Book Review by Deborah Valentine Smith, BA, LMT (NY), Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM)
Authorized Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® Teacher
AOBTA® Certified Instructor
Direct Awareness to Transform the Roots of Pain and Stress in Soma and Psyche
A Clinical Guide for Acupuncture and Asian Bodywork
By Kamala Quale, MSOM, LAc
Kamala has created a resource that can be taken in whole or in part. Many of the techniques stand alone and can easily be integrated into your practice to make it more effective and even used personally for guidance and insight.
This is a beautiful treasure house that marries theory and technique in masterful ways. It is a must for both work with clients and self-care.
I’ve known Kamala Quale for at least 30 years and am deeply appreciative of what she brings to ABT from her mastery of Chinese Medicine, Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® and Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy. She has made the gentle, rich principles of Hakomi available to the practice of bodywork in a safe and effective way. You may have seen her Connect & Learn presentation, “Bodymind Skills that Assist Clients to Discover Themselves in the Moment: The Wisdom in Patterns of Tension, The Resource in Patterns of Expansion” in August of 2019. She will also be presenting “Body Stories: Releasing Shen through Body Awareness” at the 2021 AOBTA® Convention in May.
I also practice and teach Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®, which actively engages the client by using body focusing, breathing and visualization to bring their attention to the body and to give voice to its messages. I have highly recommended this book to students and practitioners. The point of view is rooted in Shen and encourages the client to connect with the inner Self, the HeartMind. As she says, “By facilitating this connection, we help our clients to revitalize their physical and emotional health, increase internal resources and bring meaning to the healing journey.”
The book contains articles on general topics, like “The Science of Symbols” and “Emotion as a Cause of Disease According to Chinese Medicine.” In addition, there the techniques are based on sound counselling principles further enlightened by the insights from the foundations of Yin/Yang and the Five Elements.
The application of Five Element theory is expounded in several sections. First, a there is a general description of each of the elements in relation to work with a client. Following, there are sections on “A Five Phase Approach for Inspiring Your Practice and Creating a Healing Relationship,” “Five Phases to Guide Your HeartMind Session” and “Five Phases of a Session and Required Skill Set” that includes some options for Point Selection.
In another section she outlines the steps of a session rooted in the HeartMind principles.
- Educate and Clarify Goals
- Promote Self-Awareness
- Resonate and Observe
- Communicate Effectively
- Work with Emotional Intelligence
Each of these steps is accompanied by an explanation of the principles involved and detailed descriptions of techniques. For instance, under “Promote Self-Awareness,” there is a discussion of the characteristics of Mindfulness, studies of Mindfulness and the brain, how to use it therapeutically, and the attitudes necessary for the practitioner. The Method section includes step-by-step techniques: “Personal Wisdom in Tension, Discover the Pattern,” and “Compare Released and Unreleased Areas of the Body.”
Deborah V. Smith