Monday, April 29, 2013


Maren O. Mitchell’s Beat Chronic Pain -- An Insider’s Guide offers her reader this specific hope -- Return to Your Life: Ways to Confront and Relieve Pain Through Avenues Other Than Drugs. Another title for this book could have been How To Ignore Pain.
The book spoke strongest to me when I read these words:  “How to deal with the 
enemy--(Pain) Ignore him--write him out of your life.”  Maren O. Mitchell‘s positive approach is practical as well as intensely personal. She promises, “Pain does not take well to being laughed at.  When ignored, “It sort of shrinks up and slowly slinks away.” 

There are in this book a number of specific activities for beating pain. One suggestion
is to practice an imaging exercise. You are told to remember “a place and a time when you were stress free, pain free, healthy and strong, safe, loved, happy. Go there and gather images, colors, textures, movement” and more. “Savor the pleasure of being there” and “let your time there give you happiness right now.” See exact instructions on pages 67-71.  The author admits her “favorite place to imagine and travel to is “a two room cabin....that my father built beside a stream in North Carolina.”

I enjoyed reading this book and liked knowing Maren O. Mitchell is a writer and a practicing poet who writes to ignore her pain. A number of her poems are sprinkled throughout the book. Her poems have been also published in some of the best American literary magazines such as Southern Humanities Review, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and in the anthologies, Echoes Across the Blue Ridge and Sunrise From Blue Thunder.

The different approaches that this author offers to help you ignore pain are valuable.  I understand that a person who wants to beat chronic pain does not have to write poems to get relief. That is not the point. Practicing imagery,(which is a technique of poetry)  going back in memory to a favorite place, has been proven to relieve pain, even if you do not write it. During imagery, your mind stays busy for a period of time, for minutes even hours, allowing you to ignore your pain.

If you suffer from chronic pain or you love someone who does, I encourage you to buy this book, read it, find solutions to use and to share.

Book Review by Nancy Simpson

How to order

Line of Sight Press
PO Box 1103 
Young Harris, Georgia 30582

More Poems by Maren O. Mitchell


  1. Nancy,
    You did a great job writing the book review of BEAT CHRONIC PAIN by Maren O Mitchell.
    Sounds like a fantastic book that everyone with chronic pain should purchase.
    Doctors should buy this book and give it to patients dealing with pain.

  2. I have suffered some frozen shoulder misery and space bar thumb pain in the past. Those of us who write need to be aware that long hours at the keyboard and little exercise can wreck the body.
    Also, stand up every few minutes to avoid blood clot risks.


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