced to abandon it for mostly unsuccessful "talk-therapy" methods. Freud tried, but failed, for years to find an equally-successful technique. This history is crucial to our understanding of why psychotherapy evolved the way it did.

5. Devastating events can haunt our every waking moment for years. Some suffer war-caused "post traumatic stress disorders" for years or allow a loved-one's untimely death to ruin their lives, while others are able to move on. Just as we learned to transform our physical health by eating organic food, exercising, and drinking pure water, now we know how to consiously bring ourselves back to a healthy mental state.

6. This discovery comes from Hartmann's own training, observations and experiments, with dramatic results illustrated by case studies and testamonials.

7. Hartmann details a simple, five step technique.

8. Bilaterality has also been used by humans for less-traumatic problem solving, creativity, and motivation. Now we can train ourselves to use it consciously.

This book deserves a wide readership and word-of-mouth recommendations. I urge you to read it and pass it on, especially to those whose lives have been darkened by tragedy.
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117 of 123 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple--But Fascinating--Theory, November 14, 2006
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
"Just as a person with a severe hemispheric imbalance can be badly disconnected from emotions such as empathy, and thus sanction or even encourage actions such as mass murder that is war, so too can an entire society. In the opinion of some researchers, societies that are hemispherically unbalanced are more likely to be patriarchal, hierarchal, and violent, whereas societies that are hemispherically balanced are more likely to be egalitarian and democratic, and employ violence only in self-defense." - From the book

Remember the caricatures of stage hypnotists brandishing a swinging pocket watch while intoning "Look into my eyes..." ? Well, according to author Thom Hartmann, this type of hypnosis was actually a bona fide psychiatric therapy in the late 1700's and early 1800's. In fact, Franz Anton Mesmer ("mesmerize") was the first person to develop a system of bilateral cross-hemispheric stimulation by waving his fingers side to side while a patient followed with their eyes. Mesmer discovered that his system was quite effective in resolving non-organic physical and psychological problems. That is, psychosomatic conditions or issues rooted in emotional trauma.

In the late 1800's, Sigmund Freud--a protégé of Josef Breuer--discovered the power of bilateral therapy in the form of alternatively stroking both sides of the body, a technique that Mesmer first developed. In fact, in the 1880's and early 1890's, Freud's preferred method of treatment wasn't talk therapy (which is what he became famous for) but a bilateral technique known as hypnosis.

In Walking Your Blues Away, author Thom Hartmann traces Freud's sudden discontinuance of hypnosis to the popularity of the book Trilby, authored by George Du Maurier in 1894. Playing on the new wave of anti-Semitism that swept Europe at the end of the 19th century, Du Maurier's novel Tribly chronicled the seductive story of Svengali a "sinister, Jewish" hypnotist who exploited susceptible women both sexually and financially.

Hartmann suggests that the public reaction to Jewish physicians employing hypnosis was so intense, that Freud had no choice but to abandon this successful form of therapy.

Walking Your Blues Away offers theories as to why bilateral therapies such as hypnosis, side-to-side stimulation, NLP, EFT, etc. are so successful at reframing emotional trauma--and the author applies this mode of therapy to walking.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that functions as a "dumping ground" of memories, so to speak. Whatever we go through or experience in a day is processed by the hippocampus while sleeping (REM being another form of bilateral stimulation). However, some emotional trauma--such as what is experienced with PTSD--is so severe that the hippocampus can't process it all. This trauma then becomes "stuck" in the brain, unable to be processed as a mere memory. These frozen experiences can debilitate and depress unless they become resolved.

Interestingly, talk therapy can often cause a "re-wounding", asserts Hartmann, which actually makes matters worse. Drawing on his experience with NLP, he realized that emotionally charged memories are "seen" front and center of a person--in full color--while non-traumatic memories are "seen" far away, off to the side, "flat", or in black and white.

Combining the most natural form of bilateral therapy extant--walking--with NLP, Hartmann realized that holding a painful memory in central awareness while walking can resolve a traumatic issue in less than 30 minutes.

Amazing, no?

Yet, according to Walk Your Blues Away, Hartmann's technique has proven successful for alleviating both short term and long-term symptoms in people--ranging from angry domestic disputes to war trauma. This is because walking uses both hemispheres of the brain, and "holding" the traumatic issue in one's mind while walking can literally vaporize disturbing events. In addition to providing compelling evidence in the form of case studies, he also shares fascinating cultural and historical anecdotes as to why "brain balance" can heal. For example, Hartmann refers to the legacy of left-brain dominance caused by literacy as put forth in the book The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain, as well as Darwin and the "noble savage" and how "walking" tribes were much less violent than "civilized" horse-riding people.

