The Way Out: A Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain (Hardcover)
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A groundbreaking mind-body protocol to heal chronic pain, backed by new research.
Chronic pain is an epidemic. Fifty million Americans struggle with back pain, headaches, or some other pain that resists all treatment. Desperate pain sufferers are told again and again that there is no cure for chronic pain.
Alan Gordon, a psychotherapist and the founder of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles, was in grad school when he started experiencing chronic pain and it completely derailed his life. He saw multiple doctors and received many diagnoses, but none of the medical treatments helped. Frustrated with conventional pain management, he developed Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), a mind-body protocol that eliminated his own chronic pain and has transformed the lives of thousands of his patients.
PRT is rooted in neuroscience, which has shown that while chronic pain feels like it's coming from the body, in most cases it's generated by misfiring pain circuits in the brain. PRT is a system of psychological techniques that rewires the brain to break out of the cycle of chronic pain.
The University of Colorado-Boulder recently conducted a large randomized controlled study on PRT, and the results are remarkable. By the end of the study, the majority of patients were pain-free or nearly pain-free. What's more, these dramatic changes held up over time.
The Way Out brings PRT to readers. It combines accessible science with a concrete, step-by-step plan to teach sufferers how to heal their own chronic pain.
About the Author
Alan Gordon, LCSW, is the founder and executive director of the Pain Psychology Center, where he oversees a team of twenty-five therapists. Gordon developed Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), a cutting-edge protocol for treating chronic pain, and just completed a groundbreaking neuroimaging study on the efficacy of PRT in conjunction with the University of Colorado-Boulder. He was featured on CBS's The Doctors, where he conducted the first fMRI case study of a patient eliminating chronic pain. He is an adjunct assistant professor at USC and has presented on the topic of pain treatment at conferences and trainings throughout the country.
Alon Ziv has a degree in neuroscience and was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching in Biology from UCLA. He is the author of Breeding Between the Lines: Why Interracial People Are Healthier and More Attractive and has appeared on the BBC London Evening News, NPR, BBC Radio, and local radio across the United States. Ziv co-founded PrepU, an adaptive learning system for the sciences that has been used by college students more than one billion times.
"The Way Out is a groundbreaking approach to the treatment of chronic pain that gives hope to those who were thought to be incurable. All chronic pain patients owe it to themselves to read this book."
–Andrew Weil, MD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Spontaneous Healing
“With straightforward and practical wisdom, The Way Out presents a sophisticated yet simple approach to understanding and healing chronic pain—an approach grounded in advanced science and proven clinical experience.”
–Gabor Maté MD, author of When the Body Says No
"At long last, a successful treatment for chronic, disabling pain. The Way Out provides valuable information about the ailment of pain, and many helpful suggestions on how to heal."
–Aaron Beck, MD, founder of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), emeritus professor of psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
“In The Way Out, Alan Gordon and Alon Ziv have written a marvelously useful book. Frankly, I wish I had written this book! The Way Out provides a scientifically valid approach for treating (and often curing) chronic pain. In addition to being a useful book, it is an easy and enjoyable read. Alan and Alon effectively use patient examples to explain and illustrate the techniques. Every person who suffers with chronic pain will find comfort and healing in the pages of The Way Out. Every clinician who treats chronic pain should read The Way Out, they will become a wiser and better guide for their patients.”
–Steven Richeimer, MD, Chief of Pain Medicine, USC Keck School of Medicine
“The Way Out offers a wonderfully clear and compelling combination of personal experience and the latest breakthroughs in brain science to show how to reduce chronic pain. Beautifully written, with gentle humor and genuine compassion, the authors start from acknowledging the reality of chronic pain and invite you to try techniques that promise a new freedom that might have seemed impossible – a transformation that will affect both you and those with whom you share your life.”
–Mark Williams, emeritus professor of clinical psychology, University of Oxford, coauthor of Mindfulness
"If you suffer from chronic pain (or know someone who does), The Way Out is an optimistic, science-based book about managing the mind-body connection to healing. Alan Gordon writes with compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding of living with pain. Finding relief from his own suffering prompted him to find freedom for others.”
–Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
“Quite possibly the most important pain book ever written. The Way Out will be the answer for millions who live in constant agony. There is healing without drugs or dangerous surgeries, and The Way Out is the book to help you finally find healing. As a former chronic pain sufferer, I know firsthand how every area of your life will improve when you are finally out of constant pain. Read this book, you deserve it.”
–Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind
“The Way Out highlights the role of neuroplasticity in chronic pain and explores how to tackle it. This is a great positive step forward in chronic pain treatment."
–Clifford Woolf, MD, professor of neurology and neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
“A compelling journey and fascinating read. In The Way Out, Gordon and Ziv bring together serendipity and science, demonstrating the power of the mind, and how we all can harness our own brains for healing.”
–Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Unwinding Anxiety and The Craving Mind
“The strain in pain lies mainly in the brain. This accessible, warm book is a re-minder of how you can learn to better control pain by learning to think differently about it.”
–David Spiegel, MD, Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, coauthor of Trance and Treatment
“It’s long been assumed that chronic pain is irreversible, but The Way Out introduces an approach that proves otherwise. I have seen the power of this treatment firsthand. Patients who suffered for years or even decades have made remarkable recoveries. The Way Out is quite simply the most effective treatment for chronic pain.”
–Howard Schubiner, MD, founder and director of the Mind-Body Medicine Program, Ascension Providence Hospital