Not sure if you'd like an Ayurvedic analysis or a SHEN session? Curious about calling on your Spirit Guardians? Wonder what elements comprise a decent love relationship? Both extensively detailed yet wonderfully user-friendly, Mind Body Spirit is a comprehensive guide to the extensive variety of holistic therapies now available.

Compiled by popular holistic health writer Jane Alexander (Spirit of the Home, The Energy Secret), this hefty volume explains and details just about every holistic, New Age spiritual and complementary therapy and practice currently in use. Divided in to five main sections--Fundamental Principles; Body; Mind and Emotions; Soul; The Therapies--the book details within each section the theory and practice of nearly every alternative therapy available. Alexander takes care to explain simply, yet thoroughly, the foundations of each therapy or practice and its applications. Numerous boxes and sidebars explain w hat a patient can expect from a typical session of each therapy, and there's also information about locating practitioners and sourcing materials.

But the strength of Mind Body Spirit is in its enabling of readers to perform many of the therapies themselves. Of course Alexander won't show you how to be your own naturopath or Pilates instructor, but she does supply much practical information so readers can try many of the practices at home. The section on "Soul" is a wonderful example--Alexander offers a wealth of ideas and practices concerning prayer, creating scared space (including smudging and space cleansing), rituals, working with nature and using retreats and even offers new ideas on dealing with death. The "Body" section has great practical chapters on learning meditation and good sleep and nutrition habits; and the "Mind and Emotions" section has meaty chapters on building loving relationships and creating peace within your family.

Some of the more involved or esoteric practices don't get as much detail as one might want, but overall Mind Body Spirit is a great place to begin or continue one's search into alternative healing. --Marisa Lencioni