“My name is Anne. I am 67 years old; an up close and personal wife; and a long distance ‘grammy’ to a 4-year-old in Connecticut. Thanks to the staff at From Pain To Wellness, I’m rediscovering life! I already know all about sorrow, sadness, loss, pain, depression, discouragement and drudgery. Now I’m celebrating joy, hope, energy, enthusiasm, excitement and zest!
In 1993, I was diagnosed fibromyalgia. Living with chronic, long term pain gradually used up all of my resources. Everything hurt all the time. I would go walking at the mall and after 10-20 minutes – my hands and arms hurt, my lower back was twinging and my upper thigh was numb.
Now, I can walk or stand for an hour or more. When those same old pains pop up, I know how to move or stand or use my muscles differently, right away to overcome these pains.
I’ve learned body mechanics, proper breathing, stress reduction and realistic goal-setting.
Occasionally, I still am overcome by pain and discouragement, but I don’t have to suffer those alone! There are people at From Pain To Wellness to help me through. Most often now, I can travel, relax, socialize, knit, read, sew – even house clean – all activities that I had severely limited or stopped altogether.
It’s the combination of the people at From Pain To Wellness working together with each other and with me that’s been so helpful to me. Thank you all so much!
Gratefully & Sincerely,
Anne R. Sjodin
After 20 years of numerous doctor’s visits and tests with unsuccessful results, Dr. Gruft was able to diagnose me with Candida, a fungus of the blood. I am now receiving appropriate treatment and feeling better than I have in years in just a short period of time. I am grateful for Dr. Gruft’s diligence and determination in finding and answer. Thank you Dr. Gruft, and thanks to the great staff.”
Chris Casper, Illinois
“I am Kathleen a wife, mom, grandma and a Fibro Friend to the members of my support group. My painful symptoms, which were exacerbated in hot and humid summer months, began in 1971 in the form of a slipped disc, which required the first of two surgeries.I cannot recall the number of medical specialists I sought for relief during the next 20 plus years, however most results were fruitless and frustrating.During the winter of 1991-1992, I was struck down with a relentless and painful flu-like condition.
A rheumatologist introduced me to a new medical term/diagnosis: Fibromyalgia! My newest quest for relief and an understanding, knowledgeable physician took me on a emotional roller coaster for the better part of the next 15 years. In the autumn of 2007 a door of hope was opened for me. Under the direction of Dr. Gruft, I participated in nutritional and allergy testing followed with appropriate recommendations for diet, vitamins and supplements. I was provided meds to lessen my pain, encourage restful sleep and elevate my mood. With physical therapist Sudhakar I learned effective stretches and exercises for my specific weak and painful areas. I now have the tools to treat my condition.”
Kathleen S. Wisz, Illinois
Praise for Dr. Gruft’s Book
“Pain is our body’s way—and often, our soul’s way—of getting our attention. In this wonderful book, Dr. James Gruft shows how to reduce pain and suffering by addressing the underlying physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual causes.”
Dean Ornish, M.D., The New York Times bestselling author
“From Pain to Wellness is a gift to the general public. Not only does Dr. Gruft address the medical dimensions of pain, but he expands the topic to include the mental, emotional and spiritual components as well. This book succeeds as a manual of the different forms of pain and an inspirational guidebook on how to take control of one’s pain and regard it as a tool for transformation. With the potential to heal anyone who reads it, From Pain to Wellness is a contribution to life itself.”
Kathryn Kruger, Ph.D. Author of Weaving the Word
“Dr. Gruft helps to unravel the complicated world of pain and provides a comprehensive, logical and realistic approach to this difficult problem.”
James A. Young, M.D. Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rush University Medical Center
“Illustrative of pioneering work in terms of facing one’s inner pain, Dr. James Gruft is an accomplished physician-healer. I commend his many-faceted book not only to those afflicted with chronic pain and their caregivers, but a wide cross-section of other readers as well.”
