Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness—Transform Pain, Stress, Trauma, and Aging offers a guide to Somatic Learning, an innovative body-oriented approach that incorporates mindfulness, visualization, breathing exercises, postures, and stretches. Developed by author, psychotherapist, and award-winning songwriter and poet Risa Kaparo, PhD, Somatic Learning is based on leading-edge research demonstrating the power of the mind to activate physiological, mental, and emotional healing. Kaparo has successfully used her approach with patients suffering from chronic pain, high blood pressure, and mood disorders including depression and anxiety.
Recounting her own struggle with chronic pain, Kaparo begins with a moving description of her journey from crippling pain to renewed health and aliveness. Kaparo introduces the concepts and characteristics of Somatic Learning, a method that grew out of her personal healing experience. Incorporating the latest brain research in mindfulness and neuroplasticity, the book presents breathing exercises; postures and stretches for morning and bedtime; instructions for integrating mindfulness practice into one's daily life; and ways of deepening the practice through touch and caring interaction with others. Enhanced with over 100 detailed instructional photos and illustrations, the book includes inspiring case stories and the author's own expressive poetry that illuminate the healing power of this practice.
A licensed psychotherapist and award-winning poet and songwriter, Risa Kaparo, PhD, is the developer of Somatic Learning, a body-based approach that incorporates psychological, somatic, and meditative disciplines. She has developed training programs for health professionals and educators, and has taught Somatic Learning at MIT, John F. Kennedy University, the California Institute of Integral Studies, Dalian Medical University in China, and numerous other universities and professional institutions. The author of Embrace: Poems, Kaparo maintains a private practice in Richmond, California.