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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time by Laura Khoudari is an encouraging way to regain strength following trauma--with strength training. This author has credentials to back up her thoughtful, powerful practices and theory as an experienced physical trainer as well as a trauma specialist. Trauma can cause adverse effects in physical, mental, and emotional areas, but this book shows how using weights can return a person to better health in all areas. It builds confidence and mindfulness, two components that one needs to recover. Reading the book isn't a passive experience, it's a workbook inviting readers to self-reflect, and would be ideal for professionals to use with clients, customers, or patients.
Khoudari breaks her information down into easily understandable parts, so even if you've never worked out before, with weights or otherwise, you can learn from the ground up. Her style is engaging and informative, and she gives real-world examples of how trauma can affect a person. Recovery can be done in different ways. For example, you may already practice yoga, but the author takes it to a higher level as a way of getting back in touch with your body. Chronic pain is also a topic that the author addresses and so many readers who live with it will find this section beneficial and enlightening. For trauma survivors who have tried "everything", this book may be the key to rebuilding their strength. Not only that, it may help you process your relationships with others since trauma can affect those too.
This book goes beyond the physical to address and embrace the idea that healing through strength training encompasses the entire person. I like her concept of using inner strength to deal with heavy issues in life, and I particularly like her point that a traumatized person shouldn't feel obligated to tell his/her story to everyone, and avoids the phenomena of being identified as their trauma or defined by it. As a former social worker who has worked with victims of trauma, I have a great deal of respect for Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time by Laura Khoudari.