A comprehensive guide to living with constant pain.
Meshorer (The Bliss Experiment, 2012), who stretched and tore several ligaments in his right sacroiliac joint, draws on his own experiences to present a broad overview of the options available to people living with chronic agony and discomfort. He posits that “the secret to thriving with chronic pain is to simultaneously engage with it physically, mentally, and spiritually.” The book is readable and practical in its approach, as it’s oriented toward helping people live better lives without pushing any one agenda or path. The author examines different types of pain and the ways the body, the mind, and one’s own personal experiences can provide tools for healing. He sees pain not as a negative but as the body’s way of communicating information, and to that end, he highlights the concepts of acceptance, mindfulness, and positive thinking. Especially notable is his inclusion of his own experiences; he details all the ways that his own constant pain forced him to re-evaluate and improve his life while also encouraging readers to do the same. The book is full of practices and exercises, with an emphasis on looking for and valuing incremental improvements rather than relying on what he calls “magic-bullet thinking,” which he asserts is “counterproductive to our long-term well-being.” Spirituality also figures heavily, with the author looking at different faiths’ ideas regarding pain and how they can inform readers’ own lives. Although nothing he presents in the book is particularly new or unique, Meshorer’s empowering approach and positive outlook will certainly prove valuable to his fellow sufferers. He opens up space to encourage readers to use anything that works for them, including medical interventions and alternative therapies. Overall, the book is a well-meaning, useful guide to living with a misunderstood condition.
A positive, open-minded, and practical overview.