The Psoas Book – Liz Koch – Book Review

The Psoas Book was written by Liz Koch and first published in 1981. Liz has been practicing the healing arts of over 30 years. She has authored several books relating to core health, and specialized in body treatments with focus on the iliopsoas muscle. Liz has also developed a program called “Core Awareness”, which with using core muscle techniques, develops and enhances the proprioceptive nervous system. This system handles orientation, balance and skeletal alignment.

It is believed that the iliopsoas muscle can contribute to physical health as well as emotional well-being. Liz’s 85 pages provide a thorough explanation of the muscle, its connections to one’s holistic health, and practice advice and exercise to release and balance the psoas. The Psoas Book is only one of multiple books, articles and publications that are geared towards improving health and re-balancing the body through a holistic approach centered at one’s core.

Ms. Koch begins The Psoas Book by identifying the exact location and anatomy of the psoas muscle as well as defining its overall relationship and influence on the body’s organs, bones and muscles. She continues with describing all the diverse functionality the psoas muscle provides to the body, such as shelving organs, pumping fluids, and allowing for proper and smooth performance of the legs. Additional effects of the psoas are explained, including its influence on balance, organ function, the breath, joint functionality and muscle response. Ms. Koch pays special notice to the unique considerations of psoas release as it relates to women’s health, including relief menstrual cramping, positive effects during pregnancy, improving labor and birth, as well as hormonal stability throughout menopause.

As a reviewer however I half to disagree with the authors statement that manipulative techniques are not advised in The Psoas Book, as the iliopsoas muscle is partly responsible for the body’s automatic and biological fight or flight response.

She completes her book with providing instructions on best exercises to release the psoas muscle, recounts some other popular somatic approaches, and tips on how to exercise, strengthen and tone the muscle while performing regular activities.

Barry Jenings Myofascial Release

A Book Review: The Calcium Lie II – What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know

In 2008, the authors published the first edition, The Calcium Lie – What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Could Kill You. Then in 2013, they updated the information in The Calcium Lie – What Your Doctor Still Doesn’t Know. In this review we will look at the revised edition.

Dr. Robert Thompson, MD who maintains a medical practice in Alaska, at one time did not know what he lays out in this book. He, like most well-meaning health professionals, treated patients according to what he had learned in medical school for many years. Kathleen Barnes, a health journalist and author, lives in North Carolina. Dr. Thompson says that Kathleen helps him communicate in terms that his readers will understand.

This reviewer has administered numerous home school assessments over the years in which the General Information section of the tool she uses includes a question: “What mineral is most necessary to make bones hard?” Many have answered correctly, according to what they have learned and according to the assessment tool, “Calcium.”

Our authors would have us remember that the exam that determines whether a patient has osteoporosis or its precursor, osteopenia is the dexa MINERAL bone scan test. This name should help us remember that bones are made up of many minerals, one of which is calcium. By supplementing calcium alone, we actually harden more than our bones – calcification can occur in arteries, kidneys and other places in our bodies. Dr. Thompson reminds us throughout the book that “Calcium hardens concrete!”

Having gone into medicine with “altruistic” ideas, Dr. Thompson had become disenchanted with his profession, ready to quit. He reconsidered when in 1996 a peer-reviewed directory chose him as one of the “Best Doctors in America.” Encouraged, he decided to continue to make a difference.

Minerally Bankrupt (Chapter 1) – This foundational chapter states that bones consist of at least 12 minerals. “Excess calcium can cause:

• Kidney and gallstones

• Arterial plaque (and heart disease)

• Bone spurs (joints / osteoarthritis)

• Calcium deposits in tissues other than bones

• Brain cell dysfunction, brain shrinkage and dementia.” (p. 9)

• Cataracts

• Cancer

• Diabetes

• Hypothyroidism

• Hypertension (p. 29)

• Obesity (p. 39)

• Migraines (p. 43)

“Too much calcium causes the adrenal glands to be suppressed in order for the kidneys to hold on to the necessary magnesium in an attempt to keep these two minerals in balance.” (p. 19)

Before the invention of refrigeration, our forefathers used sea or rock salt to preserve food. Our natural balance of minerals left with this change. “Because a mineral ‘footprint’ is passed from mother to child, each generation has become progressively more deficient in these essential minerals.” (p. 12)

To add more injury to our systems, when the use of iodine in making bread and canned goods was exchanged with cheaper bromine, we began to see an increase in “thyroid disease and cancer, breast cysts, fibrous changes, cyclic tenderness and cancer, prostrate inflammation and cancer, and ovarian hormonal dysfunction, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and ovarian cancer.” (p. 13)

Table salt destroys health and the best mineral supplement is unrefined rock or sea salt. Dr. Thompson explains that the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HMTA) gives the best possible analysis of the mineral levels and guides the medical practitioner in properly supplementing. He recommends only Trace Minerals, Inc. for doing the test.

