Thursday, August 16, 2012

Stephanie Dowrick on supporting mind, mood and brain

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young's The Woman Who Changed Her Brain is a book I greatly admire - and I was delighted to make it an early Universal Heart Book Club choice. However, as you will hear in my video discussion with Walter Mason for August 2012, and can read in my more extensive July review (scroll down into July!), I was fascinated by her analysis of the ways that the brain functions - and could function more effectively still - but a little frustrated by the lack of practical help she offers.

This is not my area of expertise - so it would be great to hear from some of you on this - but there are some practically supportive books in this area that I do value highly and want to share with you.

Paul Dennison's Brain Gym is designed for working with children, using the principles of educational kinesiology. The exercises are playful, easily incorporated into daily life, and genuinely make a difference. There is also a teacher's edition of this classic.

In a similar vein, you could explore Carla Hannaford's Smart Moves and, with a somewhat different emphasis, Daniel J. Siegel's more recent, very thoughtful The Whole-Brain Child.

Please don't dismiss those books because they are written to support children's learning and confidence. We can benefit at any age. Another book that I have re-read over the years, which looks closely at the intimate relationship between brain function and mood, is Daniel G. Amen's Change Your Brain Change Your Life. He offers a controversial approach, but mood disorders and disfunction blight many lives and I have found it immensely illuminating.  Here's a YouTube link to Dr Amen talking about his work. 

I don't want to leave this crucial area of life without also speaking about the mind! In Jane Goodall's beautifully written review below (July 2012), she rediscovers Thich Nhat Hanh's classic The Miracle of Mindfulness. Do read Jane's article - and this wonderful book. You may also want to read another of his  key books: Peace is Every Step.

And because we don't change our minds - and heal and support our lives - by reading alone, I would also like to suggest one of my own meditation CDs that I made with musician Kim Cunio. It includes a short talk on "effortless" meditation, as well as two effective meditations, and a couple of exquisite music tracks. It's called Peaceful Mind and, again, I will be most interested to hear your stories, comments and suggestions if you decide to make its gentle practices part of your life.

You can purchase Peaceful Mind via this link (Peaceful Mind) only. But the books are widely available, including via our bookstore affiliate links.  Most importantly, keep the conversations going and do please share your comments and findings! 


  1. Stephanie Dowrick is always working for some special and unique researches on the brain. Here he wrote a special book on brain gym is an impressive book on the topic of brain to release brain from stress and depression. traumatic brain injury

  2. Great write-up! Writing is a talent, and it must not be wasted. As with everything that we had been entrusted, we should let it grow and share it with the world.> how do you motivate yourself