Your Body Believes Every Word You Say - Revised & Expanded Second Edition

by Henry Berry, Book Reviewer - The Small Press Book Review

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In Your Body Believes Every Word You Say, Barbara Hoberman Levine —who had brain surgery in 1985 to remove a tumorous growth— explores thoroughly and practically, the inter-connection between mind and body in health. She describes the interaction of words, beliefs, mind and the physical processes and conditions of the body. Her book contains a program for improved health which goes beyond most of the legion of self-help titles in this area—and which makes them seem superficial by comparison. This book has the strength of being specific, focused and concrete rather than filled with generalities, wishful thinking and bromides.

Chapter Three, "The Grammar of Disease" contains one of the enlightening insights that is basic to the book. "In the ongoing, ever-changing drama of health, psyche (the mind and emotions) and soma (the body) engage in a variety of behaviors sometimes called symptoms." Levine suggests using verbs instead of nouns when describing an illness. “Instead of saying, I have a disease, say, my body is dis-easing.” Familiar statements such as "I had an allergy attack" or "Jane has the flu" suggest that disease is something external to oneself, "something that comes from somewhere else and imposes itself upon us for a time" rather than the way our body is behaving.Levine rightly points out that no matter what the source or cause of the disease, "it is our body that reacts."

Because of the intimate connection between mind and body, the way one looks at and describes disease affects one's feelings and experience. The aim of the author's perspective is a change in the way one looks at and speaks about any disease —to bring about a change in behavior— so that one's current condition can be improved, and in many cases cured.

In “Core Beliefs and Seedthoughts”, Chapter Five and later chapters, Levine explains the role Seedthoughts play in one’s life. They can stimulate good health, or grow into illness. Cliches such as "this project is giving me a headache", “that breaks my heart” and "I'm dying to retire" are potentially harmful Seedthoughts one may be using to express feelings. The author cautions persons about using such words casually and thoughtlessly. There are healthier ways to express emotion.

Besides her own personal experience, Levine draws on information from experts in medicine, psychology, and religion, among others This book is in tune with the current rise in interest in the mind/body connection. People with medical conditions of all kinds—from cancer to obesity to AIDS to addictions—seek to bring about improvements in their own health. guidance can help others from becoming ill in the first place. A notable touch is fifty-three highlighted self-help exercises including “Verbal Hygiene” for readers to put Levine's lessons into practice in their own lives. "Your Body Believes Every Word You Say" is an ideal book for any lay person interested in this important health topic