Book Review: Move
February 08, 2022
Caroline Williams’ book is subtitled “How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free.” It’s a very approachable book of science reporting that includes the latest research into bodily movement and overall health, and how our traditional view of “exercise” is inadequate.
Although there is a bit too much blaming of technology for our woes to suit my taste, Williams does discuss some interesting studies revealing correlations with sedentary lifestyles, lower IQs, mental illness, and anti-social behavior. And, as evidence of how current this book is, there is discussion about how the COVID-19 pandemic has served to limit movement further.
One thing I particularly enjoyed were the explorations of mind-body linkages — that is, not treating movement as a way of getting fit, but also as a way of promoting mental acuity. By the time I completed the book, I had a better understanding of why there are mindfulness and breathing functions in the Apple Watch.
Speaking of breathing, I also learned that benefits of breathing exercises are decreased by mouth breathing. “In through the nose, out through the mouth” is a cliché, but it turns out at least the first part is backed by science.
There are other tidbits that triggered “aha” moments, and some reminded me of “new age” or “ancient” wisdom. There is some discussion about the body’s role in memory (perhaps the brain is not the seat of all things), and also a long discussion of research into audio frequencies, the body’s electrical network, and rhythm. (Maybe those drum circles aren’t just for hippies after all.)
I also came to new understanding about the role of the vagus nerve. And although I have only witnessed, not experienced, the healing power of acupuncture the discussion of the latest research into the body’s fascia was fascinating.
The book is not only approachable and interesting, it’s also well indexed with an interesting bibliography. Overall, I’m impressed and pleased that I took some time to study it. I bought my copy at Barbara’s Bookstore in Northwestern Hospital, but you can also find it on the Amazon.