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Muscular Retraining for Pain-Free Living

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Here's an innovative and practical approach to eliminating chronic muscle pain, written by a popular occupational therapist with thirty years of experience freeing people from the discomfort of tendonitis, lower back pain, and neck and shoulder tension. These types of chronic pain can be caused by a number of factors, including old injuries, habitual movement patterns, pro ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by Trumpeter
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John McElhenney
Aug 28, 2008 John McElhenney rated it it was amazing
A transformative book!

I learned more about the workings of our muscle system from 10 pages of this book than all my school days combined. An amazingly lucid book about muscle pain and what causes some of us to get stuck in a pattern. Headaches, neck aches, back aches...

The basic premise is this: Muscle pain can be caused by two things.
1. Injury. Know how to treat and heal and injury.
2. Patterning, or reflexive muscular tightness. This can be caused by an accident or injury, but often long after
Aug 07, 2011 LDYFuji rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of working with Craig while living in Maine. He started me out slowly and let me realize it was okay that I wasn't stretching like I used to... but that I could get there again if I wanted.

Of course, he recommended his book. My first thought was, "great, he just wants to sell more books." Boy was I wrong!!! This book opened up even more than I was getting in person because I could read and re-read as I needed. No more forgetting was it this way... or was it ....

The book was
Mar 26, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it
I picked this book off a library shelf while looking for some guidance on how to address some recent pain in my lower back. The author presents a thorough explanation of the interconnection between body alignment and muscular pain. He then offers a series of exercises to help relax different muscle groups to relieve pain in various parts of the body. A good starting point for me.
Jun 24, 2013 Heather! rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty convinced, after reading this book a few times, that the exercises will totally cure my chronic back pain. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy to ever do them consistently, so I am not quite sure. So it goes.
Aug 29, 2008 Jordan rated it liked it
tough to get thru unless you have a great knowledge of the body. It would be helpful to have pics.

Dec 19, 2007 Melody rated it liked it
Helpful exercises but one must actually do them regularly. Which is so unfair. Clearly written and easy to understand and follow.
Jun 10, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
"Awareness facilitates healing. Awareness can be healing." (p.4)

"We all have the capacity for awareness, and our awareness affects our physiology. When awareness is part of a therapy, that therapy becomes somewhat process oriented. This is because our awareness, like any process, is always changing." (p.5)

"Genuine learning always involves dealing with the unknown. If you are open to the process, you can learn from anything and everything, whether you are traveling to a new place, making a new fr
Feb 10, 2014 SBC rated it really liked it
Shelves: g-non-fiction
I really enjoyed Craig Williamson's explanations of the reasons behind chronic muscle pain. He talks about our kinaesthetic sense (our sense of our muscles and our body) as a sixth sense and how many of us have shut down our muscular awareness over time. He argues that the key to overcoming muscular pain is becoming aware of our bodies again and feeling our muscles and what they are doing (e.g. over-tightening). He also talks about the dysfunctional movement patterns many of us have developed ov ...more
Aug 28, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people in pain

This book is well-balanced in practical and theoretical advice regarding how to manage chronic muscle pain, tension, repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, etc. The basic principle rests on what Williamson calls "kinesthetic awareness," a quality most of us lack. Learning to develop our kinesthesia is the key to pain-free living. Williamson includes "explorations" in each chapter in order to develop this awareness. Part II of the book includes exercises tailored toward problem areas and based o
Jul 25, 2009 Judy rated it really liked it
Better than a massage. Better than my favorite yoga class. That's how I feel after doing a half hour of Williamson's exercises. His premise is that sometimes muscles become tense over a long period of time. At some point you are no longer aware that you are tensing the muscles, but the tension causes pain in your body. These simple movements relax your body. Even better, they retrain your body and help you develop more effective, comfortable posture.

I read part one and skipped to the exercises.
Brittany Flores
Mar 12, 2009 Brittany Flores rated it really liked it
Yay Shambhala! I found this in a bookstore and realized it was perfect for an injury I had acquired about 2 years ago by landing the wrong way during a dance rehearsal. I've had this side/back/shoulder/neck injury consistently interrupting my life for 2 years now. I'm back in physical therapy and reading this book has opened up a whole new world to me. I'm understanding my body and my 'injury' better. Taking the suggestions and the theories the author makes to heart, I can feel myself improving ...more
Wes B
Nov 24, 2013 Wes B rated it really liked it
This was an amazing non-fiction book that helps a person understand how the musculo-skeletal system works. Who knew that you weren't supposed to bend at the waist but instead our bodies were built to bend at the hips! If that is the one thing I take away from this book it is tremendously worth it and may help my lower back issues. I am starting to do the exercises in the book now and find them helpful.
Dec 07, 2013 tawnie rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
The first half primarily talks about dysfunctional movement patterns that can cause pain- either from the body compensating involuntarily due to acute injury or from poor habits. The second half is stretches and exercises organized by area of pain. The first stretch for shoulder injuries helped a lot, and helped me realize my issue was more tightness in back muscles rather than with the joint. Recommended if you're looking for some new stretches or insight into muscular issues.
May 18, 2014 skye rated it liked it
This book offered some excellent theory on getting through long-term muscle issues (of which I've had a couple in legs/knees due to running too much without building a foundation of balanced muscles/tendons). It also has a ton of good stretches/exercises, which I didn't really use but maybe should.
Oct 13, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it
The first part of the book was intersting and informative. The true value of the book, and thus the rating will ultimately be determined by how these exercises help me turn my rock-hard shoulders into clay.
Jan 07, 2008 Foxthyme rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
Excellent information. Quite similar in theory to Somatics and Feldenkrais and Egoscue all mixed together. Learn to relax the muscles to gain balance. Exercises to help you do so. A far far far better method than pain meds and bedrest.
Jan 08, 2012 Cathy rated it it was amazing
I know the exercises by heart. So, even though this is my exercise bible, I'm removing it from my currently reading shelf.
Aug 22, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-and-life
This is the book that gave me the knowledge to finally get a handle on my migraines. The information on "muscle memory" was also useful in training my obedience and agility dogs, an added bonus.
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