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Change the Story of Your Health: Using Shamanic and Jungian Techniques for Healing Paperback – February 28, 2017
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Whatever health situation you might be facing, Change theStory of Your Health can help identify your health story and uses journaling and expanded awareness practices to begin changing it, leading to better health and wellness. As a companion to his book Change Your Story, Change Your Life, Greer offers Shamanic and Jungian techniques to gain insights and energies for changing an unsatisfying health story.
Besides journaling, he offers ways to dialog and interact with the earth, a river, wind, or fire. He also engages the chakras, dreams, symptoms, and the innerhealer. Change the Story of Your Health is very much a workbook, not one to be read and set aside. It could be overwhelming due to the depth to which one could be led. However, it is the kind of book that could be life-changing and truly healing. This makes the risk of dipping in more than worth it.
--New Spirit Journal
Greer (Change Your Story, Change Your Life,2014) focuses this book on the thoughts and feelings associated with health conditions and goals--not the physical realities. An experienced clinical psychologist, he suggests Jungian and shamanic practices as mainly enhancements to health treatments, not replacements. But in this guide, he artfully illustrates the power of imagination, attitude, and narrative in the way a human approaches, overcomes, or lives with medical conditions. Exploring the chakras and their links to certain physical sensations or discomforts, the author suggests emotional connections that may influence physical conditions in certain areas of the body. For example, the fifth chakra, which is associated with the thyroid and throat, is also linked to speaking truths and communicating. Difficulty swallowing, sore throats,thyroid problems, and vocal cord conditions can be associated with suppressing emotions or having trouble interacting. Greer suggests that practices aligning and balancing the chakras can ease these discomforts. In addition, the authoruses anecdotes about patients who alleviated certain physical conditions--like rheumatoid arthritis--by releasing repressed emotional energy, such as anger at a spouse, rather than bottling up the feelings. Unlike other books of this genre, Greer's well-researched work suggests "revising" the story of one's health. Stories, he explains in this quiet and medically sound guide, define individuals' lives and their beliefs about themselves. People hold stories subconsciously that they must break out of and rewrite in order to make changes. He suggests working with dreams, archetypes, symbols, and conversations with different embodiments of source energy to ground individuals and revise the stale stories about who they are. Readers seeking to explore new ways to develop their inner calm, balance, self-love, and optimal physical health should find this approach refreshing and full of possibilities.
An appealing, helpful, and intriguing new approach to dealing with physical limitations and conditions.
For anyone looking for how to cope with health issues, including an accident or recent illness, Change the Story of Your Health is a valuable resource. As a Jungian analyst, Carl Greer guides us how to unfold the power of our health story through journaling and expanded awareness practices to contact our "inner healer." He also recommends shamanic journeying, working with nature, dreams, and the chakras. In the chapter "Consciousness, Energy and the Body," he writes about the emotional stressors such as thoughts that trigger fear, anger, tension, and emotional problems that disturb the physical body that can be helped through shamanic practices. He encourages readers to "write out the story of your health" which includes good habits, challenges, connections, partnering, family history, stress, goals, themes and concerns about mortality, and how to "revise the story" as time passes, the body ages, or new health issues arise. He recommends using the expanded-awareness practice of dialoging in relationships and groups to help create a healing environment or community.
--Light of Consciousness magazine
To arrive at an understanding of what is going on under the surface of our conscious mind, Greer suggests a number of techniques, including meditation and journaling, as well as detailed questionnaires to lead the reader through an exploration of his or her own issues. The underlying message is that one first needs to understand how you got to where you are and then take responsibility for reframing your mind/story in order to open the way towards regaining your health. There are obviously many factors that play into one's state of health, however Greer makes a very powerful case for the most important of these being one's beliefs.
Shamanic techniques like journeying and connecting with the healing power of nature are also described in detail, as is the very sensible observation that as time passes your health story does change. How rapidly and in what direction is, he suggests, up to the individual. It's all a matter of choice, focus and practice.
--New Consciousness magazine
In Change the Story of Your Health, clinical psychologist Carl Greer explains how to create a transformative health story using shamanic and Jungian techniques. The unconscious power of stories unlocks opportunities for healing as well as improved vitality, confidence, and stamina. "Always remember that you are the storyteller," writes Greer, "and you do not have to live according to the dictates of a story written for you by your DNA, your past experiences and actions, or your cultural conditioning."
Greer recommends writing the story of your health by focusing on four health chapters or themes: eating, drinking, and weight; movement and exercise; sexuality, body image, andbody acceptance; and symptom management for chronic health conditions. For each chapter, he poses a page-plus of questions to expand thinking about the theme.
