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Stretch Therapy Recommended Reading

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In preparation for the forthcoming book 'Stretching for Every Body', Kit has asked me to post the recommended reading for the larger body of work, known as Stretch Therapy. These texts provide relevant fine details for practitioners, and make fascinating reading for the interested layman.

Kit Wrote: "All of the references mentioned here have helped me to understand what happens to us as we stretch. Some readers may be surprised by the age of the books mentioned in this list, as there is a widespread tendency to place greater reliance on more recent publications, on the assumption that the scientific enterprise moves forwards continually. In my experience, however, the earliest possible sources are often the best, even if subsequent work reveals errors of various kinds. Innovators create fields of enquiry; subsequent researchers plough the same ground and—if effective—provide refinement of detail. Both kinds of enquiry are necessary to fuller understanding. The big ideas usually appear in earlier works.

Achterberg, J., 1985. Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine. New Science Library, Boston and London. A very readable introduction to psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the interactions between mind and body, and an analysis that will change your understanding of the patient-practitioner relationship forever.

Albrecht, K., 1979. Stress and the Manager: making it work for you. Simon & Schuster, New York, Touchstone edition, 1986. Foreword by Hans Selye. One of the earliest texts in the field of occupational stress; relevant and practical. Contains a good relaxation script.

Alter, M. J., 1988. Science of Stretching. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, Illinois. A wealth of scientific detail underlying the practical dimensions of stretching.

Benson, H., 1976. The Relaxation Response. Collins, London. This very small book is a minor gem, condensing a great deal of technical research into meditation recommendations and related practices.

Chiba, S., Ishibashi, Y., and Kasai, T., 1994. Perforation of dorsal branches of the sacral nerve plexus through the piriformis muscle and its relation to changes of segmental arrangements of the vertebral column and others. Kaibogaku Zasshi (Acta Anatomica Nippon).

Damasio, A. R., 1994. Descartes’ Error: emotion, reason and the human brain. Macmillan, London, Papermac edition, 1996. The most influential book I read in 1997, and which provides a deep understanding of the relation between what we call the ‘mind’ and the ‘body’. My sincere hope is that Stretching for Every Body can provide some of the tools to alter the perception of, experience of, and the function of, this dualism (which distinction is motivated, as G. Spencer-Brown would say).

Foss, L., and Rothenberg, K., 1987. The Second Medical Revolution: From Biomedicine to Infomedicine. Shambala, New Science Library, Boston & London. The 'infomedical' model locates the human being in an ecological, social and psychological framework with important implications for treatment of illness and analysis of cause - especially the degenerative diseases of our time - while preserving the deep insights into process provided by the scientific world view. The model is fairly described as revolutionary in the Kuhnian sense.

Jerome, J., 1987. Staying Supple: the bountiful pleasures of stretching. Bantam Books, New York. The ‘Unnumbered lesson’ in my "Stretching & Flexibility" derives much from this slim but rich publication. I had extolled the pleasure of stretching long before I found this book, but Jerome made me think again about how the points between the cardinal points on our stretching compass need to be explored. His insistence on the necessity of listening to what the body is trying to tell you cannot be overemphasised in achieving the goal of flexibility. Are you listening?

Johnson, M., 1987. The Body in the Mind: the bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. This brilliant book examines the ways in which our body and its movement through time and space is constitutive of thought, from basic awareness to abstract concepts, via image schemata and metaphor. Although Johnson’s focus is different, his insights are compatible with Damasio’s. Perhaps the negative prejudice accorded the body (in comparison with the mind) explains why Johnson’s ideas are not more central to mainstream philosophy today.

Juhan, D., 1987. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Station Hill Press, New York. Foreword by Ken Dychtwald. I read this wonderful book many years before Damasio’s; when I read the latter I was reminded of the many insights Juhan had achieved without the new biochemical and neurological evidence presented in Descartes’ Error. The understanding provided by direct experience, and acts of imagination constrained by this experience, can be far-reaching indeed. Juhan’s book should be read by all who describe themselves as body workers.

Kapandji, I. A., 1974. The Physiology of the Joints. Volumes I–III. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh. This is the first and finest exposition of the anatomy and physiology of the bones and muscles of the body, presented from an engineering and Newtonian physics perspective. The sheer comprehensiveness of these texts is humbling and they are beautifully and innovatively illustrated. Kapandji’s capacity to draw the fundamental physical principles involved in joint movement in a simple, though anything but simplistic, way is an inspiration. This is a must-have set of books for anyone interested in exercise or rehabilitation.

Keleman, S., 1985. Emotional Anatomy: the structure of experience. Center Press, Berkeley. Keleman argues persuasively that one’s own body shape is a dynamic interaction between one’s genetic inheritance and one’s personal emotional history. His work is a considerable elaboration of Reich’s insights (see below) into character armoring. Of particular interest is his analysis of the internal implications of this history, and its effect on organ function, the musculoskeletal dimension, and the emotional choices that are made as a result, all of which constrain options for future adaptation. Remarks made above in relation to Damasio’s work are relevant here, too.

Kendall, H. O., Kendall, F .P., and Wadsworth, G. P., 1971. Muscles, Testing and Function. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 2nd edition. Again, the original and, in many ways, the best. A newer revised edition is available.

Knott, M., and Voss, D. E., 1968. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. Harper & Row, New York. The first of its kind; two subsequent editions have been released.

