Publisher: Harper Wave (November 15, 2016)
End chronic pain—for good—with this practical guide from the PBS personality behind Classical Stretch and author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards.
Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. Twenty percent of American adults accept back spasms, throbbing joints, arthritis aches, and other physical pain as an inevitable consequence of aging, illness, or injury. But the human body is not meant to endure chronic pain. Miranda Esmonde-White has spent decades helping professional athletes, ballet dancers, and Olympians overcome potentially career-ending injuries and guiding MS patients and cancer survivors toward pain-free mobility. Now, in Forever Painless, she shows everyone how to heal their aching bodies and live pain free.
The root of nearly all pain is movement—or lack thereof. We need to move our bodies to refresh, nourish, and revitalize our cells. Without physical activity, our cells become stagnant and decay, accelerating the aging process and causing pain. People who suffer chronic pain often become sedentary, afraid that movement and activity will make things worse, when just the opposite is true: movement is essential to healing. In Forever Painless, Miranda provides detailed instructions for gentle exercise designed to ease discomfort in the feet and ankles, knees, hips, back, and neck—allowing anyone to live happier, healthier, and pain-free no matter their age.
Who can resist a title like Forever Painless? Especially someone like me, who has, in her extended family, two people with leg amputations, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, and a host of other diagnoses and injuries? I would venture not many people.
Upon seeing this title available, my thoughts first went to my husband, who has daily headaches, walks with a cane (at 49), and his doctors just found a 'mass' on one of his lungs. He, like most chronic pain sufferers, have a hard time believing that their situation can get better. And many are willing to try anything just to make the hurt lessen or go away, even if it's just for a little while.
Ms. Esmonde-White's book is chock full of exercises meant to strengthen specific parts of the body, which in turn can decrease related pain. The pictures are clear, the directions simple and understandable. One of the most enjoyable things for me is the organization of the exercises and book. Chapters are titled according to what area of the body is targeted by the exercises. Sequences and exercises are given straight-forward and/or entertaining names. I actually smiled looking through a book about exercise! I bet that doesn't happen very often. My favorite is called the 'Zombie Swing'. (I swear the theme from "Walking Dead" plays in my head every time I think about it.)
Start as small as you need to and build up from there. Luckily the exercises concentrate on low-impact, which is absolutely necessary for me. Even when I was younger and had worked my way up from 5 minutes on a stair machine to 45 minutes daily, 6 days a week, I still could not do high-impact exercises.
And the physical book itself is impressive - it could almost be a 'coffee-table' book, worthy of display. But of course, the book is meant to be used. In any case, Forever Painless would be a good addition to your own libraries.
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(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author and HarperCollins, via TLC Book Tours, in exchange for my honest review.)