Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of The Pain Companion to review. The opinions below are completely my own. I am not being paid for writing this review. If you purchase the book through the link in the first paragraph, it is an affiliate link. I will get a small amount of money from your purchase, but this will not increase your price.
The Pain Companion
The Pain Companion: everyday wisdom for living with and moving beyond chronic pain by Sarah Anne Shockley is a thoughtful and eye-opening book for anyone suffering with chronic pain. I found many of her insights equally relevant for those of us suffering from other chronic illnesses as well.
Sarah divides her book into four parts:
- Part 1: Pain Moves In
- Part 2: The Emotional Life of Chronic Pain
- Part 3: Meditative Approaches to Physical Pain
- Part 4: When Pain Is The Teacher
Things That Resonated With Me
In Part 1, Sarah talks about her journey with severe pain since 2007. She relates about how pain moves in, and appears to take control of everything.
Part 2 discusses all the emotions that pain brings with it. But it’s in Part 3 where Sarah’s novel approach to pain comes to life. She developed 11 meditative exercises to help her cope with her pain, and learn from it. She credits these meditations with reducing her physical pain more than any other treatments.
I was reminded of Lamaze classes (childbirth preparation) with some of these meditations. Her focus is one of changing the way we relate to our pain, and being kind to ourselves and our bodies.
Since pain lets us know when something is wrong with our bodies, it can teach us what we need to feel better. This is the basis for Part 4, that pain can teach us many valuable things.
There are so many nuggets of wisdom in this book, that I cannot possibly share them all with you. In fact, it’s so good that I will be adding this book to my list of Pain Resources. If you live with chronic pain, check out the author’s page here for a video of Sarah discussing what has helped her reduce her pain: https://www.thepaincompanion.com/
If you found this review helpful, please share it with others who need it. Have you read this book? What did you think? I would love to hear what you think, below in the comments!
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You are so interesting! I don’t think I have read a single thing like this before.
So wonderful to find someone with original thoughts on this topic.
Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the web, someone with a
My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
I agree with you, Caz. The author has a way of wording things that helped me understand myself in a way I hadn’t before. Sometimes we just need to put words to a feeling or worry, but we’re too afraid to say it out loud. Hearing someone else say that they have these feelings as well, is very freeing.
With some self-help style books and supportive texts like this we can think we already know what will be said (‘yeah, know all that already’) but actually reading it, ‘hearing’ it back, can be incredibly helpful to get a new perspective. Like, I can tell myself all the time to be kinder to myself or that such a range of emotions is to be expected, but I don’t always believe it or do it; coming from someone else, supported by techniques and meditations, could be very practical. I love that the focus in on how we relate to pain and treat ourselves. I’ll make a note of this as I’d love to give it a read myself, so thank you for sharing.
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