Previews & Reviews of New Books, Recordings & Apps for Body, Mind & Soul

SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL AUTHORS

A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health, by Dr. Glen Hepker, $13.95, 120 pages, available at Amazon.comA Glimpse of Heaven features the ancient Bright Beautiful School of Thought, or Ming Chia, a philosophy that supports the theory that the quality of our lives would be greatly enhanced if we took True Responsibility for our own health and well-being. Dr. Hepker, of the Mason City Wellness Center, LLC, in nearby Mason City, IA, says it’s important to initiate ownership of the notion of the True Responsibility of Healthful Interaction — displaying dignity, decency, goodness and grace in our daily interaction with others, and figuring out how to truly mean it. No Matter What.

All the Good Books Tell You So, by Doug Crandall, $15, 117 pages, available at lulu.com — Doug Crandall’s poetry is like a philosophical trip through the fun house at a carnival. Once you enter, you will see a myriad of images: some amusing, some strange, and even some that are disturbing. Yet, the whole time, you are aware that all the images are just distorted reflections of yourself. This fun house is the Universe Doug unveils. Doug, a native of Chisholm, MN, and current Twin Cities resident, is a former Edge staffer who continues to write poetry and explore the joy of living with his family.

Animals and the Kids Who Love Them, by Allen & Linda Anderson (New World Library), $14.95, 194 pages — A boy and his dog, girls and their horses — the clichés click because they’re so often true. But some kids do more than play with their pets, and some animals do more than fetch and purr. These kids and animals love unconditionally, and through that love, the condition of each is transformed. This collection is for animal lovers of all ages — and for anyone who wants to smile or needs to heal. You’ll meet: Ricochet, the golden retriever who surfs in charity events to raise money for children with disabilities; Snazzy, the black pony who helps a boy learn to talk; and Frankie, the dachshund with “wheel legs” who helps a boy with a leg brace find hope.

The Intuition Guidebook, by Cyndi Dale (Deeper Well), $16.95, 344 pages — Author Cyndi Dale (The Subtle Body; Advanced Chakra Healing) calls herself a “natural intuitive”–what most of us would label a psychic. In her new book, she tries to help people like her deal with and control their abilities. According to Dale, psychically sensitive people often know things they aren’t supposed to through hearing voices, absorbing feelings from others, or gaining knowledge through dreams. She writes that her intuitive development techniques and exercises should help budding psychics control their gifts and avoid becoming overwhelmed by them. By harnessing their intuitive sensitivity, she argues, psychics can create a new reality, which Dale calls a seventh sense.

Song of the Painted Obelisk, by C.A. Nixon, $14, 300 pages, available at Amazon.com — Inner forces and outer circumstances bring Sato and Naomi together on Water Mountain, where the old medicine woman, Elena, recruits them to restore the lost Lake of Marra. After starting their adventure on the abysmal path, the friends part ways. One goes into the shadow lands, the other to the world of Inner Earth. Anger separates them. Yet, the world depends upon their reconciliation.

Walking on Sunshine: NRG — A Divine Transformation, by Sheryl Hill (Xlibris), $19.95, 142 pages — Minnesota author Sheryl Hill’s Walking on Sunshine offers evidence of life after death to comfort and inspire others after the death of a loved one. For this author, death is not a stranger. Her father succumbed to lung cancer. Her nephew and sister-in-law died in a drunken driver accident. Then heaven called Tyler Hill, her vibrant 16-year-old son, home in 2007. Less than two years later her mother passed. Though the losses are heartbreaking, Sheryl’s spiritual journey assures her that for every day she lives, she is closer to where they are. Every ending is a new beginning. Love never dies. Revenues from the book benefit ClearCauseâ„¢ Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to safe global youth travel, foreign exchange and study abroad public awareness in honor of Tyler Hill and young people everywhere reaching for global understanding, and in particular to young Americans whose lives ended on foreign soils.

