Useful Books

Your Key to Recovery

Can you really cure chronic pain without drugs, surgery or therapy? Surprisingly often the answer is yes. While chronic pain can have a physical cause, this book, written by a leading UK Physiotherapist and chronic pain specialist, reveals how very real, and even debilitating pain, can frequently be caused by our brain in response to repressed emotions as a result of current and even past experiences. This process is at the root of many common complaints, including back pain, sciatica, migraines, fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries, digestive disorders and many medically unexplained symptoms. This self-empowering book explains research findings, describes dozens of case studies and provides practical tools to help you identify the cause of your pain and puts you on the path that leads to relief once and for all.

“I can’t recommend this highly enough to anyone who is experiencing pain and limitation which is unexplained, and/or unending. In my tireless search to heal myself and to enable myself to have a much longed for child (something which seemed impossible when I was so sick and so ‘disabled’) I came across many useful things, but nothing that held the key. This truly, in my experience, does hold the key. And thank goodness I found it: I am now the mother I always dreamt and longed to be, I am run off my feet all day, and I am loving it!”

Since taking some of the advice in the book and seeing a SIRPA qualified pain specialist, I feel that things are starting to change for me. It is written in an accessible style, with lots of examples and techniques. I think the best thing about the book is that it is not about pain management, but about recovery from it. I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone suffering from chronic pain.

The Mindbody Prescription

Musculoskeletal pain disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with most doctors failing to recognize their underlying cause. In this acclaimed volume, Dr. Sarno reveals how many painful conditions-including most neck and back pain, migraine, repetitive stress injuries, whiplash, and tendonitises-are rooted in repressed emotions, and shows how they can be successfully treated without drugs, physical measures, or surgery.

The New York Times bestselling guide to a healthy and pain-free life.

“My life was filled with excruciating back and shoulder pain until I applied Dr. Sarno’s principles, and in a matter of weeks my back pain disappeared. I never suffered a single symptom again…I owe Dr. Sarno my life.” – Howard Stern

Back in Control

If you are suffering from chronic pain, or know someone who is, Back in Control could change your life. Dr. David Hanscom, a spine surgeon and fellow sufferer, shares with you what finally pulled him out of the abyss of chronic pain after 15 years–without surgery or addictive medications. Instead, his approach to treatment focuses on an aspect of chronic pain that the medical world has largely overlooked: you must calm your nervous system in order to get better. More than any other book about pain, Back in Control reveals how to quiet a turbocharged central nervous system, relieve the anxiety and depression that often accompany chronic pain, and make a full recovery. Back in Control offers a self-directed healing approach that has evolved from Dr. Hanscom’s personal experience, as well what he has learned from successfully treating hundreds of patients.

“Excellently written. I’m an osteopath, and this book has been highly beneficial in helping to realise the root cause of many patients’ pain, and allows me to better help them by recommending other therapies/strategies to combat chronic pain. I’ve recommended patients to buy this book themselves, as it’s written in such a way that even ‘non-sciencey’ folk will be able to enjoy, and empowers them to take control of their own health.”

“A brilliant book written in an easy to understand way for anyone suffering chronic pain of any kind. It explains the link between chronic pain and the brain and offers a method to control and get rid of the pain. A must read book for any long term sufferer of chronic pain.”

Unlearn Your Pain

Using cutting-edge research, this book demonstrates that the underlying reason for much chronic pain is brain sensitization and learned neural pathways, rather than actual tissue damage. Dr. Schubiner has used this new understanding to develop a unique program to reverse pain. He has also conducted research that shows the efficacy of this approach. By reading this book, you’ll be able to determine if you have this syndrome and how to overcome it. The program in this book gives you the therapeutic writing exercises, online meditations, and everything else you need to unlearn your pain.

“As an aspiring neuroscience and neuroplasticity polymath I have to say that I found this book to be absolutely excellent.

The author not only combines his deep knowledge of how the brain works when it comes to rewiring itself, and causing all sorts of chronic health conditions (both mental and physical), but he also writes with the compassion and reassurance that we rarely find in a scientific/medical book written by a scientist or doctor.

I believe what makes this book such a great resource to work with is not only the vast knowledge and experience the author possesses as to what is at the root of up to 34 health conditions considered to be “mind/body syndromes” or MBS, but it is the deep empathy with which he shares his experience

after having helped thousands of patients who were dismissed by mainstream medicine as hopeless or too complicated to treat.”

“This book provides a very clear, convincing and grounded explanation of the Mind Body Syndrome and is the best book I have found in this genre if you are looking for step-by-step guidance to overcome pain. Although the e-book format doesn’t allow you to fill out the workbook pages, I still prefer the Kindle format and I can easily use a journal or separate pages to work through the exercises.”

I Love Me

How much love do you have for yourself? Not the narcissistic ‘Aren’t I wonderful’ kind of love, but the essential regard for self that empowers you and helps you navigate through life. The type of love that enables you to feel safe and secure in who you are and inspires you to make choices that are good for your authentic self.

When scientist David Hamilton realized that his own lack of self-love was sabotaging him in hundreds of subtle ways and more than a handful of major ways, he devised an experiment using himself as the guinea pig. For more than a year David studied the latest research into brain chemistry, neuroscience, and psychotherapeutic and personal development techniques. He realized that self-love was as much about biology as psychology – that self-worth is in our genes, but trained out of us. The biological drive to seek connection with others often leads us to try to be ‘someone else’ to win love and approval.

