Psychotherapist Andrade offers a manual for practically applying emotional medicine—dropping awareness from the mind to the body in order to experience the flow of emotions.
Rather than letting emotions—namely, the big six: sadness, anger, fear, happiness, surprise and disgust—play out their endless mental war games, Andrade suggests that readers tap into their movement and expression as these emotions circulate throughout the body. In the body, Andrade explains, emotions go through a cycle of buildup, discharge and release, often only minutes in duration—compare that to the standard crying jag unleashed by the noggin—after which the tears stop and there’s a focus on release, a sense of feeling good, because the body is designed to return to a state of well-being (and, frankly, tears by the bushel are more enervating than cathartic). Andrade’s presentation of emotional medicine is so sure-footed and attended by so many specific instructions on how to put her ideas into effect that readers will easily discern if her path is theirs as well (despite the occasional circular reasoning: “Once Lillian learned to change the way she felt by refusing to allow thoughts to keep her continually agitated, she began to calm down”). Certainly the meat and potatoes of the work are the ways in which Andrade guides readers to live comfortably in their bodies: treating the body as a spiritual and emotional ally; communicating with the body through the language of sensation (including a terrific cheat sheet on what those sensations just might be saying); handling certain anxiety and depression issues through attention to what’s being put into the body; the body cues that reveal when it’s time to stop an emotional outpouring. Throughout, there are “action tips” on how readers can tune into their bodies, from top-down body checks to mapping where particular emotions are and how they express themselves.
A sensually specific guide to rolling emotions to find the bright side of the road.