Samueli Institute Publishes New Children’s Book To Help Families Discuss Healthy Behaviors

Press Contact:Jenny

Alexandria, Va. - June  11, 2014

Each person, big or small, has within them the capacity to heal and by making smart decisions in your daily life you can increase that capacity and improve your health. This is the premise of a new book by Alexandria, Virginia artist and writer Marzia Motta, Maya’s Enchanted Thread. The book, which is written for ages 7-9, is designed to help adults and kids discuss the importance of taking care of your body, mind and spirit.

“Many books on the topic of health and healing are written for adults, but healthy choices and habits can be formed at a young age,” said Motta. “Introducing children to ideas related to healthy behavior early on can lead to holistic well-being for the rest of their lives.” 

Motta’s book tells the story of seven-year-old Maya who wakes up one day with a cold. To her displeasure, her mother says that she must stay in bed and get better. Maya is then led on a magical journey by following a thread in her favorite blanket. On this journey she encounters an owl, a monkey, a family of mice and other animals who teach her important lessons on the value of healthy choices and healing relationships.   

Maya’s Enchanted Thread is published by Samueli Institute, a research nonprofit conducting cutting-edge explorations of healing practices and integrative health care. For the past decade, Samueli Institute has worked to uncover how healing occurs among individuals, communities and health care systems. As a result, Samueli Institute developed the Optimal Healing framework to show how the social, psychological, spiritual, physical and behavioral components of an organization or individual life can affect the inherent healing capacities of those within it. 

Maya’s Enchanted Thread is available now at More information about the book, including video with a message from the author is available online at 


For information and review copies of Maya’s Enchanted Thread, contact: Jenny Swigoda at