Arthur Stein, Ph.D.
“Dr. Gruft has discovered that pain is not what we think it is. This widespread misunderstanding of the nature of pain has led to the proliferation of the problem … Gruft’s revolutionary thesis is simple to grasp: acute pain is the result of injured tissues, which tend to heal themselves and become whole again. But chronic pain is different: it is actually the result of how we live our lives, and it will not heal permanently until we transform, rebuild and make our lives whole again. Just as a scratch will heal over quickly, while a deep chronic ulcer must heal from within, so we can manage our chronic pain by going within ourselves to contact deeper sources of healing.
But change can be difficult at first, so Gruft gives all the information, explanation, and inspiration needed to get us started. He then details a practical program we can follow for success in our quest to heal our pain. He covers the roles of exercise, rest, physical therapy, psychotherapy, medications, sleep modification and meditation in the design of a personalized, comprehensive pain management program.
Anecdotes and cases form his decades of clinical practice illustrate clearly how we can not only succeed in managing our chronic pain, but also begin to make our lives less stressful and chaotic, and more peaceful
and purposeful. Put simply he shows how the curse of chronic pain can actually be a blessing in disguise if we use it as a springboard to know ourselves by diving into the pool of self-knowledge.
Dr. Gruft is uniquely positioned to have developed this radical new approach to healing pain. He is a nationally known and esteemed pain specialist, immersed in teaching, research and clinical arts, broadly familiar with both orthodox and alternative healing systems. During decades of practice, he has encountered the fullest possible variety and severity of cases in his crowded pain clinics. He has focused a formidable analytical intelligence on sifting through and reflecting deeply on what causes pain
management to succeed—or fail.
Also, he brings to his project many years of experience as a practitioner of meditation and as a committed student of spirituality. Few—if any—pain specialists of Dr. Gruft’s caliber combine clinical expertise in pain management with such profound personal spiritual exploration.
Finally, in this book Dr. Gruft speaks to us crisply and clearly, yet always in a warmly human and comforting voice. He lives daily with the desperate suffering of people with chronic pain, and knows how to give wise solace with his words and hope with his advice. He is our medical friend. Dr. Gruft’s fine book will help many millions with of pain sufferers understand not only their pain, but themselves. His advice is based on deep truths, and his book is destined to become a classic in its field.”
Marshall Zaslove, M.D. Author of The Successful Physician
“In 2005, 108 million adults in the U.S. reported having a chronic bone, joint or spine condition (1 out of every 2 people). The tremendous societal costs (financial and otherwise) of chronic pain have been well documented. In response to intense demand, pain treatment and management options have increased exponentially in the past 30 years. While on the surface, having a range of medical choices for addressing chronic pain seems like a good thing, all too often desperate patients can become entangled in the medical system, spending countless hours, dollars and precious hope only to find their pain inadequately addressed. With the popularization of non-Western medical approaches occurring in the U.S. in recent years, confusion has only grown. Today, as is increasingly true of all medical patients, the chronic pain sufferer is tasked with familiarizing themselves with these varied approaches in order to be a well-informed consumer, able to make wise choices in their care. Logically one might turn to current books on the subject to lay this foundation but with well over 17,000 books on pain management available, which do you choose?
Dr. James Gruft’s From Pain to Wellness is a true gem in the current pain management literature, destined to become a classic among both patients and clinicians for its solid, comprehensive and articulate discussion of holistic pain management. Dr. Gruft, a highly respected physiatrist (specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation) has drawn upon decades of intensive study and clinical treatment of thousands of chronic pain sufferers to provide an intelligent and highly readable discussion of the unique challenges chronic pain presents to the individual, their social network and the clinicians who work with them.
