Today I’m going to review Katy Bowman’s three books to help you sort out which one you might like to read or give as a gift. They all deal with the same basic principles (alignment) but in different ways. This should help point you to the one you want based on what type of read you are looking for. (If you want the super brief summary, skip to the end.)
Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief, The New Science of Healthy Feet
This one has the longest title (by far), but is the shortest. Despite it’s name, it’s just as much for men as it is for women. Think of it as a “manual” for foot health, based on science yet easy to understand. Katy describes the root causes of foot pain and gives simple exercises and lifestyle changes to fix your feet. The exercises are laid out with pictures to give you an easy-to-follow plan. You’ll find exercises for the legs and hips too, as the tension in the feet, legs and hips is all connected. Although this is a book on healthy feet, you will find that your whole body benefits from the recommendations in this book. Katy also includes information on what factors to consider when choosing footwear. (You have to wear shoes anyway, so you might as well wear ones that work for you health, not against it!)
This book is an edited and organized version of the first five years of the Katy Says blog. If you’ve read her blog, you know that Katy combines humor, science, and real life events to teach about alignment. You can read her blog online for free, but if you are like me, you will find that it’s totally worth the $20. I get tired of reading off a computer screen and much prefer holding a book that I can highlight, underline and book mark. This is one of those books that you DON’T have to read cover to cover (although you will want to). Chapters are organized by topic or body part, so you can easily flip to a section and read all about Shoulders, for example, or Pregnancy & Childbirth. This is the book for you if you want one you can pick up for 1o minutes at a time and read quick tidbits. (Or if you have a short attention span.) This is a great book for anyone wanting to understand the science behind their aches, pains, and diseases and how to start healing them.
Move Your DNA
Move Your DNA is Katy’s newest book and most comprehensive book. It provides a look at the “big picture”, the fact that most of our diseases come from living outside of nature. At the same time, Katy explains more of the complex scientific principles, such as what happens at the cellular level when we move. I know this sounds contradictory, but this book looks natural movement through both a very broad lens and a microscope. This book reads like a novel; it tells the story of humans moving away from nature, becoming modernized, and suffering diseases of “captivity” as a result. This book also reads like a textbook; it breaks down complex biomechanical principles, teaches lessons in anatomy and physiology, and includes definitions in the side bars. The second half of the book is full of exercises to get you aligned and moving more naturally from head to toe.
To sum it up:
Foot Book: Quick read. Straight forward program. Science. For the feet, but will improve the health of the legs, hips and spine as well.
Alignment Matters: Blog in book form. For the whole body. Heavier on the science. Chapters organized by topic/body part for quick reference.
Move Your DNA: A text book for restoring your health. Big picture and tiny details. Heaviest on the science. Will change the way you look at movement and exercise.