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 Pain Free 1-2-3: A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now, by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, 2005, ISBN: 0071464573.   

Pain Free 1-2-3 is another informative and engaging book to come from Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the well-known guide for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia (FM), From Fatigued to Fantastic (now in its 3rd edition). The target audience for this particular book consists of individuals with FM, myofascial pain or chronic pain. Though Dr. Teitelbaum touched on the importance of decreasing or eliminating pain when someone has ME/CFS and/or FM in all the editions of his first book, this book allows him to expand on this topic and it nicely complements the first series. 

Dr. Teitelbaum starts out by explaining what sorts of things can help to promote healing and repair tissues as well as what sort of things may put stress on one’s body and cause pain. The treatment strategy formulated by Dr. Teitelbaum (which he claims can eliminate chronic pain) includes recommendations such as: striving to get the best possible nutrition and quality sleep, correcting one’s hormonal deficiencies, learning how to identify and eliminate pain triggers (including getting treated for any persistent infections since they put a strain on the immune system), and learning about the many types of pain and how to deal with each of these. [N.B. There is no solution to the pain from lactic acid build-up due to mitochondrial dysfunction except time and bed rest. Your body has to break down the lactic acid to dispel the pain.—Ed.]

The second half of the book summarizes numerous treatment options, including herbal /natural remedies and alternative therapies, prescription therapies, and/or a combination of both approaches. He also states the best order in which to try these and how they will be most beneficial. (It is understood that treatments should be pursued while under the care of one’s doctor.)       

Though this book offers a lot of practical information, the way it is marketed (i.e., the flashy titles, making things sound so easy to do, or making rather incredible claims) is a negative and may actually discourage interest in this book. It is not clear why Dr. Teitelbaum has chosen this type of delivery style considering his extensive knowledge about ME/CFS and FM and chronic pain as the medical director of the Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies in Maryland. On the positive side, if readers can get past the packaging, they will appreciate the value of the information in this book and will sense the author’s optimism and desire to enlighten readers.