Aligning the Body with the Mind: Dr. Phyllis Books
Aligning the Body with the Mind: A Unique Approach to the Common Problem of Dyslexia
Dr. Books maintains that through her system, her patients can often reverse dyslexia and other learning differences permanently.By Jamie Netzer
Dyslexia affects anywhere between 10 to 20 percent of our population—maybe more. People under its grasp are intelligent, even brilliant people: A recent Daily Mail article noted that many executives at the very top of business are dyslexic, because they are “often astute at creating ideas and have remarkable vision.” Plus, “their work ethic to overcome their issue often sets them apart.” But as young students, these future leaders can often feel frustrated, misunderstood and even defeated.
Dr. Phyllis Books, an Austin-based dyslexia and learning disability specialist, is working hard to change that. Dr. Books approach is so different that it is perhaps best to let her clients speak about her unique skill set. Says one client, “Watching Phyllis treat my son with such tender loving care, I feel a hope for him that I hadn’t allowed in years. Her commitment and expertise are a gift.” Says another, “She’s a combination of a brain surgeon, a therapist and Mother Theresa.”
Dr. Books’ unique path began in education—her first two colleges degrees are in education, and her mother was a teacher. Dr. Books says the questions that first led her to explore her current field were planted in her mind while studying education 20 years ago. Before graduating college, she was assigned to a second-grade classroom in Michigan. The children enrolled in the class were the children of the professors and graduate students in Dr. Books’ program. But there was a problem: “These kids were well nourished; their parents were smart and motivated to learn,” Dr. Books says, “but for some reason which no one could explain to me, some of these kids couldn’t read no matter what methods we tried. That experience gnawed at me for twenty years.”
She then pursued a masters degree in communication, afterwards teaching and consulting at corporations. She was satisfied with her career, but the questions from her experience in Michigan remained in the back of Dr. Books’ mind. Suddenly, she found herself wanting more. “One day, an idea landed
in my head about becoming a chiropractor,” Dr. Books says. “It was something I never consciously considered in my life. And I wasn’t really interested in changing careers. Within two years, however, I found myself back in school learning neurology and biology and how the communication systems within the body are working together on our behalf all the time.”
She explains that in the early 1980s, chiropractic was one of the only avenues to study neurology without becoming a doctor. “It was the neurology and how the brain worked and where the communication breakdowns were happening that fascinated me so much,” Dr. Books says.
And it was then, after Dr. Books learned biology, neurology and immersed herself in the burgeoning field of neuroscience, that she felt she started to understand why the children she had seen 20 years ago were having trouble learning. “Once I could figure out how the communication worked within the brain and within various body systems (endocrine, neurological, etc.), then could I see where the “communication glitches” were occurring in the kids,” Dr. Books says. “The light bulbs started going off in my head.”
Dr. Books’ unique combination of skills and background led her to develop and trademark a natural, non-drug intervention procedure for those suffering from dyslexia, learning differences, ADHD, head traumas and various chronic health problems. The system is called Books Neural Therapy™, and it’s a structural and neurological re-patterning technique that aims to rehabilitate, rather than compensate for, learning differences. In other words, Dr. Books maintains that through her system, her patients can often reverse dyslexia and other learning differences permanently. The technique incorporates gentle physical body alignment, which Dr. Books has found dramatically improves neurological function, with learning and behavior strategies.
And the technique boasts success stories aplenty: Take Jim. Jim was 17 when he first came to see Dr. Books. He had been in tutoring his entire school life. He refused to read aloud, even if it meant taking an “F” for the day. His mother read most of his material to him in the evenings, so he could attempt todo his homework. Of course, this meant his mother was occupied each and every evening for 12 years, too. Within three weeks of Books
Neural Therapy™, John improved three grade levels in reading and five grade levels in spelling. Two months later, during basketball season, his athletic prowess suddenly kicked up a notch, and one night, he scored 20 points for his team. That improvement in sports has held, and his coach and teammates couldn’t be more thrilled for him and for the team. Jim now comes in to Dr. Books’ office for “tune ups” every few months. “He has learned to listen to his body, and he knows when things are quite right,” Dr. Books says. “Just one time, and he’s right back on track.” She explains that once the body and brain are connected properly and know what “normal” feels like, it’s easy to notice when something is slightly off, and it’s easy to get it right back on track. “Jim is off to college now and confident he can read all those assignments on his own and become successful,” Dr. Books says.
Dr. Books says her background in education, communications and chiropractic practice led her directly to her approach to working with dyslexia. “There is a natural and inherent order in how the brain develops,” Dr. Books says. “If we force kids to do tasks where a particular part of their brain hasn’t developed yet, of course, they will fail. Or they will find a “detour” way of accomplishing the task. The kids end up thinking they are stupid or “un-teachable,” but really, we presented the material at the wrong time for the inherent order of their brain development.”
Instead, Dr. Books posits that in order to reverse dyslexia, it is enormously helpful to understand how the brain works and to know when different parts of the brain “come on.” “We simply follow the natural order of brain development, engage the other body systems that work together with the brain, and retrain the brain in neurologically correct sequences,” Dr. Books says. “And then, voila, you have a child whose eyes light up as they realize, yes, I can do this. I can do this really, really well!”