An appealing, helpful, and intriguing new approach to dealing with physical limitations and conditions.



In this guide to improving wellness, the author suggests new frameworks for mentally and emotionally relating to health.

Greer (Change Your Story, Change Your Life, 2014) focuses this book on the thoughts and feelings associated with health conditions and goals—not the physical realities. An experienced clinical psychologist, he suggests Jungian and shamanic practices as mainly enhancements to health treatments, not replacements. But in this guide, he artfully illustrates the power of imagination, attitude, and narrative in the way a human approaches, overcomes, or lives with medical conditions. Exploring the chakras and their links to certain physical sensations or discomforts, the author suggests emotional connections that may influence physical conditions in certain areas of the body. For example, the fifth chakra, which is associated with the thyroid and throat, is also linked to speaking truths and communicating. Difficulty swallowing, sore throats, thyroid problems, and vocal cord conditions can be associated with suppressing emotions or having trouble interacting. Greer suggests that practices aligning and balancing the chakras can ease these discomforts. In addition, the author uses anecdotes about patients who alleviated certain physical conditions—like rheumatoid arthritis—by releasing repressed emotional energy, such as anger at a spouse, rather than bottling up the feelings. Unlike other books of this genre, Greer’s well-researched work suggests “revising” the story of one’s health. Stories, he explains in this quiet and medically sound guide, define individuals’ lives and their beliefs about themselves. People hold stories subconsciously that they must break out of and rewrite in order to make changes. He suggests working with dreams, archetypes, symbols, and conversations with different embodiments of source energy to ground individuals and revise the stale stories about who they are. Readers seeking to explore new ways to develop inner calm, balance, self-love, and optimal physical health should find this approach refreshing and full of possibilities.

An appealing, helpful, and intriguing new approach to dealing with physical limitations and conditions. 

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84409-716-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Findhorn Press

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2017

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...


A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.


A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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