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OTHER NEW RELEASES

The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity, by Donna Gates with Linda Schatz (Hay House), $15.95, 361 pages — If you’re experiencing discomfort, fatigue or other symptoms that won’t go away no matter what you do or how many doctors you see, chances are you may be one of the millions unknowingly suffering from a systemic fungal/yeast infection. The result of an imbalance starting in your internal ecosystem, this can be a key factor in headaches, joint and muscle pain, depression, food allergies and other immune-related disorders. The Body Ecology Diet reveals how to restore and maintain this “inner ecology” your body needs to function properly, and eliminate or control the symptoms that rob you of the joy of living.

The Code: Unlocking the Ancient Power of Your Birthday, by Johanna Paungger and Thomas Poppe (Atria), $26, 304 pagesThe Code introduces readers to an enriching and timeless tradition practiced for centuries in Western Europe. Going beyond simple numerology and mystic numbers, The Code offers a practical guide to discovering your personal tendencies, choosing a career, raising children, navigating relationships, and living a fulfilling, healthy life. Each number in your birthdate has its own unique meaning and secret attributes that influence your abilities, personality, and relationships. By integrating the power of your birthday numbers with corresponding colors, the number wheel vividly shows you how to find balance and harmony, unearth your hidden talents, and navigate daily life. The Code offers time-tested indigenous knowledge that has been effectively used for centuries.

Glimpses of Eternity: Sharing a Loved One’s Passage from This Life to the Next, by Raymond Moody, M.D., with Paul Perry (Guideposts), $19.99, 184 pages — In this groundbreaking new book, Dr. Raymond Moody, named the “father of near-death experiences” by The New York Times, explores this provocative and intriguing question. Dr. Moody’s seminal work Life After Life completely changed the way we view death and dying, and this new work continues his research and proves the existence of an afterlife. Based on multiple firsthand accounts and in-depth interviews with people who have had shared-death experiences, Glimpses of Eternity offers a scientific model for how these moments could actually happen. Dr. Moody reveals compelling evidence of people sharing their loved ones’ first moments of their journey from this life to the next, including a wide range of case studies and his personal experiences during his own mother’s passing. Glimpses of Eternity offers comfort and hope, and sheds new light on the mysterious adventure we take at life’s end.

The Golden Motorcycle Gang: A Story of Transformation, by Jack Canfield and William Gladstone (Hay House), $14.95, 192 pages — Have you ever asked yourself why you are on planet Earth? And what the ultimate purpose for your life might be? Well, Jack Canfield asked himself this very question and came up with a surprising answer — part of which included a vision revealing that he is part of a “Golden Motorcycle Gang” — a gang whose intent is to have fun, but also to make significant contributions to the well-being of humanity. During a joyful dinner many years ago in Santa Barbara, CA, Jack told his friend William Gladstone about the Gang. Upon hearing this account, William had an epiphany that Jack’s story held a powerful underlying truth, not only explaining Jack’s true purpose, but William’s as well. For more than ten years, William encouraged Jack to write a book based on the story of the Gang, so they have now collaborated on this work to show you its relevance to this critical moment in the history of human civilization . . . and also to you, personally. As you read, you will be introduced to some of the extraordinary members of the Golden Motorcycle Gang, including visionary thinkers such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, the originator of the concept of Conscious Evolution.

Janet Planet, by Eleanor Lerman (Mayapple Press) $17.95, 200 pages — Acclaimed poet and short story writer Eleanor Lerman, in her first novel, builds upon the fascinating story of the life of Carlos Castaneda as a metaphor for what happened to many people of the Woodstock generation, and the hippie movement itself. The literary embodiment of his generation, Castaneda became an international celebrity in the 1960s with his books on alternative spirituality. “I decided to rewrite the life of Castaneda to explore how the Woodstock generation — a generation that really believed it could ‘break on through to the other side’ — is coping with the fact that things did not turn out to be quite so imbued with magic and the revolution we expected never quite came to pass,” the author said.

Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain one simple practice at a time, by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. (New Harbinger Publications), $15.95, 160 pages — You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness. Just one practice each day can help you: Be good to yourself. Enjoy life as it is. Build on your strengths. Be more effective at home and work. Make peace with your emotions.

Let’s Eat Out with Celiac / Coeliac & Food Allergies! by Kim Koeller and Robert La France (R & R Publishing), $26.95, 400 pages — This innovative book, endorsed by associations across the globe, offers readers: proven cuisine-specific restaurant choices for safe eating anywhere; Understanding of the hidden presences of ten common food allergens; 7 international cuisines with over 175 menu items with questions to ask; Hundreds of ingredients, preparation check lists and hidden allergens; Guidelines for snacks, beverages, airlines, hotels, cruises and travel. Based on over six years of extensive research, this is the first book dedicated to safe eating around the corner and around the world while managing ten common food allergens including; corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat.

Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic, by Mike Dooley (Beyond Words/Atria Books), $21.99, 200 pagesLeveraging the Universe breaks down the art of manifestation into a step-by-step, actionable system, making this Mike Dooley’s most comprehensive and assessable work to date. A featured teacher in The Secret, Dooley also is the New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Possibilities and Notes from the Universe trilogy. Filled with practical strategies and simple exercises that anyone can do, Leveraging the Universe lays out a path to engaging the magic that is available to everyone.

Living in Gratitude: A Journey that will Change Your Life, by Angeles Arrien (Sounds True), $$21.95, 240 pages — Is it possible that our lives could be completely transformed…just by learning to be grateful? Could gratitude change virtually every aspect of our daily existence, from boosting our immune system, to fostering creativity, mending relationships, even improving financial well-being? In her newest book, Living in Gratitude, cultural anthroploogist, teacher and author Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., demonstrates how this simple emotion may be one of the most important choices we make as human beings.

Make Love to the Universe: Himalayan Masters Share Spiritual Wisdom, by Phoenix Desmond (Wolf Trail Press), $14.95, 200 pages — Phoenix hears sounds nobody else can: the language of an advanced race of beings from a nearby sun. If it wasn’t for the enchanting symphony playing in his head, he never would have dared to venture deep into the Himalayas with little more than the clothes on his body. Nor would he have been willing to sacrifice everything to fulfill a prophecy. But now the sensations streaming through his body are too powerful to ignore. With each fated step, he draws nearer to the immortal master who has become the object of his quest. Is he a visionary with a story to tell, or a madman with an elaborate imagination?

Manifesting Michelangelo: The True Story of a Modern-day Miracle — That May Make All Change Possible, by Joseph Pierce Farrell (Atria), $15, 239 pages — At the dawn of the new millennium, Joseph Pierce Farrell made a startling discovery that redefines what it means to be human and holds the potential to transform the world. One evening while working in his basement studio restoring the face of a church statue, he stumbled upon his discovery. Immersed in the meditative process of sculpting, he permitted his mind to dream with the unlimited imagination of a child, and he envisioned how wonderful it would be if he could restore a real child’s face with the same God-given artistry with which he was restoring the sculpture. In that moment, he experienced a brilliant blinding flash that ignited within him a remarkable power. Since that transformative moment, he has realized the profound capacity to wield spirit, like a gifted sculptor wields tools, to restore the severely disfigured features on a young man’s face, virtually erase an inoperable brain tumor, and mend shattered bones in limbs –simply with intention and a profound connection to a higher source. He outlines an easy-to-follow, five-step process that readers can use to ignite within themselves their own capacity to manifest change in their lives and chosen fields of endeavor.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Deluxe Edition), by Joseph Murphy, Ph.D., D.D. (Tarcher/Penguin), $21.95, 369 pagesThe Power of Your Subconscious Mind is one of the most brilliant and beloved self-help works of all time. It teaches how to dramatically improve your life by the simple, yet immensely powerful, act of changing your thoughts. Touching countless readers since its original publication in 1963, this classic of affirmative thinking comes with a bonus work: Murphy’s 1952 mind-power classic, Riches Are Your Right.

