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Paula M. Reeves, a therapist for many years, has developed a method called "Spontaneous Contemplative Movement" (SCM). She brings this method to her readers, along with much else, as a manner of becoming more attuned to our body/mind rela­tionship, the premise being that intu­ition is not just a mind attribute, but an attribute of the body as well, Somewhere along the line, we've lost the connection between body and mind, and that connection must be re stored. The author believes that practicing SCM and other exercises she elaborates on can be a means to that end.

 

She begins by giving background information to firmly ground readers in the existence of "body intuition" and leads into acceptance and use of the body/mind connection.

 

This book is not a "fast read," as the author slowly sets the stage to awaken readers to trust the symptoms and movements of the body as an intuitive language. At times, one wonders what a particular passage has to do with the premise of the book, but finds with further reading that she has skillfully tied it all in. One topic that I found quite interesting is premise that our emotional and physical health is linked to what occurred to and around our mothers when we were in the womb.

 

There are many exercises that one can record and practice to help with awakening oneself to the body/ mind connection, as well as a chart and information on Chakra centers to help balance and heal emotional issues. I've tried several of these ex­ercises and found them helpful and enlightening.

 

We are basically geared to work­ing from the mind. This book teaches to work from the body, to identify the symptom in the body, and with body movement, relate it to what is in the mind. I am not sure one can truly do this easily without a coach experienced in the SCM method. As a lay person and not a therapist, I was unable to translate what the movements might mean as an issue in the mind. In regards to the many examples the author gives of translations of movement, I would not have come up with the same translations that she or the people in the anecdotes did. To be fair, she did say that only the person having the movement could determine what it meant, and that it would take practice and time. Nevertheless, this book does offer much valuable insight.

 

The many topics include how music is healing, how the body retains memory of surgery, and even how our organs themselves have "memory." The author recommends other books to help continue one's journey to fully develop a true body/ mind intuition. She also uses references to other authors to reinforce her methods and conclusions.

 

Reading this book and doing many of the exercises did help me become even more aware of my body and what it tries to tell me. The author sums up this journey in pursuit of the body/mind connection quite well: "I will be the first to tell you that knowing the message between the covers of this book and learning how to live in this manner is an ongoing discipline for me."

 

~ review by Jae

Author: Paula M. Reeves, Ph.D.

Conari Press 1999

245 pp., $15.95

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