THE 20-MINUTE BREAK by Ernest Lawrence Rossi


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 Therapist Rossi teams up with health-writer Nimmons to promote the benefits to be gained from exploitation of ``ultradians,'' or the natural biological rhythms that occur more than once a day (circadian rhythms are those that occur about once a day, and infradians less than once a day). According to the theory presented here, our mind-body systems need a restful healing or rejuvenation period of about 20 minutes every 90 to 120 minutes. Ignoring this need leads to a plethora of physical and emotional problems; responding to it brings a host of benefits, including better mental and physical health, higher job performance, reduced stress, a better sex life, and weight control. However, the symptoms that Rossi and Nimmons list as indicative of distress are so common that it is virtually impossible not to have at least one of them, and the proclaimed benefits are so desirable that one cannot reject them. Moreover, little hard data are provided to back up the authors' claims. There is the usual anecdotal evidence, and reference is made to studies that may or may not be relevant, but ultimate acceptance of the concept of the ``Ultradian Stress Syndrome'' and the ``Ultradian Healing Response'' requires an act of faith. The psychobabble quotient is high, and the text is replete with guidelines, questions and answers, and checklists encouraging readers to tune into their mind-body talk--plus caveats not to try too hard or expect too much too soon. More New Age therapy for self-help fans; a wait-and-see book for skeptics.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1991
ISBN: 0-87477-585-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


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