The author, Donna Jackson Nakazawa, an acclaimed journalist, public speaker,suffers from a wide array of health problems that cause her constant, terrible pain, weakness, illness and too many visits to emergency rooms. It is normal for her to collapse at the top of the stairs in her home, and it is routine for her children to help pick her up and help her back to bed. She soon becomes tired of so much pain overriding her ability to function and live a full life.
During the course of one year, Nakazawa tries meditation, yoga and acupuncture. Along the way she shares what she’s learning. The most important discovery she makes is that our brains can be rewired to react differently to chronic pain through mediation. While adverse events in childhood do, in fact, cause adults to be statistically more likely to be depressed or to have chronic pain and disorders, the brain is not stuck as is it is, and nor are we.
I loved reading this book, and learning ways that simple acts such as quieting the critical voices in my head, being in the moment, breathing in any number of different ways, can undo years of my brain and body reacting to depression, anxiety and pain. I highly recommend this book to all of my friends with chronic pain and serious health issues. It offers practical, mostly free ways we can create more joy in our lives, even while in the midst of so much pain.
Here is a link to the author’s website: http://donnajacksonnakazawa.com/last-best-cure/
Donna Nakazawa has also written a book about Autoimmune Disorders which I plan to read to better understand several acquaintances’ illness. On Nakazawa’s blog, she wrote, “I am not cured, but I am healing.” That is my wish for the many people I know and love whose lives are structured around the limits of their bodies and how much pain they can stand at any given moment.
Read this book when you have time, try a couple, simple healing methods she learns and shares. They made such an amazing difference in her health when she was so incredibly sick, with numerous disorders. I am hopeful that practicing some of the activities that helped her heal (no more self-criticism and worst-case scenario thinking!) we’ll all be feeling at least somewhat better than we did before making these simple changes that can so significantly change our brains, bodies, health and knee-jerk reaction to pain. I wish I could heal myself and the wonderful people I have met who suffer from many different serious diseases and disorders. I can’t wave a wand and heal us, but I can’t share books like this that give me hope I thought I had lost for a better life!