POWER OVER YOUR PAIN WITHOUT DRUGS by Neal H. Olshan

POWER OVER YOUR PAIN WITHOUT DRUGS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In spite of rather sketchy descriptions of the mechanisms and different types of pain, and some flashy prose, this is made worthwhile by a comprehensive program combining several different techniques--self-hypnosis, exercise, body awareness--to battle chronic pain. Olshan, himself a sufferer from chronic back pain, addresses himself to those who receive treatment after treatment, going from doctor to doctor without relief, and who may eventually develop social and psychological problems as a result. Acquired techniques like self-hypnosis, we learn, may produce endorphins--substances, produced in the brain, which have specific pain-killing properties (they may also be the key to why acupuncture works). Olshan is sympathetic about the side effects of chronic pain--irritability, fatigue, insomnia, thoughts of suicide--without ignoring the possible payoffs: solicitous attention from others, avoidance of unpleasant tasks, and monetary gains. Most valuable here is a detailed 14-day graduated program to overcome chronic pain and some of its causes via pain control imagery, physical reconditioning, and keeping a written record of progress; also included is a maintenance program. Descriptions of pain response (effected by past experience, upbringing, as well as genetic make-up) are simple and understandable, but a ""Mini Dictionary"" of types of pain is curiously incomplete in its description of where various pains are located or what they feel like. In spite of these flaws, and a tendency to easy formulas (PCP Commitment + Practice = SUCCESS = FREEDOM FROM PAIN), this is responsible, concrete help for chronic pain sufferers.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1980
Publisher: Rawson, Wade--dist. by Scribners