Healing Pain-The Innovative Breakthrough Plan to Overcome Your Physical Pain & Emotional Suffering

September 1, 2006

Dr. Ann Berger does an excellent job of writing to the chronic pain sufferer in her book Healing Pain. Health-care providers and family caregivers will also find it an excellent resource and can benefit greatly from reading this work. Throughout the book the author maintains a true sense of hope for the individual experiencing significant pain. Her ability to communicate this sense of hope will be rather contagious for the health-care provider who may have become less than enamored with our ability to accomplish pain management in individuals with complex pain syndromes.

Dr. Ann Berger does an excellent job of writing to the chronic pain sufferer in her book Healing Pain. Health-care providers and family caregivers will also find it an excellent resource and can benefit greatly from reading this work. Throughout the book the author maintains a true sense of hope for the individual experiencing significant pain. Her ability to communicate this sense of hope will be rather contagious for the health-care provider who may have become less than enamored with our ability to accomplish pain management in individuals with complex pain syndromes.

The book is subdivided into two main sections. Part 1 examines what the individual with pain experiences physically and emotionally related to pain, including the effect on relationships. The second main section addresses what individuals can do to help themselves. The author discusses it as a healing process, always maintaining an optimistic approach.

The theme throughout the book is that optimum chronic pain management requires an integrated multidimensional approach. Case scenarios are included to illustrate the content provided in a very understanding manner. The author also integrates content regarding her personal experience with chronic pain in a manner that authenticates the work for the reader.

Healing Pain is written from the perspective of a skilled nurse/physician who understands the complexity of chronic pain and strives to treat the whole person. Dr. Berger communicates clearly her mastery of the art and science of pain management, incorporating the latest evidence to guide her practice and recommendations for the individual experiencing the pain.

 

Tools for patients

Various resources that can be used by individuals experiencing pain are included throughout the book. Health-care providers and lay caregivers can benefit from reviewing the content included so that they are sensitive to these areas. There are questionnaires to guide the individual's self-assessment of personal situation/history, relationships, emotional state, and spirituality. Tools included for recording the individual's pain experience in such a way to provide an overall comprehensive picture will aid both the individual with pain and the care provider working to develop an intervention plan. Another resource of particular importance for health-care providers is the list of references included to support the content in the book.

Four ideas presented for patients to help themselves on the road to healing include "(1) empty yourself of your burdens, (2) remember that healing is a personal journey that no one can make for you, (3) don't be afraid to let things go, and (4) keep in mind that there is no magic gift box with your name on it, holding everything you ever wanted" (p 117). Dr. Berger similarly provides important messages for caregivers: "be there, listen, and be emotionally accessible" (p 179).

Dr. Berger presents a system that promotes healing and helps ease the suffering that is the chronic pain sufferer's constant travel partner. She encourages individuals experiencing pain to see that deep interconnections with spirituality can help to end the sense of being a victim. Dr. Berger does not limit this sense of spirituality to a relationship with God or another higher being. Her framework of spirituality is supported by the work of Kass and Kass,[1] which sets the premise that individuals experience spirituality in relationships with other people, within themselves, within nature, and within a religion and a relationship with God.

Overall this book will be an excellent resource for health-care providers, individuals experiencing pain, and caregivers.

References:

1. Kass JD, Kass L: Manual/Resources for Resilience: Building a Resilient World View through Spirituality. Cambridge, Mass, Behavioral Health Education Initiative, Greenhouse, Inc, 2000.