East meets West in this debut guide to techniques and treatments for managing pain.
Ghorbani, a medical doctor and pain-management specialist, provides intriguing facts here about the history of pain treatment, current attitudes toward pain management, the uses of prescription medications and natural remedies, and his own all-natural pain relief medication. The book categorizes pain into various types—acute, chronic, referred and phantom—and describes each in physiological detail. Although the causes of some types of pain, such as that related to cancer, are out of a patient’s control, the author writes that some can be lessened or eliminated by behavioral changes. He goes on to assert that people’s lifestyles and resulting stresses are “the main culprit” behind chronic pain; he also cites other common causes, such as weight gain, inactivity and inadequate sleep. The book includes an illuminating description of the process of getting a new drug to the marketplace, including application, animal testing, patient studies for safety and efficacy, and calculation of statistics regarding drug outcomes. However, the author cautions that, even with such calculations, there’s “no guarantee that the findings will apply in the real world when patients use the drug every day.” Although Ghorbani advocates the use of prescription painkillers if necessary, he writes about how he’s heartened about the widening acceptance of treatments such as acupuncture and tai chi. About half the book is dedicated to a discussion of medicinal herbs, including a wonderful variety of recipes with pain- and inflammation-fighting ingredients and powerful antioxidants. The author does discuss the merits of his own product, but he’s never heavy-handed, and the book doesn’t come off as an advertisement. Although it’s a bit repetitive at times, it remains highly readable throughout.
A hopeful, helpful resource for readers who might want to reach for something other than aspirin.