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Stress is indeed a “tiger” in the lives of many children, a threatening presence that causes or exacerbates multiple pediatric health problems, interferes with mental discipline and concentration, and undercuts creativity and academic performance.
Grab A Tiger by the Toe: Stress-proof your child by Marilyn Wilcher - e-book published by Inkslingers Press in Vero Beach FloridaBut this tiger can be tamed – in effect, its “toe” can be “grabbed” and controlled – by those adults and children in their care who learn and apply the practical strategies described so lucidly by Marilyn Wilcher and her colleagues. In GRAB A TIGER BY THE TOE: STRESS-PROOF YOUR CHILD, Wilcher shows clearly:

-How children from the pre-school through high school years can overcome the negative impact of stress on learning and creativity;
-How children in this age range can guard against the harmful health effects of stress; and
-How parents and teachers can help children manage stress.

In many ways, GRAB A TIGER BY THE TOE reaffirms a basic concept about health and well-being that Herbert Benson. M.D. – Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and author of the foreword for this book – has been advocating for more than four decades. Specifically, this approach can be summarized by the image of a three-legged stool. The first two legs of this stool focus on two traditional medical tools, drugs and surgery.

But too often, the third leg of the stool – which encompasses self-care and self-empowerment strategies such as stress management, preventive medicine and performance enhancement – may be ignored. Although it has been established that 60-90 percent of all visits to physicians have a significant stress component, few physicians or patients understand the powerful stress management techniques that constitute the dominant factor in the third, self-care leg of healthcare. GRAB A TIGER BY THE TOE highlights the importance of stress-reduction in enhancing the health and well-being of our children.

In addition to impairing health, stress also plays a major role in limiting the ability of young people to learn effectively and perform at maximum levels in the classroom. In this book, Marilyn Wilcher refers to this problem by citing the Yerkes-Dodson Law, first formulated in 1908 by two Harvard scientists. According to that law, the stress that accompanies hard work always improves performance up to a certain point. But beyond that certain point, excessive stress begins to impede performance significantly.

The best strategy to counter this excessive stress – and the cornerstone of the kind of self-care and self-empowerment described and advocated for young people in this book – involves eliciting the “relaxation response.” The relaxation response is an innate physiologic phenomenon that Dr. Benson identified more than forty years ago and popularized through his book The Relaxation Response. The relaxation response is the polar opposite of the stress – or “fight-or-flight” – response, which has been associated with anxiety, depression, pain and an array of cardiovascular problems and other diseases.

But not until the publication of GRAB A TIGER BY THE TOE has the exact link become clear between the relaxation response and the kind of stress management for children that can enhance their academic performance, not to mention their physical and emotional well-being. In fact, the principles and strategies that you will learn in this book have been formulated, tested and used successfully in real-school situations throughout the country by the Education Initiative of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital – where Dr. Benson is Director Emeritus and Marilyn Wilcher is Senior Director.

In short, by learning and applying the approach presented so clearly in these pages, you will learn not only how to increase your child’s ability to learn but also, in the process, how to reduce the childhood stress that can be such a threat to good health. Marilyn Wilcher’s goal and yours are the same – to nurture a smarter, calmer and healthier child.


Marilyn Wilcher, Senior Director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (BHI) is a graduate of Wellesley College. She did graduate work at the University of Washington, where she also taught French.

A founding trustee of the Mind Body Medical Institute (now BHI) in 1989, she has been instrumental in its growth and success. Although she has been responsible for many areas of the Institute’s activities, including financial, marketing, fundraising, E.I. research and program development, one of her primary goals has been to help students through the Education Initiative. As a former teacher, a parent and now a grandparent, she is acutely aware of stress in young people and is passionate about offering them life management skills to enable them to maximize their potential.

She and her team have worked diligently all over the United States and in other nations to help young people and their teachers and families understand and take control of the stress they regularly encounter. This work has been well-received in diverse ethnic and socio-economic environments, ranging the gamut from urban to independent schools
In addition to her work at BHI, Marilyn and co-owner Debbie Goodman have run a successful catering firm for over 40 years.


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Christian Mind Body Healing Strategies - Since New Testament times, Christians have relied on their faith to heal all manner of medical conditions. Relying on the biblical model, various healing ministries have sprung up in most Christian traditions and have been sanctioned by the major denominations. But those pursuing this calling often puzzle over certain questions related to the spiritual gift of healing:

-“Might the innate human capacity for self-healing be connected in some way to miraculous divine intervention?”
-“How can those in Christian healing ministries make the best use of God-given powers of self-healing?”
-“What do the Bible and modern science have to say about the relationship of the mind, body and spirit in the healing process?”
-“Can biblical healing be combined in some ways with modern medical procedures and knowledge?”

Christian Mind Body Healing Strategies represents an attempt to provide answers to these and other important questions. The-book relies on the latest, groundbreaking research by co-author Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School, who is the world’s leading authority on mind body medicine. Writing with his long-time collaborator, evangelical Bible teacher and author William Proctor, Dr. Benson provides readers with the scientific authority and practical procedures to merge mind body medicine with traditional biblical healing.

A shorter version of this work appeared as an article in the Southern Baptist journal, The Criswell Theological Review, and included a personal interview with the authors by Dr. Alan Streett, which is included in this text. In many respects Christian Mind Body Healing Strategies also serves as a specialized supplement to the authors’ landmark work, Relaxation Revolution: Enhancing Your Personal Health through the Science and Genetics of Mind Body Healing.


William Proctor, JD, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, has written or co-written more than 80 books, including Beyond the Relaxation Response with Dr. Benson; The Templeton Touch, a biography of Sir John Templeton; and several international bestsellers with the “father of aerobics,” Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper.

An experienced evangelical Bible teacher for more than 30 years and editor of the HCSB Light Speed Bible, Proctor has also written extensively for the evangelical Christian audience. His latest entry in the e-book field is The Resurrection Report: Why the Easter Story is the Greatest News Event in History. To learn more about William Proctor, visit his Web site,

Herbert Benson, MD, the Mind Body Medical Institute Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, is the co-author with William Proctor of the recently published Relaxation Revolution: Enhancing Your Personal Health through the Science and Genetics of Mind Body Healing. He is also the author of the mega-bestselling book, The Relaxation Response and ten other trade-books and is the author or co-author of more than 170 major medical journal articles. His groundbreaking work established the modern field of mind body medicine. Dr. Benson now serves as the Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

To learn more about the work of Dr. Benson and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, visit



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