Dr. Gruft’s writing is a joy to read, expressing warmth, compassion and humor. While the strength of his expertise clearly comes through, he willingly shares several anecdotes from his own learning curve, putting an all too rare human face on the doctor-patient relationship. He credits his patients with teaching him a great deal, fostering in him a deep appreciation of the scope, degree and nature of their suffering. In response, he has looked earnestly at how the medical community can both work to alleviate this suffering (he discusses a range of pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions) as well as increase it (by getting caught in “The Pain Game”, for example). Additionally, he provides a rich overview of traditional as well as complimentary medicine, helping the client demystify and distinguish between the various specialties.
And here we come to what is perhaps Dr. Gruft’s greatest contribution and one that elevates his book to universal relevance. Dr. Gruft extends beyond the physical challenges presented by chronic pain and delves with great wisdom into the nature of suffering itself. He notes that for chronic pain patients, the nature of their suffering reaches far beyond the physical and that failure to recognize and address this is precisely why so many treatment efforts fail. It is an unfortunate reality that many individuals experience physical pain that cannot be completely eradicated. Many a patient has been turned away from one frustrated doctor after another with the direction, ‘You have to learn to live with this now.’
Dr. Gruft provides the hope and direction so sorely needed to help answer this question. While never invalidating the individual’s experience of pain, nor discouraging them from keeping an intelligent and informed eye on promising new treatment efforts, he expands his discussion of pain management to include the bio-psycho-social-spiritual nature of chronic pain. Well-versed in psychology, Dr. Gruft deftly and expertly discusses the very sensitive topic of psychologically mediated pain in a way that is informative, affirming and hopeful. Further, as a long-time practitioner of meditation and yoga with a deep spiritual foundation, Dr. Gruft’s discussion of the existential impact of pain and suffering is illuminating. He gently encourages the sufferer to adopt a holistic view of their plight and in so doing opens up a world of options for individuals sincerely wishing to bring healing and a sense of peace to their lives.
In the end, while a cure may not be possible, the potential for healing is always at hand. This book is highly recommended for all those with a serious interest in addressing the problem of pain.”
Laura J. Young – Amazon.com – Feb. 17, 2009
“This book was not only informative it also helped understand things from a unique perspective. I was introduced to this book from my meditation group. I have shared this title with some of my collegues, I am a pyschotherapist and clinical substance abuse counselor. I am also a person who suffers from chronic pain. I have fibromagia and other related illness. My family of orgin does not understand the disease or its symptoms. In fact they tend to dispell the disease and it’s symptoms. I have lent my copy to my primary care doctor. I am on a quest for books that relate to mindfulness in order to enhance my own meditation practices but also share and teach my patients. Many of my patients have physical pain which add to their emotional pain.”
Michael A. De Fazio – Amazon.com – Oct. 14, 2009
“Dr. Gruft has broken down a complex subject, pain, its causes and treatments, into its smallest components and made it accessible to the reader in an intriguing and engaging way. From categorizing types of pain and their attendant treatments, conventional or complementary and alternative, to highlighting their root causes, he leaves no facet of the topic unexplored. Dr. Gruft’s light touch carries the reader through a difficult subject, and anecdotes scattered throughout the book add to its readability.
This is basically not a self-help book, but readers will find insights into the multi-dimensional aspects of pain, from the physical, through the psychological and, eventually, the spiritual. Dr. Gruft draws on his own experience of using meditation and spiritual insight not only as a treatment modality for wellness but also as a personal lifestyle, and this authenticity reveals itself in every line. I began reading From Pain to Wellness expecting to be informed. What I didn’t expect was to be completely fascinated and absorbed. This is a book that should be in every library. It’s in mine.”
Sandy Glassman, President, Glassman Communications
From Pain To Wellness
By: James H. Gruft, M.D.
This book is for those who are not afraid to explore the nature of their pain, those who refuse to sweep it under the rug. Every one of us experiences chronic pain of one type or another.
This book is written for the person who wants to understand and deal with his or her pain. For health care professionals who would like to know another way to approach people suffering from pain, this book is for them as well…”
– James H. Gruft, M.D.