cover image Body: Simple Techniques and Strategies to Heal, Reset and Restore

Body: Simple Techniques and Strategies to Heal, Reset and Restore

James Davies. HQ, $28.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-00-852406-7

English osteopath Davies debuts with a sensible program for keeping one’s body in top shape. After a leg injury ended his hopes of making the British Olympic track team, Davies threw himself into the study of anatomy and the most effective ways to heal damaged muscles and tendons. He outlines the tenets of his practice and shows how to evaluate physical discomfort using his STOP method, which involves identifying the site, type (burning, tingling, aching), and onset (Is it an acute injury or a chronic condition?) of pain, as well as finding out what provoked it (an accident, chronic stress). Illustrated exercises provide easy ways for readers to stretch and relieve tension, including moving one’s head in a figure eight motion to combat neck stiffness and using a resistance band to soothe one’s shoulders, though he warns that people with stabbing pain or who have trouble completing their normal routines should seek medical attention. He details the range of available professional treatments, explaining that cold laser therapy works by desensitizing the locus of pain and that dry needling “reminds the brain to heal an area of the body” by pricking it, similar to acupuncture. The simple exercises are a boon and graphics illustrating muscle and nerve structures make the medical background easy to digest. Readers will find this a salve. (Jan.)