Total Relaxation by John R. Harvey, PhD, is one of the most comprehensive yet concise texts on the subject of tension and relaxation. Harvey takes the reader on a journey through every system of the body in which tension can occur. He goes into great detail about the possible causes of tension in each system, and helps the readers assess for themselves where and why their own tension resides. Most importantly, Harvey then provides detailed instructions for how to release that tension.
The layout of the book is brilliant. Each system of the body — or “level” of tension, as Harvey describes it — has its own chapter, and the following chapter contains the relaxation techniques associated with that system, or “level.” This format makes the book highly accessible for a variety of readers. A reader who is interested in learning about all the possible causes and places of tension can read the book from start to finish, gain a wealth of knowledge about how the body works with regard to producing tension, and learn how to achieve the deepest states of relaxation. Conversely, someone who already knows where his or her tension lies can go directly to the chapter containing techniques that apply to that type of tension and start relaxing.
The book comes with an audio CD containing four guided relaxation techniques that are also described within the text. This added bonus definitely makes the book worth the purchase. The step-by-step instructions on the CD, with relaxing music in the background, teach the techniques beautifully and effectively. They are easy to follow and a joy to practice.
There are so many books about relaxation available now. If you are looking for one book that will serve as a complete reference guide as well as an instruction manual, John Harvey’s Total Relaxation is that book.
Publisher: Kodansha America