Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness - Transform Pain, Stress, Trauma, and Aging offers a guide to somatic learning, an innovative body-oriented approach that incorporates mindfulness, visualization, breathing exercises, postures, and stretches. Developed by author, psychotherapist, and award-winning songwriter and poet Risa Kaparo, PhD, somatic learning is based on leading-edge research demonstrating the power of the mind to activate physiological, mental, and emotional healing. Kaparo has successfully used her approach with patients suffering from chronic pain, high blood pressure, and mood disorders including depression and anxiety.
Recounting her own struggle with chronic pain, Kaparo begins with a moving description of her journey from crippling pain to renewed health and aliveness. Kaparo introduces the concepts and characteristics of somatic learning, a method that grew out of her personal healing experience. Incorporating the latest brain research in mindfulness and neuroplasticity, the book presents breathing exercises, postures and stretches for morning and bedtime, instructions for integrating mindfulness practice into one's daily life, and ways of deepening the practice through touch and caring interaction with others. The book includes inspiring case stories and the author's own expressive poetry that illuminate the healing power of this practice.
"Dr. Kaparo has a genius for both the body and its language. With the nurturing guidance of a great therapist, she offers a detailed operating manual for healing pain and awakening embodied joy." (Rick Hanson, PhD, best-selling author of Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom)
"Risa Kaparo opens doors to a magical realm where we joyfully discover how small shifts in our awareness can have enormous impact in our relationship to aging and pain. This breakthrough book does for somatic intelligence what Daniel Goleman's book did for emotional intelligence. It offers practical methods that will benefit all readers because they make us feel more alive and attuned to what extraordinary beings we are." (David Surrenda, PhD, CEO of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health)
"Dr. Kaparo has gone further than anyone in tapping into the intelligence of mindful awareness and discovering how this informs the functioning of each person's unique bodymind. Her newfound knowledge allows us to effortlessly retrace the pathways that lead to optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health." (Peter Fenner, PhD, founder of Timeless Wisdom)
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