3 out of 4 stars
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Happy Healing, by Dominique Bourlet, is a tutorial self-help book for anyone who has experienced chronic pain. I add the word “chronic” because this method wouldn’t be the first thing to try if one has a broken limb or similar injury. Rather, the “Happy Healing” method is a self-healing strategy in which the person in pain engages in a conversation with his or her body, and as such, is more appropriate for those who suffer from chronic pain and would like to try an alternative strategy to strong painkillers, surgery, etc.
The author is a licensed healing practitioner in Germany who gained much of his wisdom in Asia. He acquired his knowledge from traditional Chinese methods such as acupressure and various other spiritual/energetic healing techniques. During the time he spent in Asia, he developed this healing protocol he calls “Happy Healing,” a technique for self-healing.
The book opens up with a quiz that helps to get the reader prepared for the material therein. It also offers a nice section on how to read the book for “specific healing goals.” For example, if the reader has an acute pain that he or she wants to heal quickly, the author guides you to the specific page to help with that. Or, if one is simply interested in “reducing a small discomfort,” there’s a page to turn to for that as well.
Following the introduction, the book is divided into three parts. The first is about how the “Happy Healing” method was created. The second part is focused on describing the method, and the third is how to apply the method. The author also includes an appendix with useful consultation and reporting forms.
The author spends a lot of time describing the eight-step process for “Happy Healing,” and why he claims it works so well. I thought it was pretty fascinating that the author had been a horse whisperer prior to this work, and that the origins for many of his ideas within the protocol stemmed from working with horses! The idea being that whispering to the horses helped to heal the horse, so why couldn’t whispering to the body help to heal the body?
All in all, I LOVE the concepts behind “Happy Healing.” For a variety of personal reasons, a holistic or whole-body approach to medicine has resonated with me for years. I have generally found that the body is really smart: if we listen to what it tells us, we can maximize our health in so many ways!
The book is really short and can be “read” quickly, but if one were to spend the quality time needed to learn and apply the methods, far more time could easily be spent. That being said, I had a tough time with the style of writing itself. I was left feeling like I just wanted to meet the author and learn the methods from him in person, or perhaps to take a class and learn everything from a hands-on perspective. While the author’s voice is one I would probably love in person, there was something about it in the written form that made it harder for me to follow. It is a bit tricky to describe, but something was “off” for me. I think it was possibly a combination of the formatting (it felt like a textbook with its many headings and complex paragraph breaks) with the colloquial tone of voice (calling pain “Lady Pain,” referring to the cosmos with a capital C in a gushing tone, and many other similar examples).
Summarily, I say this: I REALLY wanted to love this book. I love the concept of holistic healing generally, and I think I love the idea behind “Happy Healing” specifically. But because I had such a hard time following along with the author’s writing style, I just didn’t love the book itself. So, even though I found only a few grammatical errors, I feel I must give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I think readers with chronic pain could very well benefit from this method, and I think it’s important they have access to self-help books such as these! Perhaps my experience with the writing style was unusual and others would find it far easier to get through. I say, please judge for yourself and enjoy!
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