Top positive review
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Genuinely groundbreaking and practical
on 29 August 2001
William Bloom describes his book as an ambitious project, bringing together 4 fields - physical healthcare, psychology, spiritual development and the energy medicine traditions of the east - something that has not been done before. He has managed that project with some style, and the result is an extremely practical and genuinely groundbreaking work.
The opening chapters provide some scientific grounding for the exercises that follow. You might be surprised to learn that endorphins, the natural opiates of the body, providing feelings of pleasure and consequent relief from pain, were not discovered until 1975. Even then, it was believed that they were only produced by the brain, until in the 1980s it was discovered that endorphins are secreted throughout the whole body. Moreover, they are produced by other animals too. Even single cell organisms produce endorphins. Pleasure is an integral part of the universe. Happiness and pleasure, says William Bloom, are built into the biological foundation of the human body.
The exercises which make up the main body of the book are designed to maximise the happiness and pleasure in our day-to-day lives. Although the names for these exercises come across as a bit "new age", don't be put off. Without exception they are easy and, as you might expect, extremely pleasurable. Even trying them for the first time, I found myself carrying a healthy reserve of "inner smile" into my day.
William Bloom has spent many years teaching and developing the Endorphin Effect before writing this book, and it shows in the completeness of his approach. Every conceivable contingency is provided for, including an honest appraisal of the difficulties you might face using the exercises in real life.
On the down side, the last chapter opens out into some rather waffly philosophising which you might take or leave as suits your taste. That said, William Bloom's book, in the main, distils the "waffle" of new age into a series of powerful and practical techniques that will undoubtedly make your days more pleasurable and your challenges less stressful.