By: Jamie L. Saloff
Publisher: Sent Books
Publication Date: September 2005
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: January 2009
In Transformational Healing, author Jamie Saloff has outlined a way for those suffering from various maladies, from life-threatening diseases, to chronic pain, and even those who simply are not enjoying life, to lift themselves up mentally and how this, in turn can affect physical well-being.
Saloff certainly has an excuse for being pessimistic. Diagnosed with cancer at a young age, she initially thought her odds of living a long life were not good. But then something happened. Saloff made a commitment to herself to find the way to health and happiness and so, locking herself in the bedroom, promising not to come out until she had discovered the secrets to wellness. The result? Five very simple keys to healing which are, says Saloff, relief, goals and desires, connection, commitment, and synchronicity. Using these keys, the author argues, can help you overcome pain and live a better, happier life. Saloff took her words to heart and is now amazingly positive about life.
Transformational Healing is divided into six sections. The first is a brief introduction that asks the reader to make an assessment of their own body. There is a diagram provided to pinpoint where aches and pains are, down to such innocuous things as blisters and scars. This is followed by an explanation of ‘Body Songs,’ a term the author has coined for any physical malady, whether it is caused by illness or accident. These Body Songs are ‘a message from within, designed to bring a body back into harmony.” The meanings of these Body Songs and the appropriate response to them, play an important role in the rest of the book.
The following five sections of Transformational Healing, which comprise the bulk of the book, delve into the keys mentioned above that are necessary for healing. Each section is broken down into several chapters which explore, with great detail, each key, what they are, how to recognize them, and how to react to them. What I found particularly useful were the numerous analogies the author used to explain her ideas. For example, when describing how the body will shut itself down, one organ at a time to save itself, the comparison is made to how a plant will drop leaves before dying in an effort to save itself. Stories, to help bring meaning to each point, were also in abundance. The chapter on ‘The Still, Small Voice,’ begins with an account of a trip to the grocery store and being fixated on needing eggs, although Saloff was certain she had eggs at home. It’s funny and charming to read, and at the end, the reader understands the need to listen to the voice within.
Saloff has a clear writing style that breaks down her ideas into an easy to understand format. For example, when talking about fear and how to deal with it, she goes further by dividing fear into primal and specific fear. She then discusses the differences between them, how to recognize each, and how to respond to each. This style flows throughout the book, making it a quick read while also being quite informative.
Another method Saloff uses to emphasis her keys are exercises, some physical, some mental. They appear at the end of many chapters and are quite helpful. Finally, I must mention the refreshing tone of Transformational Healing. While so many self-help books are sullen and brooding, this book is incredibly upbeat and optimistic. It was refreshing to read, “It is very important that you speak or write about your desires in positive terms,” and “…make a determined choice to speak positively and lovingly …”
Quill says: A book that may bring healing and understanding to your life.