CICO Books 2019
Empower your life with Sophrology by Philip Carr Gomm really is one of those books that ‘does what it says on the can.’
So, if you don’t meditate, but suspect that your experience of life would be better if you did; if an underlying feeling of stress is your normality, or if you easily lose your sense of perspective; if you’d like to gain quantifiable benefits from short exercises that fit easily into a busy lifestyle, then give this book a try.
Sophrology is a ‘stress-reducing, self-care practice’ whose use of simple body movements with mental exercises is surprisingly effective. Using the body seems somehow to sidestep the mental blocks stressed people feel at the very thought of relaxing.
A gentle step by step guide is clearly set out, with chapters targeting our chief concerns; healing, anxiety, pain, distress, eating and sleep problems.
The content is clearly delineated and allows the reader to refer quickly back to key points for a refresher. This is clever layout/design; clear, attractive and colourful, using illustrations and coloured backgrounds to separate sections. The little people illustrating the poses don’t appeal to me, but that’s personal taste, and they don’t distract me.
The writing introduces bite-sized chunks of practice that are so easy to follow you hardly realise they are becoming more complex as you go further. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity; the techniques were developed by a neuro-psychiatrist, and can achieve pleasing results in a short time – so, ideal for the impatient.
In terms of easy effectiveness, and, most importantly, keeping at it – for the self-help road is strewn with good intentions – the absolute clincher for me is the audio support. By each of twenty-six exercises, which vary from two to fourteen minutes, there is the symbol of a speaker, indicating an audio file. If you’ve ever enjoyed one of Philip’s visualisations you’ll know his voice is both calming and compelling; all you need to do is go online to the book’s website, relax and have the author ‘act as your personal sophrologist.’ I did, and I’m impressed. Highly recommended.