Cover Image: The Mind-Body Stress Reset

The Mind-Body Stress Reset

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Member Reviews

This is a book that you would like your time reading and not finish too quickly. I still found the information to be interesting and helpful to use in my daily life.

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This was instrumental with everything going on in the world. The tips and tricks within this novel were easy and straightforward to implement.

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who doesn’t need more stress relief techniques during a Quarantine?

The first three chapters discuss all the negative effects of stress on the mind and body. Some of the information was enlightening. However, most of it I was already aware of. I know stress is damaging my body but I need techniques to get the stress under control.

I thought this book was average for a stress relief book.

I received this galley from NetGalley.

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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a great book for helping you to realise how your body reacts to stress and anxiety and offers some great ideas for dealing with these problems/issues and helping you get on more of an even keel.

The introduction at the beginning of the book was great and some of the practices in the book are great to try independently but some i would maybe seek counsel from a professional before trying.

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The Mind-Body Stress Reset offers some accessible science-backed information on how stress has an impact on the body. However, this is NOT a deep-dive into managing stress in our lives and there is some information presented that is not factual - the idea that animals do not experience chronic is scientifically incorrect. While there are some solid suggestions on managing stress, the reader should discern carefully.

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Many of the tricks, tools, theories in this book are ones that you would find by seeing a therapist about a non-medicated anxiety disorder. So if you are one who does not want, or cannot, visit with a therapist regularly this book would be helpful to you in your search for assistance in managing your anxiety.

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I was very interested to read this book, as I am becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of stress and cortisol on the body. This book has some really interesting and helpful elements, when referencing research. The writing, however, is choppy and doesn't feel particularly actionable.

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

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I don't usually read this type of book, but as I've been feeling increasingly stressed out lately I decided to have it a try, in case it offered some useful tips and tricks to manage my stress levels, especially since I have MS and stress is even more detrimental to my body than to the average person's.
I found this book very interesting. Scientific aspects are laid out in layman's terms, scientific research and specialist studies are referenced but in a very accessible manner, easy to comprehend and to process. It has certainly given me some insights in the workings of my mind and body, defining and explaining phenomena I have noticed in myself for many years without my ever knowing what caused them until now. It has also offered me the tips and tricks I'd hoped to find. Obviously it will be up to me to incorporate and integrate and apply what I've learned, but doing the exercises in the book I have felt a difference so I'm definitely planning on applying them "in real life". The tone of the book is very encouraging and positively dripping with kindness towards the reader, also urging readers to be kind to themselves.
In my opinion this is an excellent place to start if you, like me, are a newbie trying to learn something, gain some insights. I do feel that more advanced readers, more knowledgeable ones, might find it lacking.

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Such an interesting book that looks at dealing with stress and how it affects your body. I really liked the strategies discussed in the book on how to calm the stress in both the mind and the body. I look forward to trying this out for myself and seeing how effective they are.

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I wanted to like this book. I wanted to LOVE this book, but I have to be honest and say that only half of the content felt like I could recommend it. The pros and cons of it are split: some has stellar research; while other parts, mainly about mindfulness meditation and yoga, it seems LaDyne either misunderstands or doesn't have enough experience to be writing on the subjects. This was a shock because in her own credentials she lists having taught mindfulness for many years including at the well-known Spirit Rock facility. It would seem that she where she used reputable references for the Western science summaries -- Bessel van der Kolk, Stephen Porges, Peter Levine, and Robert Sapolsky -- she didn't have references for any of her particular take on mindfulness nor mindfulness meditation which she considers two separate practices (they aren't).

Instead, LaDyne's purpose of this book is to glean from the reputable sources who have researched trauma and its relationship in the body and used that to create her own protocol she calls mindbody reset (MBR). If she had taken all of the research into account, she would also have come to different conclusions about animals versus humans. She says:

"Zebras don't suffer from lasting mental stress, either. A huge reason they don't get ulcers is that they don't replay their stresses in their heads."


"Fretting over a fight with an ex-husband? Not the kangaroo."

This isn't some agenda on animal rights, by any means. I bring up the animals, because in van der Kolk's The Body Keeps Score, he references other validated research about the effects of stress on animals. Lab animals, sure, but still mammals. Plus anyone who has ever had a pet companion has probably witness their range of emotions on a daily basis. There is no doubt at all that some animals DO have chronic anxiety, depression, and fear illnesses. Destructive dogs tear apart their surroundings because of boredom and anxiety. Separation anxiety is a big one. Again, this isn't something I need to read about because I've witnessed it with several of my own animals. They howl and cry while wandering around as soon as their favorite human companion walks out the door or if they don't know what room they're in.

What concerns me about LaDyne's conclusion is that it is similar to one I personally fell for: that sharks don't get cancer. I wrote a paper on it with the information available at that time (in the 1990s). It is dead wrong. Sharks get cancer. LaDyne's conclusion that pets don't have the capacity to suffer chronically from the most common mental conditions like anxiety, depression, fear, and grief is simply wrong.