Throughout the book, Dr. Thompson gives mini lessons on biochemistry that all doctors study in medical school. Amazingly, most doctors have forgotten their biochemistry and continue to follow the “Calcium Lie,” “The Calcium Myth” (chapter 2), and “The Vitamin Lie” (chapter 7).

Our authors devote chapters to the following health conditions and how they relate to calcium:

• Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Calcium (chapter 3)

• Digestive Dilemmas: Poor Protein Digestion, Sodium Deficiency and Cell Membrane Dysfunction (chapter 4)

• Metabolic Failure How Excess Calcium Causes Weight Gain, Thyroid and Adrenal Malfunctions and Five Types of Hypothyroidism (chapter 5)

• Women’s Issues: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Menopause (chapter 6)

Stress plays a key role in our heath. Thompson and Barnes address this issue and its relationship to Calcium (chapter 8). They emphasize that “stress management must be a regular part of a healthy life style.” (p. 176)

In chapter 9, The Road Back to Health they give their readers the following steps:

1. Drink pure water.

2. Take ionic sea salt – derived supplements.

3. Whole food vitamins.

4. Essential Fatty Acids

5. Eat raw nuts and/or seeds daily.

6. Eat high quality protein.

7. Get essential monosaccharides. (p. 184-195)

The Calcium Lie II closes with chapter 10, “Doctor to Doctor: An Impassioned Plea.” He encourages his readers to copy this chapter and take to their doctors or better yet to purchase a copy of the book for their doctors.

Dr. Thompson and Kathleen Barnes present the facts behind their claims. Reading and following their guidance will improve our health.

Book Review – Energy Work: The Secret of Healing and Spiritual Development by Robert Bruce

I am always seeking new tools for myself and others that assist in self-perfection, healing, and empowerment. I believe that having an understanding of subtle energies is one of those tools. So at the library, I decided to type “energy body” into the keyword search.

This lead me to Robert Bruce’s book. I was immediately drawn in when reading the introduction of how the author discovered Body Awareness Tactile Imaging in order to better teach energetics to blind students. Since energetics are most commonly taught through visualization, as a teacher, I was fascinated with another approach. In teaching, being able to alter the way that you present information to different learners in order to maximize their understanding is a very desirable skill. Since a vast majority of people have difficulty with visualizing I wanted to learn the technique myself.

Body Awareness Tactile Imaging is all about moving your sense of touch through your body. The first practice exercise that he recommends trying involves lightly rubbing or scratching a specified area to help focus the body awareness. For example, rub your knee to cause a mild tingling. Feel for the tingling. Then feel for more of your knee and become more away of it as a joint. Move your point of body awareness all around the knee as if you are bandaging it. You can try this on any point of your body. The touch helps you focus on the point, but with practice you do not need to rub or scratch the area you are focusing on.

Most of the exercises involve creating a physical stimulation of some kind in order to create a memory to draw from. This is the same as visualization. The mind depends on the memory to assist it in energy work.

Bruce also had some other helpful tips. For calming the mind, he suggests journaling before a relaxation or energy work session. If the mind starts chattering, firmly state, “I choose not to think about that. I choose to relax and clear my mind.”

By Chapter 3, you will be creating energy balls and learning different energy work actions that assist you in manipulating energy. Bruce guides you in how to use the inhale and exhale of the breath with each action; this is something that I use and teach myself.

The book covers chakra work – or as Bruce calls it “primary energy center work” – as well as charging energy with intention, energy blockages, self-healing and healing others with energy. There is a LOT of information contained in the book and he quite thoroughly covers the topic of energy work. I still haven’t digested it all.

Bruce does slip visualization in with the tactile imaging (i.e. – “make a green ball”). Also, at several points, Bruce’s perspective of energy did not align perfectly with my own. However, I’d still recommend this book to anyone who seeks to deepen their understanding of the energy body and its systems. He explains things simply and systematically with a grounded, approachable style that I appreciated. I think it would be particularly helpful for Reiki practitioners as well as other healers that work or want to work with energy.