Clare Flowers reviews a book on how mindfulness can be an effective tool for pain management, plus five other new publications.
Pain Management: The mindful way
As the REM song goes, everybody hurts. It’s part of being human but the levels, intensity and type of pain can have an enormous bearing on a person’s quality of life. In the UK, five million people develop chronic pain each year and only two thirds recover. It’s a shocking statistic, taken from this book in a section entitled ‘You are not alone’.
While medication is traditionally the first port of call, it’s not always enough – especially if a person lives with chronic pain. Cheryl Rezek, a consultant clinical psychologist, suggests that mindfulness can be a useful ally in coping and presents evidence to show that it can reduce intensity of pain by as much as 40 per cent. Pain is like a bully, she says, and mindfulness can help to conquer the bully.
That’s a big claim but Dr Rezek is a sympathetic and knowledgeable guide through the process of understanding how pain works and how it affects the system – body and mind. She explains clearly how the reader, or patient, can draw on their own resources to cope more easily. With a clinical and academic background, the author is also a mindfulness teacher, who explains different types of pain, its physiology and its effects, in plain language that is immediately understandable.
This small, light volume would be easy to handle for someone with hand, arm or shoulder pain and the print is a good size, helpful for older people or those with sight issues. The exercises are set out as step-by-step guides, which are easy to follow and there are audio downloads on Dr Rezek’s website.
Transcripts of her recordings are given.
This book is suitable for anyone who lives with pain, or knows someone who does, and might be open to trying something new. Dr Rezek cites plenty of research, backed up with sources, for those who might doubt that mindfulness can help to reduce pain.
Clare Flowers, freelance journalist
A Practical Guide for Yoga Teachers and Trainees
Sian O’Neill (editor)
This book offers help and guidance on teaching and running a yoga business. It covers topics such as working with common conditions, breath, sequencing, and incorporating philosophy and myth into sessions.
Adaptive Interaction and Dementia: How to communicate without speech
Maggie Ellis and Arlene Astell
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This guide to adaptive interaction explains how to assess the communication repertoires of people with dementia who can no longer speak, and offers practical ways to interact with them. With accessible evidence and case studies based on the authors’ research, Adaptive Interaction can be used as the basis for developing interactions without words with people living with dementia.
Simon Commins and Becki Cobb
The authors, who had strokes at the ages of 17 and 21 respectively, write about the ups and downs of life before, during, and after stroke. Their aim is to encourage others who have had similar experiences, and to assure them that stroke can be the start of a brighter future.
Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Disorders (2nd edition)
Mark J Edwards et al.
Oxford University Press
This revised reference guide offers new chapters on topics such as atypical parkinsonism, myclonus, dystonia, stiff syndromes and paroxysmal movement disorders.
Evidence-Based Public Health (3rd edition)
Ross C Brownson et al.
Oxford University Press
According to the publishers, this book is a complete revision and update of the leading textbook in public health. Covering topics such as epidemiology, healthcare economics, and behavioural science, it aims offer an easy to comprehend style.
AuthorFrontline and Clare Flowers
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