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Healing Back Pain Naturally: The Mind-Body Program Proven to Work Paperback – June 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743424646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743424646
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

After abusing his back for years, Brownstein, a practicing physician, turned to conventional medicine for relief. Surgery did not reduce the pain and led to an ongoing use of strong painkillers. Frustrated, Brownstein embarked on his own self-healing journey. The knowledge he acquired from yoga, meditation, diet, relaxation, and deep breathing was channeled into a program he calls Back To Life. Unlike the quick fixes offered by conventional medicine, Brownstein's program works holistically and requires changing unhealthy life patterns. He introduces the reader to a stretching program and strengthening exercises (demonstrated in black-and-white photos), then covers stress management, nutrition, return to work, and the psycho-spiritual elements of recovery. This is a readable book, less blunt than John Sarno's groundbreaking Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (Warner, 1991). Back pain sufferers disappointed by conventional approaches will want this. Recommended for consumer health collections.ALisa McCormick, Health Sciences Lib., Jewish Hosp., Cincinnati
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

How to improve back health through exercise, yoga-based stretches, and stress reductiona reasonable plan. Brownstein (a clinical instructor of medicine at the University of Hawaii, Manoa) suffered multiple injuries and severe back pain for 20 years; when traditional medicines and surgery failed to help, he found relief by creating a regimen drawing on yoga, meditation, and other alternative therapies. His program is sound, and his starting point valuablerather than looking for an initiating catastrophic injury as the basis for designing treatment, chronic back pain sufferers would do better to understand their acute event as the culmination of years of stress, poor body mechanics, and possible weight and nutrition problems. His second important point is that almost all back pain originates in the muscles (rather than bone or other structures). This program is aimed, therefore at muscular fitness, principally with the extensive, progressive stretches based on yoga poses. Brownstein is careful to give appropriate cautions along the way: when to seek medical help, possible signs of serious disease. Nutritional advice, stress- reduction exercises, advice on lifestyle changes, and ``Emotional and Spiritual Lessons for Healing'' round out the program. Reliable advice for a common problem, with a spiritual/yoga flavor that will have special appeal for some sufferers. ($70,000 ad/promo; author tour) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Nothing I tried, worked...until reading this back-saving book of hope.
Rachel Elaine
I highly recommend this book to anyone with chronic pain who does not know where to begin.
Kindle Customer
This book gives hope to those of us who want to deal with back pain without surgery.
Theresa M. Wright (t64weedle@aol.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Dwayne A. Chesnut on May 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would give this book 6 stars if I could. The yoga-based exercises Dr. Brownstein describes and illustrates so clearly saved me from the expense, pain, and risk of a lumbar laminectomy to remove a synovial cyst at the right L4/L5 facet joint. I didn't even know I had a back problem until I had an MRI this spring. All my symptoms were in my legs and hips, beginning with intermittent pain and numbness a few years ago, then progressing to fairly severe sciatica last fall. I was not incapacitated, but just moving around for daily activities was at best unpleasant. It was not fun to have severe cramps in my gluteus, along with sharp, shooting pains down the backs of my legs, and numbness in my toes and soles of my feet. I was advised that surgery was the only long-term solution. I attended Dean Ornish's Preventive Medicine Retreat in mid-April, 1999, where I met Dr. Lee Lipsenthal, and asked him if he had any knowledge about lumbar cysts. He strongly recommended Dr. Brownstein's book. Participants in the Retreat were given some instruction in Yoga, but Dr. Lipsenthal said Dr. Brownstein gave many more stretches aimed specifically at relieving back pain by developing better muscular conditioning. I consulted a surgeon on April 20, and scheduled a lumbar laminectomy for May 17. I bought a copy of Healing Back Pain Naturally on April 22, and began practicing the Yoga positions. On May 3, I was still having significant pain. I could not carry a box of newspapers weighing 25 to 30 pounds out to my curb for recycling without stopping to take the weight off my spine. I started doing the stretches twice a day for about 45 minutes each time.Read more ›
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am not a big believer in alternative medicine, but after an MRI showed a ruptured L-5 disk, (and the doctor suggested surgery)I chose to explore other options. Luckily, my internet search led me to Amazon's reviews of Dr. Brownstein's book and I decided to try his methods before pursuing surgery. I can only say that the results are miraculous! After six months of mild to excruciating back and leg pain, I am now 95% pain -free; off all painkillers; and I've resumed walking 3.5 miles daily. The idea of these simple stretching exercises as a "cure" seems so far-fetched to me that I can only urge back-pain sufferers to give this a try! I felt significant results in a matter of days! Thank you, Dr. Brownstein (and Amazon, too!)
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The words echoed in my ears, "you need three (3) fusions immediately!" To tell the truth, I was so frightened by what the Doctors were telling me, that I began to feel histerical. I had originally gone to the Doctor because of an unrelenting pain that seared down my right leg and exploded into my upper right foot. I also had incredible pain in my hips and lower back. All of this was just an ongoing problem that I had experienced for years but had exhilarated just recently.
I did have the MRI done and then the nightmare began. As Dr. Brownstein says, "The medical community has gotton too good at showing us all the ugliness within our bodies." And with that information, they encouraged me into full blown back fusion surgery.
Being a Metaphysical Student I just knew that there must be a better solution for me. During that week, a local talkshow host had Dr. Brownstein scheduled to be on the air with him. I learned about this and listened intently.
I bought the book - read it - and began the first series of exercises. I told all five Doctors that I didn`t have anything to lose if I did this first, after all, I could always have the surgery.
Within one month, I was feeling 40% better,and within another month I was almost 90% better. I`m not saying it was easy as it will be an ongoing process the rest of my life, but I can live a pretty normal life without pain. I walk four miles a day - swim for 35 minutes and stretch and strengthen by back with the exercises. It`s a good life and I thank God that I had the opportunity to fine the book and learn about this alternative before the three fusions.
Needless to say I give this book five stars because it has truly given me my life back. THANK YOU Dr. Brownstein!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John K. Weston on October 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have two herniated discs and one bulge. Off and on, over the years, some sort of movement will cause one of these guys to throw my back out for a period of weeks or months. If you're reading this, you know what I'm talking about.

My wife found this book at the local library. I was sceptical - hey, give me a break, yoga? But I was at the willing-to-try-anything-by-then stage, so I started doing the author's stretching exercises. Within a couple of weeks I was pain free. That was three or four years ago, and my back hasn't gone out since. I do six of his exercises every morning before I shower - takes all of five minutes. Closest thing to a miracle cure I've ever seen. Highly recommended; the author is a hero.

- jkw
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful By P. Gollner on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book over a year ago when my lower back pain became intractable. I had been in a car accident nine years earlier and through the years the pain got progressively worse and the episodes longer. Brownstein is good at assembling a lot of information and advice in a single, very readable book, but none of it is particularly original.
The most compelling, and also most problematic, part of the book is Brownstein's discussion of his own ordeal with back pain.
I cringe at books that attribute physical pain or disease to psychological trauma. Brownstein indulges in a very typically American mentality that equates physical illness with moral or emotional deficits. He sadly relies on John Sarno, author of Mind Over Back Pain, in his chapter on stress and back pain.
Sarno invented a diagnosis, accepted by no one in mainstream medicine, that repressed anger creates muscle tension which creates back pain. He rejects the now proven fact that discs cause pain, i.e. there are pain receptors in the outer layers of the disc that send signals to the brain when the disc nucleus ruptures and irritates the nerve endings in the disc. The lower spine itself is the main relay station for the peripheral nervous system and any disorder, be it muscular or due to a spinal anomaly, will trigger plenty of pain receptors.
Brownstein also focuses a lot on self-destructive behavior that leads to back pain. Here we run into the classic mind-body mess that is so appealing to readers because it provides a sort of Puritanical religious hope that if you just get your life together, you will overcome your pain.
This notion is nonsense.
Read more ›
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