Literary Las Vegas: Mel Pohl


Dr. Mel Pohl, vice president of medical affairs and medical director of the Las Vegas Recovery Center, has co-authored several books on pain and addiction. Central Recovery Press recently released an updated version of his 2008 solo book "A Day Without Pain," a self-help work on treating chronic pain holistically without opioids or prescription painkillers.

Pohl learned about chronic pain through his work in the center's pain recovery program and from his personal struggles with pain.

"I have come to embrace my pain, not as a friend or lover or enemy, but as a part of me," Pohl writes in the preface to his book. "While my pain does not identify me, it is a part of me, and through my work, both as a practitioner and a person living with chronic pain, I know I would not be the person I am today without having gone through the experiences I have encountered."

For more information about the book, visit adaywithoutpain.com.

Excerpt from "A Day Without Pain"

Pain is universal. It has been experienced by every human who has ever walked the Earth. In the records of every civilization whose writings we can decipher, including those from thousands of years BC, there are descriptions of pain and how pain has been treated. For instance, to treat a painful back, the ancient Egyptians alternated the use of meat and honey, while the Greeks used traction and laying of the patient on a heated slab of marble. Early Greeks and Romans believed that the brain played a role in the perception of pain. A Babylonian day tablet, estimated to be over 4,000 years old, mentioned the use of henbane, a poisonous herb native to Europe and Asia, to treat pain. Acupuncture and Ayurveda are two of the earliest medical practices, and they come from China and India, respectively. The first record of acupuncture is found in the 4,000-year-old Huang Di Neijing (Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine). This is said to be the oldest medical textbook in the world. Ayurveda literally means "the science of life" and focuses on the integration and balance of the body, mind, and spirit. As early as the nineteenth century, opioids such as morphine were used to reduce pain. Many of the same techniques and interventions are in use today to treat pain.

 

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