Maher offers a program for physical and spiritual healing in this debut motivational work.
The author became a Navy SEAL at the age of 22, and for seven years, he says, he was in peak physical condition: “I was at a sleek 1.8 percent body fat and could run three miles in under fifteen minutes,” he recalls, and he goes on to claim that “I could outperform professional athletes. Pound for pound, I was one of the strongest people on the planet.” Even so, he’ll be the first to tell you how he was also unhealthy due to a condition that he terms “strauma,” which often affects longtime athletes and fitness buffs; Maher defines it as the combined toll that the stress and trauma of exercise take on the human body. “Strauma” manifests as physical pain, he says, but also as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and a host of other maladies. This book describes the regimen that Maher designed to combat it, which he calls “True Body Intelligence.” It promises a life that’s free from stress, trauma, pain, and even delusion. After a brief account of his early life—which included abuse by a babysitter and other challenges—and his discovery of alternative medicine following a car accident at the age of 32, Maher details the theories and practices that make up “True Body Intelligence.” These generally build on concepts from the world of holistic medicine, although the author offers a more regimented, tough-love twist on them: “I’m not here to be liked,” he writes in the prologue. “What I care about is that you get the sobering truth that no one gave me.” Overall, his promises seem improbably rosy. However, Maher’s focus on the physical effects of trauma results in valuable insights, and his SEAL pedigree may help get his message to reach readers who don’t normally consider their own mental health. As with other works of motivational literature, this book repackages and reorders familiar self-help ideas, but the author’s direct and often pragmatic approach to them may appeal to those who find gauzier holistic guides unconvincing.
An appealingly meat-and-potatoes mind-body strategy guide.