Practical Conscious Creation: Daily Techniques to Manifest Your Desires, by Jackie Lapin (Findhorn Press), $19.95, 256 pages — Exploring the principles of Conscious Creation — a methodology for reenergizing and re-empowering one’s daily experiences — this overview provides all the necessary tools for creating the life one desires. It demonstrates how to employ this powerful form of inspired thought in all actions, decisions, and routines. Filled with specific and imaginative practices, it teaches how to use the Law of Attraction with Conscious Visualization in order to proactively choose one’s future, rather than merely passively waiting for something to happen. Including 70 articles that offer guidance for adapting Conscious Creation wisdom and applying it on a daily basis, this resource shows how to achieve a greater sense of empowerment and a more satisfying lifestyle.

A Princess and Her Garden: A Fable of Awakening and Arrival (Center for Applications of Psychological Type), $19.95, 136 pages — In A Princess and Her Garden, psychologist and author Patricia Adson, Ph.D. guides women through the self-care process, equipping them with tools for growth and emotional healing. A Princess and Her Garden is a fable that reflects the stories of many women — and some men — who learn to put other people’s needs before their own, until one day they come to realize they feel lost or unhappy because they have forgotten, or perhaps never learned, how to care for themselves. This book uses the garden as an eloquent metaphor for how we move through life. Included: A guided journal.

Soul to Soul Parenting: A Guide to Raising a Spiritually Conscious Family, by Annie Burnside, M.Ed. (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing Inc.), $16, 254 pages — A guidebook for parents who want to infuse greater spiritual awareness into everyday life. Soul to Soul Parenting gives you the tools to lead an authentic, conscious, divinely inspired life so that you can provide the same for your children. Tap into your intuitive wisdom as together you explore universal spiritual principles through a variety of simple, daily means. This book also assists parents in becoming active participants in their children’s awakening as conscious global citizens. A key message for parents: Once a divine perspective is ignited within, we can feel more intimately connected to the eternal source, cultivating personal truth, authentic relationships, and enhanced life experiences.

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles, by Gabrielle Bernstein (Harmony Books), $23, 256 pages — How does a New York City publicist and party girl turn into a go-to guide for the next generation? In her new book, Spirit Junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein shares the story of how she transformed her life, offering her spiritual journey as a guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for. Bernstein has traded self-doubt and addiction for a new kind of high. In 2005 she became a student of A Course in Miracles and since then she has been guided to teach those spiritual principles to the next generation of seekers.

Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power, by Gary Zukav (HarperOne), $14.99, 280 pages — This book is about our new relationships. A new and surprising world is emerging that requires each of us to explore the sources of our love and cultivate them and the inner sources of all that prevents us from loving (our fears) and heal them. Our evolution now presents us at each moment with a profound choice: we can pretend that our lives and the world are not changing and continue to relate to one another as before, or we can use our relationships to transform ourselves into authentically powerful, loving individuals. In Spiritual Partnership, bestselling author Gary Zukav empowers and enables us to explore our emotions, our intentions, our choices, and our intuition and to use them to create profound spiritual growth. The world is changing around us and within us, and Spiritual Partnership is the roadmap to that change.

Unconditional Forgiveness: A Simple and Proven Method to Forgive Everyone and Everything, by Mary Hayes Grieco (Beyond Words / Atria Books), $15, 211 pages, on sale December 20 — Author and director of the Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training, Mary Hayes Grieco offers us an accessible eight-step method of forgiveness that brings swift and permanent relief from emotional pain. In Unconditional Forgiveness, she addresses the healing of an entire spectrum of issues, from everyday frustrations and difficult losses and traumas to self-forgiveness. Pithy, potent and pictorial, this unique how-to book offers readers powerful catharsis and lasting change that can be experienced immediately through improved vitality and better relationships.

