Monday, 1 February 2010

Thoughts on 'Living Well With Pain & Illness'

Well I've just finished the book I've mentioned a few times...

So what do I think of it? Would I recommend it? Is there anything new in there?

Firstly let me say I'm probably not the person this book is intended for, even though I do live with pain and illness. I say that because I feel it is written largely for a person who does not have the background in relaxation, breathing and meditation practices as well as having spent time looking at  grading and pacing activities that I have. I've also already read Jon Kabat-Zinn' Full Castastrophe Living which the author refers to rather annoyingly all the way through the book, but which I actually much prefer.

Unlike Full Catastrophe Living, which is very secular, this book is very much of a Buddhist flavour, that being The Friends of Western Buddhist Order (FWBO); with practise such as Body Scan, Mindfulness of Breathing and Kindly Awareness amongst others.

I think for the average person who is suffering and pretty un-aware of the relationship of body, mind and breath it would be very useful and there were certainly things in there that made me think or reminded me of less than helpful habits in my life. Certainly becoming aware of your thoughts and breathing and how that relates to your experience of life is very beneficial.

Do I think there's any 'new' thinking in there, unfortunately no, but I do think it brings alot of wide ranging ideas into one place.

It's well written, follows a logical progression with plenty of anecdotes to let you know that the author know's what they are talking about from personal experience. Even for me, who has been through the mill of CFS/ME treatments, alternative therapies and the like it had a few timely reminders of things I'd conveniently forgotten to put into practise.

If these concepts are new to you it's well worth the buy, but you need to put it into action not just read it. If you do it will most certainly help you.

If like me you already have a medative practise and have a knowledge of the importance of correct breathing, yoga, alexander technique or Cognative Behavioural Therapy you'd probably find it worth reading if someone loaned it to you, but not enough to buy it.

As for my copy, if you feel it would help you drop me a line and I'll post it to you.

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