Review of The Body Has a Mind of Its Own
by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee
Review by: C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
Does "mental training" really work or have any scientific basis" How important is practice to developing skills? Why does simple repetition of a message -- even if it is false -- sell an idea or product? Are out-of-body experiences real? Why do golfers get the "yips?" (And can anything be done about them?)
From the practical and mundane to the fascinating and off-beat, The Body Has a Mind of Its Own explores research on the brain that helps us understand it and use it better. The book focuses on the research about "body maps" in the brain. Those "maps" are what the brain uses to find all parts of our bodies; to connect with them to send and receive information; and to coordinate and control all their functions. It explains how the "maps" work, how the "plasticity" of the brain allows them to be modified, how we can benefit from them by intentionally modifying them; and what happens when the "maps' are wrong.
It is a user-friendly book, written in plain English; and it has helpful illustrations and photos. All terms that might be unfamiliar to a general readership are clearly and simply defined. It is packed with ideas, information, cases and anecdotes that both laypeople and professionals will appreciate and enjoy. Psychologists, health professionals, self-improvement professionals and coaches will get much from the book. So will the insatiably curious and well-read self-improvement seeker. If you can read the magazines New Scientist and Scientific American, you can easily understand The Body Has a Mind of Its Own.
It's not just easy to read, it's truly engaging. The intriguing accounts of the various potentials of the human brain/mind/body unit are a particular inspiration to psychologists and psychotherapists. I've already purchased a few copies and sent them to colleagues. It may not be a book for everyone, but everyone who has an interest in the subject matter is likely to be delighted with it.