Featured Product: Your Body Speaks Your Mind
I first encountered this book in Campbell River in BC, Canada. I was visiting a soul-sister's home country and had what I called, "fawn spots" growing across my body for several years. They had exacerbated in the heat and humidity of Costa Rica the year before covering my arms, torso, back, and reaching as far as my knees. I had met a confident herbalist in Costa Rica who thought Gavilana (Jackass Bitters) would heal it. Other locals suggested turmeric, melaleuca oil, and shampoo with sulfate in it (like Selsun Blue) to get rid of the skin blemish. But none of these methods were successful, and my insecurities grew.
In discovering this book, it helped deepen my understanding that like so many other aspects of the world, everything is interwoven and interrelated. Likewise our own physical healing, which we often view like mechanical maintenance, instead is influenced by your environment, emotion, and spiritual interactions. As Shapiro articulates, "When something goes wrong it is usually a combination of both physical and psycho-emotional causes.... such an understanding adds an essential and invariably overlooked, component to your healing process. By learning the bodymind language of symptoms and illness you can learn what is being repressed or ignored in your psyche and emotions and the effect this is having on your physical body." (Shapiro, 13)
As I looked into the chapters in this book about skin ailments, I learned that a possible emotional root for these physical manifestations can be when your personal boundaries are crossed. As I meditated on this and considered the environment and emotional state I experienced when my "fawn spots" first surfaced, I affirmed that this was in fact the root for my experience. My boundaries had not been respected, and my first level of defense so to speak, or my skin, reflected this breach in protection.
With this realization, I dove deeper spiritually and emotionally to resolve this past experience and find inner peace. As Shapiro repeatedly states, while this book can help guide readers to discover the emotional root to dis-ease manifesting within the body, it does not discredit the aid of doctors or medication. Likewise, to heal my "fawn spots," I sought the additional support of a dermatologist who informed me that I had tinea versicolor dappling my skin. Finally I had a scientific name for what I was experiencing (not that I remember it correctly even today). Tinea versicolor is a common, noncontagious fungal infection of the skin which results in patches of pigmentation of the skin to either be lighter or darker than the skin surrounding the affected area, usually on the trunk and shoulders of individuals. In addition to the self-reflection work I was currently doing, my doctor prescribed me a topical lotion and pill to assist in combatting the visual affect of my tinea versicolor. While I'm told it will never completely go away, it can be easily managed moving forward.
To connect what we learn in Deb Shapiro's Your Body Speaks Your Mind, the relationship of the bodymind and the soul, to massage therapy, we can better understand that the path to healing, of rewriting habitual postures or correcting injuries, involves many more aspects than just manipulation of the physical body. "In the West most people believe that the body is a thing: a machine.... In the East.... people view it as an energy system.... Illness is recognized as an imbalance or blockage in the flow of energy caused by poor habits, stress, or negative emotions. Balance is therefore sought through adjusting the energy flow.... [Eastern medicine] sees the patient as an energy system that is alive and constantly changing." (Shapiro, 4-5)
The relationship between massage therapist and client deepens your massage therapist's understanding of the nuisances in your body which are constantly shifting due to lifestyle and various emotional seasons that we experience. Humans are energetic beings, whether you define energy as spirit and emotion, or the science of our water-comprised bodies being and water consciousness holding various crystal formations according to emotional charge (Dr. Emoto Water Consciousness). Massage is not merely physical manipulation of the body, but also works on an energetic level. To heal the body is to take the full body, all components and influences, into account with the healing process. Again, while Your Body Speaks Your Mind does not claim to cure any bodily ailments through the power of the mind, it can guide us to a deeper awareness of the true root to our dis-ease. This is why we feel that this book is value this book and encourage it to be shared with others.
"...the role of the mind and emotions in your state of health is a vital one.... By understanding this relationship you can understand yourself more deeply and can claim a greater role in your own well-being." (Shapiro, 11)
Important Caution quoted from Your Body Speaks Your Mind
"Although anyone may find the practices, disciplines, and exercises in this book to be useful, it is sold with the understanding that neither the author nor Sounds True are engaged in presenting specific medical, psychological, or emotional advice. Nor is anything in this book intended to be a diagnosis, prescription, or cure for any specific kind of medical, psychological, or emotional problem. Each person has unique needs, and this book cannot take these individual differences into account. Any person suffering from severe stress, anxiety, or depression should consult with a medical doctor or licensed therapist before practicing the methods described in this book."
The Wellness Enterprise (2017, Mar. 23). Dr. Masaru Emoto and Water Consciousness [online blog]. Retrieved from https://thewellnessenterprise.com/emoto/
Mayo Clinic Staff (2023). Tinea versicolor [online article]. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinea-versicolor/symptoms-causes/syc-20378385
Shapiro, D. (2006). Your Body Speaks Your Mind: Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness [book].
Davis, D. and Apelian, N. (2018). The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine [book].