Code to Joy (book review)

by Belinda Munoz on April 25, 2012

We are meant to be happy. Instinctively, we all know this, somewhere deep inside. We all know what it’s like to feel a burst of delight. Every one of us has at some point in our lives experienced a sense of ecstatic joy, of euphoria at the sheer sensation of being alive.

Have you ever wondered why that experience has to be so rare and fleeting?

The answer is, it doesn’t.

– from Code to Joy
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: HarperOne (April 3, 2012)


Intrigued? If you agree with the above excerpt, you may wish to continue reading….


Drs. George Pratt and Peter Lambrou, licensed clinical psychologists base in La Jolla, California, have written a book through which they share their scientific methods that have helped more than 45,000 clients release themselves from the so-called fog of distress. The fog of distress is a term Pratt and Lambrou coined to refer to the thin but persistent layer of subconscious and bioelectrical feelings and beliefs that cloud certain aspects of our lives.

For some, it manifests as a phobia or quirky behavior such as a need to pre-order a meal by phone and spending only minutes dining at a restaurant. For others, it’s more of a microtrauma, a pervasive feeling that nothing is quite right.

The fog of distress forms due to persistent self-limiting beliefs that have formed from early childhood trauma or other impactful negative experience.


Pratt and Lambrou provide sufficient guidance on how to follow the four steps they have developed to unlock one’s natural state of happiness:

1) Identity — by revisiting one’s early years of life, painful events that contribute to self-limiting beliefs persisting into adulthood are identified
2) Clear — through special breathing exercises and neuromuscular techniques, one can begin to clear the fog of distress
3) Repattern — the self-limiting belief is replaced with an opposite, empowering belief through visualization
4) Anchor — a simple anchoring hold, known in craniosacral therapy and chiropractic as frontal-occipital hold, is practiced to ensure that the results of the first three steps are deep and long-lasting.

The book is peppered with stories of past clients who have been able to identify their childhood trauma responsible for their persistent self-limiting beliefs. A woman named Stefanie, as a young girl, earned a quarter from helping an aunt move some furniture around. Stefanie beamed with pride for having earned that quarter. She had never earned any money before. Her parents, however, were not. When they found out that Stefanie accepted a quarter from her aunt for a good deed, they scolded Stefanie and made her feel as though accepting that quarter was wrong.


What I found most fascinating in the book is the notion of neuromuscular feedback. According to Dr. Candace Pert, leading researcher on the relationship of physical and emotional health and trauma, “often we are stuck in an unpleasant emotional event from the past that is stored at every level of our nervous system and even on the cellular level…” In other words, the mind may not remember the pain, but the body knows the physical trauma it has been through.

Clear, easy instructions accompanied with illustrations show the steps to conducting basic neuromuscular feedback. Through this exercise, one can test a true or false statement with feedback from the body. If done correctly, the body will affirm true statements and negate false statements.


Pratt and Lambrou describe the biofield as the third aspect of the human organism that bridges the gap between mind and body. Dr. Harold Saxton Burr, Yale researcher, discovered that all organisms exhibit a north/south electrical polarity. This natural polarity gets disrupted every now and then. Due to the body’s natural ability to self-correct, our natural polarity can be balanced with a few simple exercises.


The human body has the innate ability to self-heal. We see this to be true when our skin heals from cuts or scrapes. We know this in the way we recover from food poisoning or motion sickness or a hangover.

So does the psyche. We heal from a broken heart. We get over embarrassing situations. We feel refreshed after a good cry.

If one operates under the assumption that the mind and the body are 1) inclined toward wellness and 2) have the blueprint to recover from trauma, then, with the intention and will to do so, one can conquer self-limiting beliefs in order to unlock his or her personal code to joy.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Code to Joy as part of the TLC book tour.


Do you knowingly or subconsciously subscribe to any self-limiting beliefs?

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April 25, 2012 at 5:40 am

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1 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri April 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Intriguing premise. I like the idea that there is an innate way to self-heal. I think society often looks for external measures to solve internal crisis. And perhaps we need to look more toward our personal compass and our past to really move forward.


2 trish April 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I like that our bodies *want* to heal. The neuromuscular feedback is fascinating, and seems worth buying the book for that aspect alone! (at least for me :D )

Thanks for being on the tour!


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