LaDyne's references and summations to Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory regarding the power of the vagus nerve is important and well-done. She spends plenty of time weaving this throughout the book. The exercises at the end focus on stimulating and resetting that vagus nerve through movement.

Mindfulness Meditation:

LaDyne could have benefited from reading and citing Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastophe Living or Coming to Our Senses or probably any of his fifteen books. She clearly has no understanding of something she was teaching and that's alarming. The point in creating portmanteaux like mindbody and bodymind and heartmind is because the organs are linked and American English doesn't have words in existence already to use.

“A good way to stop all the doing is to shift into the ‘being mode’ for a moment. Think of yourself as an eternal witness, as timeless. Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you hear?” Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go There You Are)

Kabat-Zinn and others in the field have a holistic or wholistic approach utilizing the entire somatic union of the human experience. Yet, LaDyne states she had, "to shift from a mindfulness focus to a 'bodyfulness' focus. Current science continues to show that body-based methods, not head-based methods, are our best tools for extreme-stress recovery." That makes sense and if she fully understood what mindfulness meditation is, she wouldn't dismiss it so readily. Kabat-Zinn is famous for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (essentially secular yoga); Full Catastrophe Living explains gentle movements to reset bring the nervous system back to a safe and social zone. Is it for everyone? No, nothing is.

"Awareness is central for somatic regulation; meditation is not." Rebekkah LaDyne, The Mind-Body Reset

LaDyne chooses to reference Ellen Langer instead which is where seems to get the notion that mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are two different things. Meditation in a well-rounded yoga life does not mean sitting all the time. There are walking meditations (again, something Kabat-Zinn and others cover). Dave Potter has a video, the Raisin Meditation, about how to mindfully experience a single raisin for all that it is. Meditation can be silent or include sounds like mantra chanting or sounds that have no meaning but feel good to vibrate through the body. You can meditate while petting your cat and listening to the rhythmic purring. Meditation does not exclude awareness which LaDyne strongly states.

In a body scan meditation, one is guided or can do it on their own, to bring awareness to each body part. The left big toe, the second toe, the third toe, the fourth toe, the pinky toe, then all the left toes; the bottom of the foot, the top of the foot, the ankle, the entire foot. This is not only in body scan meditations but also in the practice of Yoga Nidra. Awareness does equal meditation.

Breathing Techniques or Pranayama:

Though LaDyne never uses yoga terms like asana (the movements and postures) nor pranayama, she uses those exact practices without going back to any yoga sources. And she contradicts herself on one of "her" techniques instructions first stating there is "no intentional sucking in or tightening the abs" and then instructing to "gently draw your belly in to empty the lung fully."

No Pain, No Gain is Dangerous:

On this subject, we agree. The commercialization of the fitness, beauty, and fashion industries would have everyone in the world the same cookie cutter sizes and shapes (and let's face it skin coloring too). LaDyne states that in her MBR approach if there is pain, there is no gain. Some movement can reset that nervous system from hypo- or hyperarousal back to the ventral vagal zone (optimal level of arousal), but overdoing that into extreme fitness for hours a day, every day is something only professional athletes need to do and that's because they've been conditioned for it their whole lives.
LaDyne does a fine job of explaining heart-rate variability too. Again, this is not from her own research though. This is from the cited research. Her research backed up data about cortisol.


I can't recommend Rebekkah LaDyne's The Mind-Body Reset as a primary source for information about breathing and movement techniques for bringing bodies back to ventral vagal baselines. While there is plenty of good information in there and it is explained in layman's terms with biographical stories for examples, there is simply too much wrong with the book to suggest anyone pick it up for their first exposure into this subject matter.

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A great informative text to help readers to understand on how their body react to stress and gives instructive ways to distress and keeping emotions stable. It’s a book that I will keep handy as a toolkit to help myself and learn to keep my mind and body from extreme emotions and stress when facing situations that will activate my stress tachycardia and stress anxiety. I can also utilise what I’ve learnt to help my family in dealing with emotional situations that set off tantrums and meltdowns.

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We live in a stressful time, and that's hard on a body and soul. So a book like Rebekkah LaDyne's The Mind-Body Stress Reset comes into the marketplace with the best of intentions, offering a solution to reducing the stress in our lives. The book didn't quite land with me in the way I had hoped it would, because the writing was choppy, and the narrative was repetitive in some parts, thin in others. I also would have liked to have seen more extended interviews (with quotes) with the stress sufferers she referenced in passing throughout the book.

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I enjoyed the first half of this book but got a little turned off when they reached intimacy. It started feeling preachy.

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Some interesting alternative stress relieving ideas. Somewhat repetitive and somewhat (ironically) stressful to read.

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