The best books about the connection between unfelt emotion and illness

Denise LaBarre Author Of Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out
By Denise LaBarre

Who am I?

I am an emotional intuitive with a background in psychology, five decades of hands-on experience, and a love and fascination for language. You could call me a Body-mind Translator or a Body Whisperer. I started systematically “listening” to bodies when I was seven, and have worked with thousands of bodies since then. In my books and in sessions, I have the words to translate the body’s messages so people understand what their body is communicating through tension and symptoms and make lasting improvement. My purpose and greatest joy are to catalyze deep healing where physical and emotional interconnect – directly in the body.  


I wrote...

Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out

By Denise LaBarre,

Book cover of Issues in Your Tissues: Heal Body and Emotion from the Inside Out

What is my book about?

What happened to the energy of the tears you had to suck down as a kid? Or the anger you weren’t allowed to express? It accumulates in your body with like-energy to become pain, illness, and disease. 

Issues in Your Tissues is a practical, easy-to-read guide to exploring the unexpressed emotions you carry. My book offers the insights and tools you need to go into your own body, allow the energy to release, and get the healing answers you've been looking for. Its stories, cartoons, quiz, and exercises show you how you can reconnect to your internal communication system, shed your energetic “armor,” and heal the roots of even chronic illness. The health and aliveness you were born with are yours to reclaim with understanding and love.

The books I picked & why

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The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Book cover of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Why this book?

This widely popular book is paving the way for a revolution in awareness of how emotional energy manifests in the physical body. Finally, a medical doctor with traditional authority presents research that analytically substantiates this connection that we all have personal experience with.  I am grateful that this message is reaching so many people and helping them ask questions about how they can make connections in their own bodies to get their own healing answers. The next step is to do the work directly. ;-)


When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

By Gabor Maté,

Book cover of When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Why this book?

From his years as a palliative and family physician, Dr. Maté recognizes that the physical and emotional shut-down and illness resulting from trauma or chronic stress is a natural response to overwhelming experiences. He sees beyond the standard medical model to treat his patients as whole people, not disconnected body parts or diagnoses. In this book, he shows that what medicine considers psychosomatic or imaginary is in fact a biological survival mechanism; and advocates for a compassionate and holistic approach to healing over the mechanistic medical norm. Case histories and personal insights show that unresolved trauma patterns get transferred from parent to child, down the generations to create their own patterns of illness and disease. Also, check out the film The Wisdom of Trauma about his work on addiction. 


When I Loved Myself Enough

By Kim McMillen, Alison McMillen,

Book cover of When I Loved Myself Enough

Why this book?

Deep down, most of us have issues with our own worthiness – we’re socialized with it and this deceptively powerful little book is a distilled journal of one woman’s insights as she realizes self-love. Her simple, beautiful words guide you down the path to loving yourself. The story behind the book is as compelling as McMillen’s quiet meditations. I have kept a copy handy for years and often read a page or two when I need a reminder to love myself. It is also a book I often give as a gift and loan to clients. 


In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

By Peter A. Levine,

Book cover of In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

Why this book?

Peter Levine’s earlier works examined animal studies on nervous systems under stress. His latest book In an Unspoken Voice serves as the bridge between the scientific research and the practical realm of medical clinicians and alternative healers who work with PTSD and other trauma-induced illnesses. It looks in detail at the freeze response (think: fight/flight/freeze) and the biological rewiring that happens in the human body as the result of trauma and chronic stress. If you like dense, intellectual discussion of biomechanical details, you’ll enjoy the read. If not, skim to the parts about his program of exercises and simple movements that can restore body awareness and reset neurological malfunction.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

By Atul Gawande,

Book cover of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Why this book?

Death is the exam we all have to take. And yet not only are we afraid of it, we are afraid to talk about it. Atul Gawande is a second-generation MD, gerontologist, and surprisingly graceful writer who takes us on a compassionate journey through all topics of aging, end-of-life care, and how we deny our own mortality. We often inappropriately extend the suffering of our loved ones with excessive medical intervention because we haven’t examined our own fears. I love this book and reread it when my own mortality or a close death gives me pause. It opens our hearts and helps us become more comfortable with the inevitable. 


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