Energy Psychology, Slow-down Eating and Spiritual Cinema

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    The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change, by David Feinstein, Donna Eden, and Gary Craig, Tarcher Penguin, New York, NY, 2005. $15.95.

    Any book that starts its title with ‘The Promise of’ confesses that its techniques are not fully proven and do not work in all situations. However, such confessions do not usually appear among ample evidence of success from clinical trials, client testimony, and even positive recognition from the leading journals in the fields of psychology and medicine, as in the case of The Promise of Energy Psychology. Based on the same theories as the ancient art of acupuncture, the techniques of energy psychology focus on the stimulation of specific points on the skin to alter the body’s electro chemicals while the recipient contemplates a difficult thought or memory, thus releasing the associated stress. In this way, the practitioner affects the patient’s brain chemistry with a precision and gentleness not possible with medication. If you become tense at the sight of your boss, somewhere between a triggered memory and its associated emotion resides a disturbance in your subtle energies. The system of energy psychology accesses and soothes this place of commotion to create a neutral or positive connection between the memory and emotion. Yes, dramatically changing your life can be just that easy. Assisting you to overcome fear, shame, anxiety or anger, change unwanted habits and enhance your ability to succeed and enjoy life, the exercises work on clear-cut problems, as well as hindrances to reaching your potential. Each superstars in their own field, David Feinstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and director of the Energy Medicine Institute, Donna Eden, an energy worker with more than 25 years of experience, and Gary Craig, founder of Emotional Freedom Technique, band together to teach this newest method in the field of Applied Kinesiology.

    The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss, by Marc David, Healing Arts Press, Rochester VT, 2005. $14.95.

    Can the act of simply thinking about ice cream cause you to gain weight? Can drinking coffee keep you from achieving those "six-pack abs" you always wanted? Can exercise actually keep you from loosing your extra pounds? Marc David, a nutritional psychologist and workshop leader, thoroughly examines your relationship to food rather than what is on your plate in order to maximize your metabolism. Absent are the pep talks and strict meal plans of most "diet" books. Instead, David examines the role of relaxation, quality, awareness, rhythm, pleasure, thought, story and the sacred in the act of eating. "Our frame of mind directly impacts metabolism to such a degree that what we think and feel profoundly influences how we digest a meal." Thus, sculpting your body into the ideal you has more to do with how inspired you are about your life than about the number of calories in your meal. Referencing research indicating that it is the relaxed lifestyle of the French, rather than their predilection for wine, that allows them to eat more fat in their diet and maintain low blood cholesterol levels, David demonstrates that hindered digestion resulting from stress is more at fault for retained weight than the quantity or quality of the food ingested. Even the enjoyable stress of eating a meal while watching television, with its action sequences and emotional tear-jerkers, can hinder your ability to lose weight. When your body becomes stressed, David explains, your digestion is slowed or even stops. Surprisingly, pleasure turns out to be more important than nutrition when eating. Pointing to a study in which a beautifully prepared dinner is served smoothie style, the ingestion of the bland food-processed meal resulted in 70 percent less absorption of nutrients. Full of insightful and memorable stories from David’s clients, as well as a variety of metabolic facts, this engaging and accessible text will have you subtly altering your lifestyle, losing weight and enjoying every minute of it.

    Spiritual Cinema: A Guide to Movies that Inspire, Heal and Empower Your Life, by Stephen Simon and Gay Hendricks, Hay House, Carlsbad, CA, 2005. $12.95.

    If you strive to live a positive, loving, contemplative life, why should you sacrifice this when it comes to entertainment? Video stores contain sections for comedy, drama, horror, and in the better stores, selections for specific directors, actors, and genres such a film noir and martial arts, but where are the spiritual films? Celebrating the journey that is the human condition, the films highlighted in Spiritual Cinema ask the big questions: Who are you? What does it mean to be alive? What is your true potential if you live life to the fullest? The guide includes 14 must-see spiritual cinema classics, such as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the Wachowski brother’s The Matrix, as well as 36 newer films (released since 2000). This second list may include some surprises, such as the animated Finding Nemo and the science fiction thriller,The Core. Presenting the plot synopsis for each film and discussing its relevance to the genre of spiritual cinema, Simon and Hendricks convincingly demonstrate that spiritual issues are appearing in mainstream cinema with increasing frequency. Absent from the guide are religious films such as The Last Temptation of Christ, and science-fiction and non-fiction films are kept to a minimum. While the guide works to define this new film genre, the authors confess that not all spiritual films are included.

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