Various scientific and spiritual resources come together in this basic primer on the connections between physical and mental health and spiritual well-being.
What does it mean to treat one’s health holistically? Debut author Birnbaum first became interested in various means of holistic wellness when looking for books about “hands-on healing.” What started as an interest in reiki became a journey to learn various techniques and theories about how to balance physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Divided into four sections, the author sets out to share her research and experiences in those three areas of well-being and her understanding of all the components as “The Bigger Picture.” Physical health includes information about food allergies (“A person may test negative for celiac…but be sensitive to gluten”), the benefits of exercise, and an explanation of alternative medicine. The subsequent chapter on mental health explores ideas of thriving relationships, the challenges that come with parenting, and the power of meditation. This leads to the spiritual section that begins with religion (“I consider prayer to be profound communication with our source”) and ends with examples and ideas about mediums and “channeled information.” The final part offers a deft interpretation of quantum theory in the hope that it illustrates that “we are all connected.” Birnbaum’s writing is most effective when sharing her vivid personal experiences as a learner, parent, and spiritual seeker. Each chapter incorporates a number of useful resources, from Thich Nhat Hanh to Marianne Williamson to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (the impressive bibliography at the end is seven pages long). While the informal writing style doesn’t always invoke confidence (“I saw a documentary on television about aging”), it is accessible for those new to or well-versed in wellness. But some readers may find that it doesn’t do enough to bridge the gap between basic concepts and an appreciation of quantum theory.
A wide-ranging guide stuffed with wellness tips that even explores quantum theory.