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APPS

EASe Listening Therapy, starting at $0.99, available at iTunes — Children with autism and others with sensory processing disorder now have an app specifically designed to help them cope with noise and the sensory world. The EASe Listening Therapy app is available in three versions — EASe Lite, EASe Personal and EASe Pro. The EASe Listening Therapy app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch was developed by Audioforge Labs and Vision Play, LLC, for children with autism and others who often respond to noise with exaggerated reactions, distraction and behavioral or learning issues. EASe Listening Therapy uses music to deliver short, intense bursts of sound, creating a sensory palette of sonic experiences that can help a child learn to cope with typical environmental conditions. After using the program, therapists report that children are better able to tolerate noisy and busy environments, react less to new stimuli, improve eye contact and connection with others, are more receptive to language, improve vestibular movement and tolerance to movement, and have better task organization and play skills.

Wellscapes, $1.99, available at iTunes — Tap into the healing power of nature by taking five minutes to immerse yourself along the shores of a lake as the sun rises, in a northern forest as spring unfolds. The Wellscapes app, developed by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing and renowned nature photographer Craig Blacklock, offers you the opportunity to watch stunning nature videos in silence, with music and nature sounds, or with music, nature sounds and gentle guiding. The Forest Awakens inspires rejuvenation and is provided free with the app. Additional titles on mindfulness, letting go, intention and possibility are $1.99 at iTunes. Search for Wellscapes. Look for Wellscapes Kids coming soon.

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GIFTS FOR CHILDREN

Children’s Spirit Animal Cards, by Dr. Steven D. Farmer (Satiama.com), $14.99, 24-card deck and guidebook, for ages 6 and above — Winner of three major awards, these simple yet powerful Children’s Spirit Animal Cards by internationally-renowned author Steven D. Farmer offer children of all ages the opportunity to explore the energy of their spirit helpers in animal form. They will receive beautiful age-appropriate message of love and guidance to help them as they develop and grow. Stunningly illustrated, this 24-card deck comes with an enclosed guidebook that provides children easy-to-understand insight into each spirit animal and also includes a Guide for Parents. A beautiful wisdom deck that kids will use often and for many more years to come. Beautifully illustrated by Pamela Anzalotti. Children’s Spirit Animal Cards have won the Creative Child Magazine 2011 Seal of Excellence, the Mom’s Choice Gold Medal Award 2011 and the Parent-Tested Parent-Approved Seal of Excellence award.

Thanks God, I Love You, and Goodnight, by Korinn S. Hawkins, $9.99, 33 pages, available through Amazon.com and Korinn.com — This children’s book includes images and messages meaningful for people of all ages. It takes form as both a spiritual prayer and a gratitude. “The main goal of the book is to be an access point for connecting with God,” Korinn said. “Its message and beautiful photography encourage an awareness of God.” By the end of the book, readers are asked to look around and discover where it is that they see God right now, acknowledging the truth and personal experience of God being present in our life at all times.

The Three Silver coins: A Story from Tibet, by Vernoica Leo and Tashi Daknewa (Snow Lion), $14.95, 33 pages — Once upon a time there was a poor boy named Jinpa who lived in the high mountains of Tibet. For his hard work, he received one day three gleaming silver coins. “With these you can become rich!” his mother told him. “Invest them wisely, and they will increase a hundredfold.” So into the world Jinpa went, carrying his three silver coins, to seek his fortune. The Three Silver Coins, originally commissioned by the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, is the only illustrated book in their collection.

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CDs

In This Moment: Guided Mindfulness Meditations, by Richard Burr (Kickin’ Dust Music), $9.99, five songs, available on iTunes — Richard Burr is a guided meditation specialist who has been called upon by everyone from major film stars to world-renowned television talk shows. His gentle, but powerful approach has brought healing to people who have been struggling with difficult times, transitions, or just the stresses of everyday life. His new release, In This Moment, enables us all to experience his unique approach in the comfort of our homes. The 35-minute disc of tranquil exercises awakens and refreshes the spirit, focusing on breathing and visualization techniques, sensory awareness, and much more. “So often,” Burr said, “our thoughts will carry us away from our appreciation of the moment, which can contribute to our stress and anxiety.” In This Moment has contained within it a practice that can revolutionize your daily experience of the world. Created as a way to connect with yourself through the practice of mindfulness, Richard Burr has captured the essence of this ancient practice and has made it accessible to anyone who is willing to gain new insight into themselves.

