The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, Aug 17, 2010 - Medical - 384 pages
20 Reviews

Each of us will know physical pain in our lives, but none of us knows when it will come or how long it will stay. Today as much as 10 percent of the population of the United States suffers from chronic pain. It is more widespread, misdiagnosed, and undertreated than any major disease. While recent research has shown that pain produces pathological changes to the brain and spinal cord, many doctors and patients still labor under misguided cultural notions and outdated scientific dogmas that prevent proper treatment, to devastating effect.

In The Pain Chronicles, a singular and deeply humane work, Melanie Thernstrom traces conceptions of pain throughout the ages—from ancient Babylonian pain-banishing spells to modern brain imaging—to reveal the elusive, mysterious nature of pain itself. Interweaving first-person reflections on her own battle with chronic pain, incisive reportage from leading-edge pain clinics and medical research, and insights from a wide range of disciplines—science, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art—Thernstrom shows that when dealing with pain we are neither as advanced as we imagine nor as helpless as we may fear.

Both a personal meditation and an intellectual exploration, The Pain Chronicles illuminates and makes sense of the all-too-human experience of pain—and confronts with extraordinary grace and empathy its peculiar traits, its harrowing effects, and its various antidotes.


  

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Review: The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering

User Review  - Pat Herndon - Goodreads

I found this book terribly difficult to get through. I was interested in the topic because two family members suffer from chronic pain. My heart hurts for them. My perspective on this book is also ... Read full review

Review: The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering

User Review  - Toni Moore - Goodreads

Author Melanie Thernstrom takes us on a journey through her pain. As she struggles to understand her chronic pain and what it means, she explores the history of pain -- how people in the past ... Read full review

Contents

The Telegram
3
PAIN AS METAPHOR
13
PAIN AS HISTORY
85
PAIN AS DISEASE
125
PAIN AS NARRATIVE
193
PAIN AS PERCEPTION
279
Notes
331
Acknowledgments
349
Index
351
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Melanie Thernstrom is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and the author of The Dead Girl and Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder.

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