Most of us realize the many benefits of walking, but Walking Your Blues Away describes a deceptively simple process to resolving stuck emotions and symptoms stemming from traumatic experiences. At only 102-pages, this is a short book, but the case histories and theories Hartmann presents is compelling--and his methodology is so easy that even a child could use it.

In fact, walking as bilateral therapy can also be used to generate creativity, solve problems, and create motivational states.

My one criticism of this book is that the author doesn't mention if this type of therapy can be used with treadmills. I happen to live in a region that experiences some cold winters and while I'll go to the park as long as I can stand it, it's difficult to do so when the wind chill sinks to 0 degrees!

Bilateral therapy through walking is a fascinating, sensible idea--so if this form of healing sounds appealing to you, it's an easy way to (hopefully) treat chronic emotional distress or resolve "stuck" emotions.

Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and interesting information, September 23, 2007
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
We've all been told that walking is good for us. This is an excellent source for learning about the mind and the benefits of walking. The author explains the mechanics of how and why walking helps us to process things like creativity, events, problems and/or solutions as well as healing. Gives specific techniques to use.

This is one of the most useful, informative and interesting books I've read.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New age and general-interest health collections alike will find this inspirational., March 5, 2007
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
It's a simple concept: our bodies usually heal rapidly from injury but our minds can suffer for years from upset. Now there's a method for combining the healing powers of the body with the mind: walking, a therapy which actives both sides of the brain to remove 'stuck' emotions. Case studies supplement the author's tips on how to use movement and mind awareness of the stress to mitigate its effects. New age and general-interest health collections alike will find this inspirational.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hartmann is right, walking is great, December 21, 2006
By 
Carl Thomas (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
I can't recommend the work of Thom Hartmann highly enough, not just this book but others of his that I have read as well.

I've found that walking just ten or fifteen minutes a day can have a huge impact on not just my physical health, but my mental well-being as well. And history shows that Thom is quite right in his observations about the past (such as the anti-Jewish stereotype in "Trilby").
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep trying...It will work, September 5, 2010
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This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
I was having trouble with starting the process. I kept trying to figure what was causing my blues. Then one day it seemed like my hidden mind opened up. I have been in treatment for years upon years and never have felt better than I do now...without a fist full of drugs!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lotus Guide magazine, July 2, 2008
This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being
By Thom Hartmann (Park Street Press, a division of Inner Traditions, 2006, ISBN 1-59477-144-8)

When I read Walking Your Blues Away, I realized the importance of my walks in the park. Thom Hartmann explains how we release the trauma that we hold in our bodies through thought, and how those traumatic thoughts are transferred to long-term memory, where they lose their emotional charge. This is accomplished through simply thinking of the traumatic thoughts while walking, which is a bilateral therapy. A very easy read and straight to the point.

Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide magazine
To Believe Or Not To Believe: The Social and Neurological Consequences of Belief Systems
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Effective Book for Healing Emotional Wounds, May 25, 2007
By 
Belissima (Southern Mexico) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
I ordered this book on a lark. Before I ordered it I had a very successful EMDR session and this book shows a perfect way to get the same benefits. It addresses trauma and how to process it so it becomes something of the past. I can't recommend this book enough for anybody who is stuck in a painful situation, has PTSD, or simply wants to become more alive to the moment. EMDR:
American Psychiatric Association (2004). Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Practice Guidelines.

* EMDR was given the highest level of recommendation (category for robust empirical support and demonstrated effectiveness) in the treatment of trauma.

Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense (2004). VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Post-Traumatic Stress. Washington, DC.

* EMDR was placed in the "A" category as "strongly recommended" for the treatment of trauma.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple and thoughtful, August 17, 2009
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This review is from: Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being (Paperback)
My family comes from Germany, and we always did a lot of walking. Not i-pods, weight wristlets, water bottles,...just social, everyday walking. Every time I felt overcome by life, or the uncertainties and fears that arise, I would walk. I don't know why we like things complicated, but this book is simple and also makes sense. And it works.
I tried directing my energies and visualizing my stress, as noted in this book, and walking helps to realign my thoughts. I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first thing I thought of, after the shock, was that I am glad it wasn't my legs. I could still walk. Thanks, Tom.
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Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being
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