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DVDs

YogaWoman: Never Underestimate the Power of Inner Peace, narrated by Annette Bening, written and directed by Kate McIntyre and Saraswati Clere, (Second Nature Films), 84 minutes, $24.95, available at Yogawoman.tv — Yoga was brought to the west from India by a lineage of male teachers. Now there’s a generation of women who are leading the way. They’re strong, they’re inspiring and they’re radically changing peoples lives. A quiet revolution brews in yoga studios, hospitals, and living rooms around the globe: In record numbers, women are discovering their own strength, vitality, peace, and power through yoga. Reclaiming this ancient spiritual path from its traditionally male form, the result is a radical transformation of modern yoga, as we know it. Led by a new generation of dynamic female teachers, this “new” yoga replaces the male-centered, rigid style with a distinctly feminine practice that honors intuition, family, flow, connection, community, activism, and the cyclical nature of women’s lives. Yogawoman is a groundbreaking film that captures this fascinating time of awakening female power.

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REVIEWS

A Little Book About Believing: The Transformative Healing Power of Faith, Love and Surrender, by Cash Peters (Penner Publishing), 272 pages, $14.99

If the phone rang tomorrow and I got the news we all fear – that a loved one had been diagnosed with cancer – the first thing I would do is get online and order a copy of Cash Peters’ new book.

The story of Peters’ voyage to Brazil to receive a healing from famed spiritual surgeon John of God, A Little Book About Believing is one of those books that can not only change a life, but might actually save a life. Peters first hears of John of God through a “chance” meeting at a party. Suffering from almost total deafness in one ear and from a broken relationship with his father – the two may or may not be related – the author decides to personally investigate the miraculous claims emanating from the Casa de Dom Ignacio.

A Peabody Award-winning radio journalist and star of the Travel Channel adventure series Stranded With Cash Peters, the author brings a keen eye for detail and a dry wit to his adventures in healing. Whether investigating ecstatic claims of psychic surgeries from John’s devotees, guiltily sneaking an extra piece of cake from the casa kitchen after lunch, or enduring long lectures on the evils of milk, sugar and the stressed-out American lifestyle from his New Age tour mates, Peters paints a compassionate but unsparing portrait of himself and his fellow seekers.

Peters is a breezy, conversational writer, and A Little Book About Believing reads like an adventure whodunit as Cash tries to satisfy his own questions and move past his personal doubts while experiencing the sometimes dramatic ups-and-downs of a spiritual pilgrimage.

Along the way, the author presents us with some rather astonishing facts and statistics about the modern scourge of cancer, including damning evidence of the witch hunts the modern allopathic medical machine has routinely carried out any time an herbalist or nutritionist has started receiving too much attention for actually curing cancer patients.

What Peters ultimately decides about the validity of John of God’s work is surprising, touching and empowering. In the end, A Little Book About Believing paints a balanced, interesting and ultimately life-affirming picture of just how much healing we are capable of experiencing, if we’ll just get out of the way of the Divine Life Force that lives in all of us. — review by D.K. Brainard


Animal Healing, The Power of Rolfing® Structural Integration, by Briah Anson (MIll City Press), 306 pages, $24.95

Unconditional love from a pet is a gift we pet owners receive multiple times a day. It’s the biggest perk of pet ownership. Whether we are conscious of it or not, their very presence in our lives encourages healing on many levels. And they remain loyal despite our rainbow of moods, looking only for food and love.

In turn, don’t we want them to have fun, age with ease and feel no pain during their brief sojourn with us? Toward that end, I’ve recently discovered Rolfing® Structural Integration, a form of bodywork which produces amazing healing results on a physical, spiritual and emotional level for both humans and animals.

