Transforming the Nature of Health
Transforming the Nature of Health
A Holistic Vision of Healing That Honors Our Connection to the Earth, Others, and Ourselves
North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781583943618, 296pp.
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
A provocative blend of personal memoir, new science, and philosophical treatise, this book presents a fresh model for healing by rethinking our relationships with one another, the natural world, our bodies, and our innermost selves. Dr. Marcey Shapiro focuses on eliminating us/them or friend/enemy dichotomies, shifting instead to a model based on enduring values of love, compassion, harmony, and peace. Throughout the book she reevaluates prevailing cultural beliefs about the causes and meaning of illness and offers a vision for a different type of societal understanding of health with a new view of the possible role of medicine in healing. Interweaving inspiring anecdotes from her experiences of the natural world, in medical training and practice, and with mystical exploration, Dr. Shapiro includes examples of medical advances that honor our interconnectedness and provides practical tools like breathing techniques, tips for self-examination, and methods for expanding awareness.
Transforming the Nature of Health traces the roots of the matter/spirit split in contemporary science and medicine, evaluating its constraints as a paradigm for us as evolving beings. Dr. Shapiro presumes that we are much more than our physical bodies and asks readers to join in cocreating a new language and new science that express the whole of our miraculous existence.
Monika Pagneux was born in Germany in 1927. Her schooling was interrupted by war - after which she was not allowed to continue high school for political reasons. For a time she worked in the potato fields but in 1947 she moved to Berlin to study modern dance and theatre with Mary Wigman, which she paid for with bread and potatoes. Pagneux met Marcel Marceau in Berlin, realized that she wanted to tell stories with movement, danced with Circus Knie to earn tuition money for Etienne Decroux, who was the mime teacher Marceau suggested. In 1953, she hitched rides on trains to Paris in order to study with Decroux. Monika then studied theatre at Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jaques Lecoq, where she then taught movement for 15 years. She worked with Peter Brook in Paris for many years where she also ran an international theatre training studio with Philippe Gaulier, followed by workshops in London for 10 years whilst also leading Master-classes around the world. From 2007-2012 Monika has led pedagogy Master-classes in Barcelona. In 1965 Monika by chance came across a class being taught by Moshe Feldenkrais who work she immediately appreciated for its ability to 'wake people up' and also because it is 'neutral' - you don't see the training in the body on stage, unlike other training techniques such as classical ballet, acrobatics, or some martial arts where you can often spot someone trained in a particular style from their distinctive walk and stance. Actors need to be to find a dynamic, ready, available 'neutral' and from there, to do, create, express the fullest range of humanity, to be able to do whatever they want, effortlessly. Monika saw that the Feldenkrais can help actors be "sensitive and aware, a being, not a body." (adapted from an article by Anna Yen called Monika Pagneux, Play and Feldenkrais)
“Conventional Western medicine is akin to a battlefield. Physicians aggressively fight disease; pharmacists synthesize ever more powerful chemical weapons; patients wage war on bacteria using arsenals of alcohol sanitizers. This approach is clumsy and heavy-handed, but it does work—sometimes. When it doesn’t, a radically integrative method may be called for. In Transforming the Nature of Health, Marcey Shapiro presents her holistic, highly effective approach, which is based on a recognition of the interconnectedness of all life and the incredible healing power of loving, symbiotic relationships.”
—Dean Radin, PhD, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, coeditor-in-chief of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, and author of The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds
“Throughout the pages of this brilliant and heartfelt book, Marcey Shapiro takes us on a transformative journey, giving us useful practices so we can grow and expand our perspective. She leads us on a treasure hunt as we view nature, events, and people in our physical and nonphysical realities from all directions, whether above, below, or beside us.”
—Marcia Emery, PhD, author of PowerHunch! Living an Intuitive Life and The Intuitive Healer
“This book is truly a holistic vision of healing. Marcey Shapiro has brought together all of the pieces of the puzzle into a provocative and interesting tour of the present healthcare landscape and drawn a map for navigating toward a new future. This approach to systems thinking is not common and therefore represents a bold and significant step forward in the process of building a new world.”
John L. Petersen, editor and publisher of FUTUREdition and author of A Vision for 2012: Planning for Extraordinary Change
“A fascinating journey to move from dis-ease to well-being, from aloneness and separation to community and oneness. Marcey Shapiro looks with new eyes at the organisms that share ‘our’ bodies, proposing a model of peace in the realm of medicine and within each of us. She advocates a different understanding of illness. It is illustrated with intriguing stories from her clinical practice, where she uses tools of conventional medicine, science, and natural approaches. It is a refreshing read that contains profound insights and a deep spiritual message. Transforming the Nature of Health is sprinkled with very practical meditations and easy-to-follow advice that will change the way you think. A must-read for anyone dealing with a body that is out of balance either physically or emotionally.”
—Carol Sabick de la Herran, vice president of The Monroe Institute
“Marcey Shapiro articulates the perfect prescription for better health: focus on positive energy, forgiveness, and love and where appropriate utilize new technologies and therapies that harmonize with nature to restore balance in our bodies and our lives. She challenges the conventional thinking of modern medicine and invites a new perspective that will help transform health and health care.”
—Helen Gracie, cofounder of Scenar Health