THE BODY HAS ITS REASONS: The Anti-Exercise Book by ThÉrèse & Carol Bernstein Bertherat

THE BODY HAS ITS REASONS: The Anti-Exercise Book

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gymnastics without grimaces. A student of FranÇoise MÉzières, Bertherat eschews conventional exercises which fragment overall awareness, concentrating instead on the body as an indissoluble entity. Her examples of students relieved--after a single lesson or as much as a year of regular work--reflect this abiding belief in restoration of natural rhythms, even for those with painful diseases. She maintains that leg or potency problems may be resolved by key neck movements, or sore throat symptoms allayed by stroking a thumbnail pressure point. Be wary, however, of powerful foot massage: ""Too much zeal can result in diarrhea or a runny nose."" Bertherat champions Reich's energy circulation theories, endorses acupressure (massaging acupuncture's critical points), and, following MÉzières, finds her ideal in the proportions of classic Greek sculpture--a norm, it is claimed, everyone can achieve. ""Any deviation from this description indicates a corporal deformity. And every deformity has its source in the excessive strength of the posterior musculature."" A big seller in France, full of imperious statements and provocative assertions (Men want a flat stomach ""in the hope that when they lower their eyes, all they'll see is an erection""), but trendy enough to nestle in for a season or so.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1977
Publisher: Pantheon