Briah Anson, M.A., author of Rolfing®: Stories of Empowerment, has written a new book on the Rolfing® process and the benefits for animals. In Animal Healing, The Power of Rolfing® Structural Integration, she presents more than three dozen profiles of 56 different animals — both domestic and wild — that experience the Rolfing® process. Briah makes a convincing case that Rolfing® Structural Integration (SI) can produce profound lifestyle benefits to all animals.

Any animal suffering from movement limitations resulting from injury, disease and surgical trauma — even old age — experiences relief and recovery. Rolfing® SI also contributes to the rehabilitation from secondary or tertiary responses to trauma-the muscles spasms, soreness and compensatory patterns that linger long after the wounds heal.

Examples of the creatures profiled include cats, dogs, horses, birds, llamas, eagles, an owl, a cougar and an endearing Moose named Mike. Each chapter includes a description of the animal from the owner’s perspective, as well as a description of Briah’s analysis. Photos accompany the stories so readers can really see the animal’s reaction to the Rolfing SI treatment — deep relaxation. Most chapters include before and after photos, which are powerful testaments to the work.

Some animals experience rehabilitation from issues derived from birth defects, acute spinal injuries and hip dysfunctions. Rescue animals experience trauma as they transition from shelters and kennels to new homes. You’ll read about the dogs, cats and even guinea pigs that have moved from impatience and anxiety to ease and calm after a few Rolfing sessions. Many injuries and traumas could not be resolved using conventional veterinarian medicine.

Briah volunteered for more than two years at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN, where she worked with several injured eagles to help rehabilitate and heal them. You can see these eagles at the Eagle center today. Just ask for Angel, Harriet, Donald or Columbia.

Rolfing® Structural Integration was developed more than 60 years ago by a biochemist and physiologist, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Briah has been performing Rolfing SI for more than 30 years. She is a pioneer who has taken this transformative bodywork for humans and applied it to animals, producing five educational videos on this work. She currently has a private practice in St. Paul. Read more about Rolfing SI and animal healing at www.briahansonrolfing-animalhealing.com. — review by Kelly Jones Hicks


The Zen Path Through Depression, by Philip Martin (HapperCollins), 176 pages, $13.99

I’m not depressed. I’m not Buddhist. But I love this book.

The Zen Path Through Depression was a truly meaningful read for me. I received the book as a gift from a friend after meeting with my meditation group one evening. “Here, I thought this might speak to you,” he said caringly as he handed me a small paperback. It was only after I’d gotten home and looked at the book that I realized the very friend who gifted it was also the author.

The format of Martin’s book is welcome, especially for one who may be struggling with depression or another mental disorder. Each of the short chapters begins with a quote of inspiration, touches on a particular aspect of depression, offers insight and often a personal illustration or Zen anecdote, and round out with an elective exploration exercise, all centering around the practices and principles of Zen Buddhism. The arrangement of the book itself is easy-to-digest, non-confrontational, and non-intimidating, which makes it ideal for the audience Martin is aiming to reach.

Martin’s book is written on a foundation of knowing compassion, love, experiential empathy, and caring, and those qualities ooze through his words.

I don’t struggle primarily with depression, though it often becomes a strong side-effect of what I do principally cope with on a daily basis. The topic of Zen as presented by Martin is so accessible that while reading, I was easily able to translate the word “depression” for my own personal inner conflicts.

After sitting practice one evening, Phil and I were discussing study habits and he shared that he has a thing against writing in books…I had to admit and apologize to him that I’d marked up his book quite a lot. There were so many points that spoke to me, and that as I look back and review continue to bring me gently to a place of mindful awareness and acceptance.

This book is recommended for anyone. Depressed, hopeless, confused…unsatisfied, struggling, coping…or simply seeking. It would offer great insight to someone who longs to understand or offer support to a depressed person. There is something for everyone here.

Thank you Phil, for sharing your path through depression, and shining a light for others to follow. The author writes: “There are no wrong turns on this journey. Any way you choose provides an opportunity for practice and discovery.” ~ review by Clare L. Polencheck

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