Next, the deep work begins. Exercises based on shamanic and Jungian archetypes are described to encourage greater health insights. These include working with elements in nature; dialoging with figures, symbols, and spirit animals; and dream work. Preparation is discussed, and journaling afterward to bring the story to life is recommended.
Despite its use of alternative techniques, the book is practical, and is presented in a straightforward manner. Mini case studies show others' experiences with the energy exercises, and the changes they made as a result. Greer makes clear that the intention of this work is to complement and enhance, not replace, western medicine. He recommends that clients check with a medical doctor as symptoms are uncovered, and he relates some of his own health challenges. Learning about the latest research, assistive devices, and medical interventions is encouraged.
The work described here will take time, but anyone interested in improving health challenges or who is curious about alternative healing techniques will find this to be an insightful guide.
--Karen Ackland, Foreword Reviews
While a growing number of alternative medical books add a spiritual dimension, what is unusual in Change the Story of Your Health is its blend of specific Jungian techniques with shamanic approaches usually relegated to new age audiences; all this bundled with an attention to physical and personal health challenges that range from the effects of aging to sexuality and serious health ailments.
Chapters advocate a series of practices designed to manage and mitigate these various obstacles to mental and physical health, and so readers receive the tools and specific exercises to incorporate new lifestyles, exercise, meditation and reflective strategies into their overall health routines.
The focus is on identifying blocks to health, more fully understanding one's current state of health and the keys to maintaining or improving it, and on applying journaling and dialoging techniques to expand self awareness and tap inner resources for healing.
An affinity for self-examination, self-directed exercises, and Jungian and shamanic approaches alike will be a prerequisite for successfully utilizing this book. Readers determined to take charge of their path towards optimal health will find Change the Story of Your Health contains a treasure trove of step-by-step processes designed to lend insights into and modifications to overall health and approaches to life.
--Midwest Book Reviews California Bookwatch
Greer demonstrated in his first book that our personal stories not only affect our lives but are very often written by family, environmental influences, and cultural context. Now he is applying that concept to physical health. As Baby Boomers age, health issues loom large on the world stage. Recognizing that this is the group that learned (in large part) to meditate because of the Beatles, he has merged his business acumen, clinical Jungian training, and shamanic experience into a healing protocol that will appeal to that market and the progeny that they have raised. He is telling them that if they change the story that they tell about health and wellness, they can change the way that they experience those things in the physical world. Let customers know that this is an intriguing step into the future that can help to change the world we live in.
--Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
Change the Story of Your Health offers a unique approach to self-exploration and healing. Drawing from traditional Shamanism and Jungian principles, Greer captures the essence of connecting with nature and tapping into a greater spiritual awareness. Written in an informative yet accessible way, he reveals what he has learned on his health journey in the hopes that is will inspire and motivate others.
Whether you're looking to maintain wellness as you age, manage a chronic illness or simply improve your overall well being, this book will guide you every step of the way. As a clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst and shamanic practitioner, Greer provides a fresh perspective on Shamanism and Jung's ancient wisdom, and gives the reader practical tools they can apply to their everyday lives.
--Rose Caiola, Rewire Me magazine
--Susan F. Reynolds, MD, PhD, President and CEO, The Institute for Medical Leadership
"As an academic physician who has been on a journey of self-discovery for most of my life, I am delighted to find a work as clear and understandable as Carl Greer's Change the Story of Your Health. Dr.Greer has created a remarkably accessible work offering fresh tools for self-exploration. The writing is frank and clear, and it feels as if he is speaking directly to the reader. Carl's voice resonates in each sentence, conveying his deep integrity and desire to be of service to others. The book covers a wide range of topics from shamanic journeying to the chakra system to the concept of the Quiet, a place where all possibilities and knowledge that have not yet taken form can be assessed. The reader is offered approaches to self-discovery intended to provide insights into the profound life lessons offered to each of us through our health stories.
This book is written for seekers who are searching for a fresh approach to self-understanding and looking for new ways to connect with Source for the purpose of healing. While several of the exercises are draw from age-old or traditional methods of communicating with one's inner teachers and guides, Dr.Greer has his own take on them, so they will feel new and personal to many. But, the reader must remember that the printed word is just the starting place--intentional application and some practice are needed to gain insights into the self and what lies behind one's personal health story. The exercises can become part of one's spiritual practices without extensive instruction, and can be wisely used to delve deeper into the hidden currents flowing behind the scenes in each of our lives, currents that can have a profound effect on our behaviors and health.