“What I really liked about the book was the willingness to the author to share some of the most vulnerable moments of his life. His candidness is what endeared this book to me. Whenever the author described any painful experiences in his life and what he was feeling at the time, it was very easy to imagine myself in his place.”

“This book is a detailed handbook on the science and practicalities of developing the sense of “I am enough”. It is full of references to scientific studies, practical advice and exercises and inspirational anecdotes.”

It Didn't Start With You

Inherited family trauma is currently an area of growing interest, as science increasingly explores what we know intuitively: that the effects of trauma can pass from one generation to the next, and that the answers to some of our greatest life problems often lie not within our own story, but in the experiences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and extended family. Here, pioneer Mark Wolyn shows readers how they can overcome inherited trauma and reclaim their lives.

“An excellent book on intergenerational trauma-although I suspect a lot of the same principles apply to inherited values and joys. This work has radically changed my perception of my own struggles and even my sense of identity. I really am all those who came before me.”

“The author did a great job at explaining the concepts behind family trauma and gave excellent examples of how the cycle works. Highly recommend to anyone who likes psychology or self help books.”

They Can't Find Anything Wrong

Diagnostic tests are unable to find the cause of symptoms in at least half of all medical patients, most of whom are ill because of hidden stresses. Dr. David Clarke has done pioneering work with over 7,000 of these patients, often sent to him as a last resort. In plain language he describes the major types of stress and explains steps for treatment with a range of effective techniques. Case histories that read like medical mysteries illustrate the concepts and make them easy to apply. This significant book offers real solutions to put a stop to the stress illness epidemic.

Physcophysciological Disorders

Did you know that one in six adults and 30-40% of primary care patients suffer from medically unexplained symptoms, chronic functional syndromes or psychosocial factors linked to chronic pain? Collectively these are known as Psychophysiologic Disorders or PPD. A trauma-informed, evidence-based approach to diagnosis and treatment can transform these patients from among the most frustrating to the most rewarding and give them a far better chance for a full recovery. As one family physician who learned these concepts said: “It put the joy back into my practice.” From this innovative book, medical and mental health professionals will learn to relieve (not just manage) physical symptoms by assessing for and treating current life stresses, past traumas, suppressed emotions and the prolonged impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The sixteen authors from five countries average 20 years of experience in the fields of Adolescent Medicine, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, Health Journalism, Integrative Medicine, Internal Medicine, Movement Therapy, Neuroscience, Orthopedic Spine Surgery, Pain Medicine, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Sports Medicine. From this wide range of backgrounds, the authors reached consensus on a core set of practices that were a revelation for them and their patients. These concepts are practical and can readily be implemented by any healthcare professional.In addition to the editors, chapter authors include James Alexander PhD, Mariclare Dasigenis LCSW, David Hanscom MD, Ian Kleckner PhD MPH, Mark Lumley PhD, Daniel Lyman LCSW MPA, Meghan Maguire, Georgie Oldfield MCSP, David Schechter MD, Eric Sherman PsyD, John Stracks MD, and Joel Town DClinPsy.

The Body Keeps the Score

The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world’s experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body.

‘Van der Kolk draws on thirty years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West’s most urgent public health issues … Packed with science and human stories’ New Scientist

‘Breathtaking in its scope and breadth, a seminal work by one of the preeminent pioneers in trauma research and treatment’ Peter A. Levine, author of In An Unspoken Voice

‘Dr. van der Kolk’s masterpiece combines the boundless curiosity of the scientist, the erudition of the scholar, and the passion of the truth teller’ Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery

The Highly Sensitive Person

For those people who:
have a keen imagination; are labelled too shy or too sensitive; who perform poorly when being observed even though they are usually competent; have vivid dreams; for whom time alone each day is essential;
and find they are quickly overwhelmed by noise and confusion, crowded parties, hectic office life…
this is the book to help them understand themselves and how best to cope in various situations.

Highly sensitive people are often very bright and creative but many suffer from low self esteem. They are not ‘neurotics’ as they have been labelled for so long. However, high sensitivity can lead them to cease to engage with the outside world.

The book offers solutions for a happy and fulfilling life. Particularly in the way an HSP perceives his or herself: the book helps to ‘reframe’ past events, such as a difficult childhood, or how they see themselves – i.e. shy.

Particularly strong material for those raising a sensitive child.

Childhood Disrupted

Your biography becomes your biology. The emotional trauma we suffer as children not only shapes our emotional lives as adults, but it also affects our physical health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. Scientists now know on a bio-chemical level exactly how parents’ chronic fights, divorce, death in the family, being bullied or hazed, and growing up with a hypercritical, alcoholic, or mentally ill parent can leave permanent, physical “fingerprints” on our brains.

When children encounter sudden or chronic adversity, stress hormones cause powerful changes in the body, altering the body’s chemistry. The developing immune system and brain react to this chemical barrage by permanently resetting children’s stress response to “high,” which in turn can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health as they grow up.

“Childhood Disrupted is a book of major significance that describes clearly and understandably what has been learned in recent years about the important subject of human development and how what happens in childhood affects our well-being, biomedical health, and life expectancy as adults.”

Other Useful Resources Toolkits

You may be interested in our other ‘Useful Resources’ chapters within the Mindbody Toolkit: