Around once a month (or when I’ve reached a critical mass of crushing some texts) I hope to add a few books to the Recommended Readings Page and post them here along with how they connect to current training and/or rehab paradigms. 

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

This book originally helped launch the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs that are used all over the world to exceptional success. Dr. Kabat-Zinn outlines and describes the approach in detail including a thorough body scan method which we discussed in my previous post. I have used the principles here at length in therapeutic neuroscience education for those experiencing pain and/or stress. 

Pain is not a “body problem” it is a system problem involving sensory inputs, as well as the emotional and cognitive aspects of pain. By disengaging from the perception of pain and removing the attachment of the self from the current experience (“you” are not merely your body or your pain but rather it is a transient experience separate from the self) one can change the brain’s processing of inputs and reduce the brain’s primal responses to threat. 

I must say though I don’t love the title as it is a little too alarmist (especially as it’s written primarily for those dealing with chronic pain and/or stress), but whatever sells bro.

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow
Interacting with the subconscious mind is something we cannot help but do as clinicians, coaches, or humans. Everything we do and interact with affects the brain, on multiple levels including the conscious cortex and the subconscious midbrain and brainstem. Dr. Mlodinow discusses how inaccurate our memory truly is, how the brain fills in the sensory gaps in vision and hearing, and how our perceptions influence our thoughts. Expectation of benefit is critical in getting the desired movements and responses in our athletes, much of which is filtered before it even reaches conscious thought – the tone of voice, nonverbal behavior, and sensory cues all impact how effective we are at improving movement and performance.

– Seth

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