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The Mindfulness Solution to Pain: Step-by-Step Techniques for Chronic Pain Management by Jackie Gardner-Nix

The book is small enough to not overwhelm, rests easy in my hands, and fits perfectly onto my bedside table. I also loved a chapter showing the art of participants. The authors don’t shy away from difficult topics, add brief notes on pertinent research, and the science behind chronic pain, but mostly they encourage personal exploration. This book takes up and deepens topics that are addressed more briefly in some of the more comprehensive pain management books and is a good place to start. Also see my review of this book.

Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson

This wonderful introduction to what mindfulness is and how it affects your brain and your life is a must read for a healthier, happier you. At least check out the many free resources- articles and videos on Rick’s website. He is a gifted teacher who can explain the complex functioning of the brain in everyday language.  This would be a good choice to buy as a kindle book and carry around on your phone or pad. Click her to see more by Rick Hanson.

Bouncing Back by Linda Graham

This wonderful book about what makes us resilient is such a wonderful resource. It is written in a friendly way, and you can feel better within minutes using some of these techniques. The book combines explanations of modern brain science findings (for those of us who want to understand the details) stories and activities that are easy to follow and try out. It is a thick book, and I expect to keep finding pearls every time I open it. (published just in 2013) Linda also maintains a fabulous website and newsletter. Check out Linda’s website to read more about the book. This would also be a good choice to buy as a kindle book and carry around on your phone or pad.

True Refuge by Tara Brach

This book is is written in a very personal style by a Buddhist teacher who herself is experiencing chronic pain, and tells many touching stories of people’s daily life, and how using mindfulness, meditation, and body-centered presence and attention to the current moment have affected them. Her  approach to meditation is especially suited to coping with chronic pain. Tara is a psychotherapist and gifted story teller. She also has a great website with free meditations and talks, which I personally visit almost daily.

The Pain Survival Guide: How to Reclaim Your Life by Dr. Dennis C. Turk

This is the book I chose for my pain management class reading. It is lightweight, easy to hold, has a kindle version and is based on more than 30 years of research and experience. I especially like the chapter Activity, Rest and Pacing. Each chapter finishes with a number of helpful activities.

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging by Rachel Naomi Remen

This is the kind of book to have by your bed and to read one story at a time. It may just save you in your darkest times. Rachel tells stories of the patients in her practice and how they move through suffering to a kind of grace. Kitchen Table Wisdom, her first book is equally recommended.


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