Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: The Blessing - Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance By John Trent & Gary Smalley

The Blessing by John Trent and Gary Smalley powerfully communicates biblical truths on how to pass on a blessing to others, particularly our own family members; it teaches us on how to instill self-worth and emotional well-being into others.

As mentioned in the book, there are five essential elements that comprise a blessing:
  • meaningful touch
  • a spoken message
  • attaching high value
  • picturing a special future, and
  • an active commitment.
As a medical doctor, I particularly like the part where the authors mention about the various physiological benefits of a meaningful touch.

For example, the authors mention that there are over one-third of our five million touch receptors centered in our hands!

In another part, the authors mentioned about the various studies done by Dolores Krieger, a professor of nursing at New York University on the effects of laying on of hands. What she found is that both the toucher and the one being touched receive a psychological benefit from this practice. Repeatedly, Dr. Krieger has found that hemoglobin levels in both people’s bloodstreams go up during the act of laying on of hands. As hemoglobin levels are invigorated, body tissues receive more oxygen. This increase of oxygen energizes a person and can even aid in the regenerative process if he or she is ill.

In yet another part, the authors mention about a study done at UCLA which found that men and women need eight to ten meaningful touches a day just to maintain emotional and physical health.

Even in the animal kingdom, meaningful touch in infancy causes rats’ brains to put a brake on the development of glucocorticoids and other stress hormones.

Therefore, as the authors mention, parents, in particular, need to know that neglecting to meaningfully touch their children can starve them of genuine acceptance—so much so that it can drive them into the arms of someone else who is all too willing to touch them.

Intrigued by what the authors wrote, I went to the back section of the bibliographic part. I was a bit disappointed to find that for some of these studies that the authors quoted, they did not quote the original sources (although in many others cases, they did). Instead of quoting the primary sources, occasionally they quoted secondary sources, even sources like Reader's Digest. I wish the authors could have quoted more from the original scientific papers as these would enable readers to go and find out more by retrieving these original publications.

Overall, however, this is a challenging book that should be read by all, especially those in positions of authority.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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