“Healing Trauma” by Peter A. Levine, PhD.

Subtitle: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body

Recommended to me by: a client

This is a practical, applied introduction to Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing work. After an introductory summary, he presents 12 exercises, starting with body awareness and grounding, continuing with awareness of felt senses in the body, and then […]

“Focusing with Your Whole Body” by Addie van der Kooy & Kevin McEvenue

Focusing is a way of looking inside and being with a felt sense of our experience. Alexander Technique is about interrupting unhelpful physical habits to allow the body to move with ease. Kevin McEvenue brought them together: inviting the body to move how it wants to as a way of restoring flow to blocked […]

“Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga” by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper

Subtitle: Reclaiming Your Body

Recommended to me by: a client

This book is divided into three parts: a general introduction to the history of trauma treatment and PTSD, a suggested yoga practice for traumatized people, illustrated with photographs, and suggestions for offering trauma-sensitive yoga for clinicians and yoga teachers.

Throughout the book, it is […]

“Core Awareness” by Liz Koch

Subtitle: Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise, and Dance

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

I enthusiastically endorse this book’s focus on awareness, especially in core areas that we often learn to block out. The psoas muscles connects the front of the lumbar spine to the inside of the pelvis to the inner upper femur, all […]

“Healing Back Pain” by John E. Sarno, MD

Subtitle: The Mind-Body Connection

Recommended to me by: Amy Bennett

What Dr. Sarno tells his TMS patients:

Resume physical activity. It won’t hurt you. Talk to your brain: tell it you won’t take it anymore. Stop all physical treatments for your back—they may be blocking your recovery.

DON’T

Repress your anger or emotions—they can […]

“How to Learn the Alexander Technique” by Barbara Conable

Subtitle: A Manual for Students

Recommended to me by: reading Conable’s previous book, What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

This book is less playful and more dense than What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body, but it is not at all the dry instruction manual I thought it would […]

“What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” by Barbara Conable

Subtitle: The Practical Application of Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique to Making Music

Recommended to me by: Rosi Goldsmith

This book is filled with detailed illustrations of the body’s structure and how the parts work together, presented in a playful, declarative way. “If you already have a very free neck, Celebrate!”

I was […]

“8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back” by Esther Gokhale, L.Ac. with Susan Adams

Subtitle: Remember When It Didn’t Hurt

Recommended to me by: Rosalind Bell

This book is a beautifully photographed and illustrated step-by-step guide to moving well as a human. It is also a carefully crafted sales brochure for the author’s clinic and method, with testimonials sprinkled liberally through the text.

Esther Gokhale (“Go-clay”) grew up […]

“Trigger Point Self-Care Manual” by Donna Finando

Subtitle: For Pain-Free Movement

Trigger points are small knots of tension within muscles. They cause local taut bands of muscle fibers and dispersed pain in predictable patterns. Steady, firm but not aggressive pressure helps resolve trigger points and the seemingly intractable pain they cause.

Clear, detailed, and encouraging, this book helps you find and […]

“Stillness” by Charles Ridley

Subtitle: Biodynamic Cranial Practice and the Evolution of Consciousness

Recommended to me by: Keelin Anderson, LMT

After 35 discouraging pages of philosophical pseudo-science, Ridley subsides into surprisingly practical advice about providing non-judgmental bodywork. Stay present. Check your perceptions with your client to make sure you’re not straying into fantasy. Do your own work first. […]