Change the Story of Your Health is suitable for novice and experienced seekers alike. Reading it and using its techniques can serve as a first step in changing our relationship to our lives and our health."
--David M. Steinhorn, MD, Professorof Pediatrics, Children's National Health System, Washington, DC, Medical Director, Pediatric Palliative Care and Attending Physician, Pediatric Intensive Care
"It is asingular pleasure to call attention to Carl Greer's remarkable melding of Jung's analytical psychology and the ancient, and global, traditions of shamanic healing. His commitment to bringing the resources of both these traditions to a larger audience is reflected in his accessible and compelling reflections on the ways in which the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves shape the lives we live. In today's world, Carl Greer's work provides much-needed guidance for a moreful filling and healthy way of life."
--George Hogenson, PhD, Jungian analyst and author of Jung's Struggle with Freud
About the Author
Carl C. Greer, PhD, PsyD, is a practicing clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst, and shamanic practitioner. He teaches at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago and is on staff at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being. Learn more at CarlGreer.com.
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Really? My body has handled major diseases, four operations, and three martial arts disciplines. “Sensitive and fragile.” Where did I get that idea? Turns out from my dad, who was a major athlete while I was not. After using this book, my new story: "I have a strong and resilient body that will remain healthy until I leave this Earth."
WHAT HEALTH STORY ARE YOU TELLING YOURSELF? Dive into this book and find out. Then start using the Jungian and Shamanic techniques to change your story—permanently. And very likely change your health. Carl Greer has been a Jungian analyst and Shaman for many years, and knows how to help you discover the story you’ve been telling yourself and how to change it.
The visualizations and guided meditations he provides can tap into your own healing power in ways that an ordinary state of consciousness can’t do. Take time to do the work—the results will more than repay you. I know personally the astonishing, creative ways in which the mind can provide answers and healing energy.
Buy this book and use it like a manual to craft a new, better story for yourself and your health. It’s worth every moment you give to it.
Greer lays out a rich array of practices, especially journal-writing and guided meditation (or "expanded-awareness practices"), described in a way that any reader can do at home or in the energizing, healing presence of nature. Many of these could be very useful for anyone working through health issues or aging. He carefully lays out he his case that these are supported by Jungian psychology, shamanism, and neuroscience, which he views as compatible and overlapping. Story is central. As the title conveys, each person's health story, or self-talk and profound, personal perception of health, can be managed and can promote healing The journal and journeys help one to engage the chakras and energies and gain to insights from the individual or collective unconscious. One element of the quest for healing is an attempt to have better physical health, but it is also something deeper, a spiritual quest involving personal growth and mature acceptance. The use of substances is set aside for this book with Greer's statement, "Traditionally, shamans or medicine men or women often worked with sacred plants such as Ayahuasca to assist people in accessing and doing work in transpersonal realms, because of these plants’ ability to induce an altered state of consciousness. However, using these plants is not necessary for you to benefit from the expanded-awareness practices you will learn about here." (Chapter 4, location 1246)
Greer's language is direct, specific, and accessible. He avoids the vague generalizations that appear in some self-help writings. When explaining neurological information, he keeps the technical, scientific language at a reasonable, user-friendly level. While sharing the common New Age skepticism about overdependence on institutionally managed medicine, he does also describe many examples of complementary use of traditional and medical approaches for positive outcomes.
These include his own experience and his wife's, which do not dominate but are included where appropriate in an engaging manner. He opens with the reflection, "As I get older, like many of my peers, I’m spending more time dealing with health issues. With an ever-increasing number of health experts offering advice, and more specialists, procedures, medications, and treatments becoming available every day, making choices about health can feel overwhelming at times. But I know that each of us has a much greater ability than we think to learn from our symptoms, understand what our bodies need, and access our inner healer." (Acknowledgments, location 99). Closing, he adds, "As I finish this book, I’m in a state of unknowing about some aspects of my health story. All I can do is work with the practices that I’ve suggested in this book. … The 'suddenlys' in our lives come unexpectedly and can turn our lives upside down. But such is life." (Chapter 9, location 3422)
What Greer personally believes and practices, he describes in usable detail for others, explained in Jungian and shamanic context. You may be seeking a practical approach, things you can do for your own healing, or aging. This book has many suggestions which I think could be very useful for a grounded, yet optimistic, outlook with real benefits. Or you may simply wish to learn more about Jungian practice and shamanism from the perspective of an articulate proponent. You may, as I do, continue to prefer other perspectives yet also want to understand better what others believe and do in our time. If so, this book is a clear and thoughtful introduction to contemporary shamanism and Jungian healing.