Book Review: Kitchen Table Wisdom

Kitchen Table Wisdom – Stories that Heal

By Rachel Naomi, MD

I was introduced to this author through my classwork at the Mt Nittany Institute of Natural Health. In reading these stories, I also learned about the concept of narrative medicine, a growing body of knowledge that seeks to engage with the patient through their own stories about illness and healing.

Naomi is exceptional. Though I prefer structure and clear ideas, she made me realize the value in qualitative sources. These stories are a perfect example of why Jesus used parables to teach – they endure – and they express more than just simple facts. Stories have layers of meaning. Their complexity provides a more comprehensive sense of the person’s illness than a list of symptoms, test results, and x-rays.

I enjoyed this book from the perspective of a reader simply engaged in the short tales, but also because it opened my eyes to the significance of stories in healing.

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Book Review: The Body Language of Illness

The Body Language of Illness
By Eleanor Limmer

This book was part of my coursework when I attended the Mt Nittany Institute of Natural Health. Limmer’s book provided exciting validation of an idea that I felt intuitively, but was never quite certain how to grasp. She lucidly describes the connection between physical illness and mental/emotional/spiritual challenges. If attuned to properly, one can interpret the symptoms of the body and use them to grow, thereby resolving both the physical manifestation and its underlying source.

This is a fascinating book that I’ve returned to many times. There are no magical “indexes” that tell you what a headache “equals” in terms of an internal problem, but there are themes that one can use as a starting point. Unless it feels right to you, the connection is not there. It’s not easy to discern, but worth the investigation.