Kurz, T., 1994. Stretching Scientifically: a guide to flexibility training. Stadion, Island Pond, Vermont, USA, revised 3rd edition. Kurz’s book has some useful ideas on developing dynamic flexibility; athletes in sports requiring this kind of flexibility would do well to read it. He is critical of partner stretching, though: too dangerous and inefficient, on his account. His theory chapter is brief and excellent.

Laughlin, K., 1998. Overcome Neck & Back Pain, first published 1995, by BodyPress, Canberra; second edition Simon & Schuster, Sydney; revised third edition, Simon & Schuster, New York; full rewrite fourth edition, Simon & Schuster, Sydney, 2007. All relevant details of how we approach the treatment of neck and back problems will be found here, as will the references on which the approach draws. For example, the Chiba et al. research that revealed the high percentage of the general population whose piriformis muscle is pierced by the sciatic nerve will be found here. This reference is included, above.

Laughlin, K., 1999. Stretching & Flexibility. My initial attempt to present a lesson-based approach to improving flexibility, much of this remains relevant today. As the world has moved, though, from a logo-centric perspective to an image-based one, I realised that I needed to rewrite this from top to bottom. Hence the present work. I have précised (if there is such a word) much of the technical explanations of that original here in recognition of this change, so you may care to find an old copy and see what I was thinking then. All remains relevant, and the lesson plans are still operative.

Reich, W., 1989. The Function of the Orgasm. Souvenir Press, London. First published in English, 1942, as The Discovery of the Orgone, Volume I: the function of the orgasm, Orgone Institute Press. Through his insistence that ‘muscular attitudes and character attitudes have the same function in the psychic mechanism ... they cannot be separated ... [and] are identical in their function’, Reich gave modern voice to what are now called schools of body work.

Selye, H., 1976. The Stress of Life. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. Revised edition 1976, paperback edition 1978. This book, first published in 1956, spawned a major field of research and remains relevant today. Selye’s insights are one of the longest-lasting major revisions in modern medicine and the full weight of his research is yet to be felt, in my view.

Travell, J. G., and Simons, D. G., Volume 1, 1983; Volume 2, 1992. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the trigger point manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. Another monument of scholarship, Travell and Simons’s two volumes are, in my experience, owned by many but understood by few. Like Kapandji, these books repay constant revisiting, and one cannot help feeling awed by the sheer hard work involved in their preparation. The illustrations of muscles and bones by Barbara Cummings are the best I have ever seen."

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I think it is safe to say we can add both Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) to the Stretch Therapy Recommended Reading list, given Kit's praise of them both in his recent blog post (https://kitlaughlin.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/where-are-the-wise/).

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While i haven't yet read the Travell and Simons books i have gained immense benefits from The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies, now in it's 3rd Edition i believe. It's based completely on the work of Travell and Simons, and includes a foreword by David Simons. It has some really great diagrams of which bits are more connected to which bits, within the grander scheme of "everything is connected". I've fixed various long standing pains over the 5 years that i've owned copies of this book. 

 

The first experience was in finding the source of my 2 year old constant finger pain deep in my armpit, which i just know i wouldn't have found or intuited on my own.. ever! Within a couple of days of a few minutes massage at a time the pain was gone and it's never been back. I love it, and i want more people to read it.

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On 06/02/2015 at 0:09 PM, Dave said:

I think it is safe to say we can add both Yuval Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) to the Stretch Therapy Recommended Reading list, given Kit's praise of them both in his recent blog post (https://kitlaughlin.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/where-are-the-wise/).

I am re-reading Sapiens again (now in German, for language practice and for getting back into that book!!). I must say, after Sapience, any book, concept, method, brand etc looks superficial, like a story someone created, believes in and tries to make other people to believe in. This Sapiens book for me is both enlightening and frightening experience, because I now find it harder to listen patiently to, and to believe in, stories that people tell. That means, it is getting harder to engage with people, because stories is what people use to communicate with each other, and if one is not willing to play this game (because it is silly and distorts the reaity) one is faced with a hard choice: either lie and keep playing the game, or become a hermit. 

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It is almost a choice between seeing the reality and keeping the rose (or any other colour) glasses on. What would you prefer? Given that the colour of those glasses are a product of your environment, your family, people you work with/for, where you live, how well of you are etc etc.

Here is an excellent article from Mr Harari on the online and offline, and alienation from our bodies when moving to online, and how this makes us not to feel at home in our bodies anymore, and not feeling at home anywhere else as a result. I post it here in the absence of a relevant thread

http://www.ynharari.com/yuval-noah-harari-on-the-future-according-to-facebook-2/

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On 4/6/2017 at 6:24 AM, Olga said:

either lie and keep playing the game, or become a hermit

I believe this is a false dichotomy; I am writing a blog on this now (the title is, 'This or that'?). if you choose one or the other, you have fallen into the false trap. I do not lie, and I keep playing the game, for example. I will read that article you reference, too.

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I look forward to reading this blog entry. This dichotomy is a product of the mind and as such not to be taken seriously :D  I find lately that the strategy 'If not sure what to do, do nothing' works very well. The mind is too focused on finding problems (dichotomies or ethical dilemmas) and looking for solutions.

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Not a reading, but I think this lecture might be appreciated here: it's part of a MOOC I'm following titled “The science of Religion” and I think it ties nicely with some of your views.

 

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