[BOOK REVIEW] The Body Has a Mind of its Own, by Sandra & Matthew Blakeslee

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything BetterThe Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better by Sandra Blakeslee

I read several comments about this book before I bought it, and those were mainly in the context of dance and movement science.

You could easily go two ways with a neuroscience book like this. You could read it purely for the information and interest factor, which would be fine. It would be a nice, joyous, easy read, and you’d learn a whole lot of things that you would soon forget. You would probably also not talk to many people about it because it’s a weird sort of topic.

Or, if you’re like me, you can read and devour every little nuance of the text, with a deep understanding of creative visualisation, using the book to learn to control your neurology and your physical function.

I have been gabbing about this book to everyone that will listen. The simple fact that my physicality – neurologically – is not my physical being, but also everything connected to it (hats, long dresses, vehicles), is mind-blowing, but also unsurprising. The fact that I can use this knowledge in a creative visualisation sense to improve my dance skills, reduce pain, recover easily from all types of maladies, and generally enhance my physical existence, is tremendously exciting.

There is a whole lot of stuff in this book that I accepted would be written into a text like this, but which I did not take on board. Mainstream science is very much all about certain theories being definite, when in fact they are only theory. But it’s such a minor point that one can easily move past it.

The book is written in a highly conversational, accessible manner. I would have liked a bit more technicality in it – but any higher level language would easily have scared your average reader off. There is a lovely epilogue apologising to the scientific community for the simplicity of the works, and for the dumbing down of the science. Proferred explanations were as good as it was going to get.

It was outstanding. I had my nose glued to this book every minute that I had spare, and was devastated when I left it at work by accident. I have also promised at least six people that I will lend it to them.

Maybe I’ll need to buy more copies.

Now that I’ve gotten this far, I’m tempted to start hunting down some serious neuroscience texts, and work myself progressively further up the scientific tree.

I also want to sit in a virtual reality environment and control tentacles with my belly button. This will make sense to you when you read the book.

I highly recommend this work for everyone interested in movement, dance, physical arts, science, neuroscience, and for those whose family members have had strokes.

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