The Tired Gardener

Healing Through Growing

Books: Health and Recovery

Welcome to my virtual library of books that I have found inspiring or helpful.

I have many more to share with you as we go on, but here are some relating to fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue and related illnesses to get started with …



Use these links to find the reviews below.

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Giulia Enders,
Gut: the inside story of our body's most under-rated organ
ISBN-13: 978-1911344773

Giulia Enders takes an extremely complex – and personal – subject and turns it into an entertaining and highly informative book, complete with some very silly pictures.
Improving my nutrition has been a core part of my recovery and this book provided an excellent starting point for understanding the importance of our gut flora in particular. There is so much more to good nutrition than eating 5-a-day.

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Todd Hargrove,
A Guide to Better Movement: the science and practice of moving with more skill and less pain
ISBN: 978-0-9915423-1-4

'Pain is just all in your head'. Well of course it is, since everything we experience is processed by our brains. This book offers a highly readable explanation of how the brain and nervous system communicate with and control the body, and how problems in this communication can create chronic pain. Even better, Hargrove sets out simple exercises to help address chronic pain in different parts of the body.

When I bought this book my feet were so stiff and sore in the morning that I had to hold onto the walls to climb down the stairs. I had the thick ankles of an 80 year old. After a few weeks with these exercises I had regained full movement, lost the pain entirely and my ankles had physically changed shape/reappeared.


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Gary Kaplan and Donna Beech,
Total Recovery: solving the mystery of chronic pain and depression
ISBN-10: 9780718179175


I came to this book through The Chrysalis Effect and it made total sense of all the apparently crazy and unconnected symptoms I had been experiencing. I studied anatomy and physiology as an undergraduate nurse and knew that some of what I was being told by consultants and GPs about fibromyalgia was medically and scientifically nonsense. Here I found all the bits of the jigsaw that had been floating around my head, assembled into a blindingly obvious whole. The key to solving the puzzle was Kaplan's view that you can't understand one system apart from the rest of the person, including all their experiences and idiosyncrasies. Well Duh!!


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Gabor Mate,
When the Body Says No: the cost of hidden stress,
ISBN: 9780143127741


This book takes us further into an understanding of how the body as a whole system responds when it is subjected to more than it can bear. In this classic text Gabriel Mate offers story after story in which clients with serious chronic conditions reveal a common pattern of life experiences. Life's doers and carers, ground down by years of inhuman expectations finally find that their bodies say No! when they can't speak the words.


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Bessel Van Der Kolk,
The Body Keeps the Score: mind brain and body in the transformation of trauma.
ISBN: 9780141978611

There is considerable overlap between Van der Kolk and Mate's books. Both explore how life experiences shape people's long-term experience of illness and disability. Van Der Kolk draws on years of working with victims of abuse and trauma to demonstrate how experiences are written in the body as well as the mind. it is not an easy read but it brings hope for healing through explorations of how this understanding informs therapy.


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