Transforming the Nature of Health

A Holistic Vision of Healing That Honors Our Connection to the Earth, Others, and Ourselves

By Marcey Shapiro; Robert Golden (Foreword by)
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781583943618, 296pp.)

Publication Date: February 14, 2012

List Price: $17.95*
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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.

About the Author

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)
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