Deb Shapiro has trained extensively in various schools of bodywork, Buddhist meditation, and Jungian psychology in both England and America. In this user friendly and illuminating paperback (which also contains two guided visualization practices on CD), she decodes symptoms of illness and lack of balance in the body. Shapiro believes that emotional and psychological states do influence the onset and passage of illness — especially feelings that have been repressed, ignored, and denied. Also impacting our health and well-being are environmental factors, genetic predisposition, and the general state of our immune system.

Illnesses give us a chance to take a hard look at our behavior and the pattern of our lives. Here are some of Shapiro's decodings:

• "Sciatica implies that there are emotional issues affecting the back and the legs, and these are deep, inner issues. These may be issues to do with being able to stand up for yourself."

• Kidney Stones: "Condensed matter represents condensed thought patterns and emotions, particularly to do with fear and grief: they are like unshed tears that have become solidified."

• Myopia: "Shortsightedness is often accompanied by an introverted or shy personality, quiet and withdrawn, or perhaps obsessed with detail, yet there may be a very rich and imaginative inner life."