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Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being Paperback – October 19, 2006
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“In presenting respectable research and scholarship on how the mundane-seeming, everyday activity of walking balances the brain’s laterality, Thom Hartmann brings a scholar’s concentration to his subject, a storyteller’s sense of enchantment, and a humanitarian’s concern with the issues that matter.” (Stephen Larsen, author of The Healing Power of Neurofeedback)
“Thom Hartmann’s work with bilateral movement is a fascinating and important contribution to holistic healing modalities and a timely tool for healing many crises of our modern times.” (James Endredy, author of Ecoshamanism and Earthwalks for Body and Spirit)
From the Back Cover
“This book is a prescription for mental wellness that has no bad side effects. Walking, like drawing, is a human activity that calms the brain and induces insight. . . . Buy several copies--you’ll be handing this book out to friends.”
--Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Our bodies usually heal rapidly from an illness, injury, or wound. Yet our minds and hearts often suffer for years with debilitating symptoms of distress or upset. Why is it so hard for our minds and hearts to heal? One simple key to healing them can be just a short walk away.
Walking--a bilateral therapy that has been a part of human life throughout history--allows people to heal emotionally as quickly as they do physically. Normally the brain converts our daily experiences into long-term memories. However, a traumatic experience can become “stuck” in the brain, unable to be stored as “memory” and persisting in the brain as if it were still a present-time event. Thom Hartmann explains that when we walk, which engages both sides of the body, we simultaneously activate both the left and right sides of the brain. This allows the brain’s two hemispheres to join forces to break up brain patterning and allow the sufferer to release these distresses--from extreme but brief upsets to chronic conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
To achieve these results, Hartmann shows how we must learn to walk consciously, holding an awareness of the distress (or desire we hope to attain) in mind as we move. Using a variety of case studies, he demonstrates that it is possible to dissolve the rigidity of a traumatic memory or negative mind state in as little as a half hour’s time. His techniques have proven successful in helping to alleviate rage resulting from a domestic dispute as well as the chronic traumas soldiers experience during war that are often locked away for decades. While the physical benefits of walking have long been recognized, its importance in promoting and maintaining mental health has only recently been rediscovered. Hartmann’s deceptively simple, yet potent exercises allow us to create our own walking journeys to restore our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being as well as rejuvenate our body’s health.
THOM HARTMANN is the award-winning, bestselling author of over a dozen books, including The Edison Gene, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, and Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception. His groundbreaking work in ADD/ADHD and psychotherapy has been featured in TIME magazine, the New York Times, and in media around the world. He lives in Oregon.
Top Customer Reviews
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.