Monday, 21 November 2016

TLC BOOK TOUR Review: Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

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Forever Painless: End Chronic Pain and Reclaim Your Life in 30 Minutes a Day
by Miranda Esmonde-White

Genre: Non Fiction
Publisher: Harper Wave (15, November 2016)
Source: Publisher/TLC Book Tours
Pages: 320

Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. Twenty percent of American adults accept back spasms, throbbing joints, arthritis aches, and other physical pain as an inevitable consequence of aging, illness, or injury. But the human body is not meant to endure chronic pain. Miranda Esmonde-White has spent decades helping professional athletes, ballet dancers, and Olympians overcome potentially career-ending injuries and guiding MS patients and cancer survivors toward pain-free mobility. Now, in Forever Painless, she shows everyone how to heal their aching bodies and live pain free.
The root of nearly all pain is movement—or lack thereof. We need to move our bodies to refresh, nourish, and revitalize our cells. Without physical activity, our cells become stagnant and decay, accelerating the aging process and causing pain. People who suffer chronic pain often become sedentary, afraid that movement and activity will make things worse, when just the opposite is true: movement is essential to healing. In Forever Painless, Miranda provides detailed instructions for gentle exercise designed to ease discomfort in the feet and ankles, knees, hips, back, and neck—allowing anyone to live happier, healthier, and pain-free no matter their age.
My Thoughts:
In my 20's my exercise regime would consist of an hour aerobics class (usually high impact-this was the 80's !), followed by 30 minutes weights then a final 30 minutes swimming...five times a week!

I kept this going for 13 years but I always felt something wasn't quite right, but couldn't put my finger on it...I felt tired most of the time, always has a cold and felt pain in my back. Eventually I was diagnosed with systemic lupus. During my first pregnancy everything fell apart I could no longer exercise due to severe exhaustion, sickness and pain.  Ever since It's been a constant battle to lose weight as I'd alternate between, strenuous spinning sessions that would inevitably lead to inflammation of the joints causing excruciating pain, and regular rest periods to recover. I'd then start the cycle all over again.

In part one of Forever Painless, Esmonde-White explains in an informative and most interesting way, the mechanics of chronic pain and although what she says is pretty much common sense, some of us still need to be reminded of what we should or shouldn't be doing in order to help ourselves overcome the pain, frustration and many other symptoms that accompany being in constant pain.

In part two of the book exercise programs are covered in separate chapters as follows:
The Basic Warm-up
The Foot and Ankle Workout
The Knee Workout
The Hip Workout
The Back Workout
The Upper Back and Shoulder Workout
The Connective Tissue Workout
The Immune System Workout
The Arthritis Workout
The Stress Workout

As a sufferer of an autoimmune disease I found the Immune System and Arthritis workouts of particular interest and felt confident in performing the exercises recommended. There is to be a video to compliment the book at a future date.  (See link for details.

Forever Painless is in my honest opinion an invaluable resource for sufferers of persistent pain like me, and anyone going through the ageing then, everyone is going to find this book helpful at some time or other to maybe become pain-free again.

What I personally took from the book is that I am no longer able, nor should I expect my body to perform in the same way it used to. I will leave behind the punishing exercise regimes of my youth as causing more pain from soreness, and inflammation irritating the arthritis is detrimental to my health and wellbeing.

I will still do 'spinning' but at a much gentler pace and continue with the exercises Edmond-White has given me in this book.

A 'self help' book I would have no hesitation to recommend for customers to read.

Disclaimer: I am extremely grateful to have been given an opportunity to receive an advanced digital copy of Forever Painless to review as part of the TLC Book Tours.

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

HF Virtual Book Tours (October/November 2016): The Popish Midwife by Annelisa Christensen

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The Popish Midwife, Elizabeth Cellier
by Annelisa Christensen

Publisher: The Conrad Press (July 14, 2016)
Source: Author/HF Virtual Book Tours (digital)
Genre: Historical Fiction

In seventeenth-century London, thirteen years after the plague and twelve years after the Great Fire, the restoration of King Charles II has dulled the memory of Cromwell’s puritan rule, yet fear and suspicion are rife. Religious turmoil is rarely far from tipping the scales into hysteria.
Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and outspoken midwife, regularly visits Newgate Prison to distribute alms to victims of religious persecution. There she falls in with the charming Captain Willoughby, a debtor, whom she enlists to gather information about crimes against prisoners, so she might involve herself in petitioning the king in their name.
‘Tis a plot, Madam, of the direst sort.’ With these whispered words Willoughby draws Elizabeth unwittingly into the infamous Popish Plot and soon not even the fearful warnings of her husband, Pierre, can loosen her bond with it.
This is the incredible true story of one woman ahead of her time and her fight against prejudice and injustice.

My Thoughts:
We first encounter Elizabeth as she takes over from, who can only be described as a butcher midwife attending to an unfortunate woman in labour.  This startling scene is a shocking and horrifying lead into the brutal, frightening times of 17th Century England.  Being a midwife wasn't the respectable vocation it is today. The only qualification required was to have been present at other births, and then, not all midwives had the best interests of their charges at heart.  They often had poor regard for hygiene standards and were more intent on receiving payment for their services in order to purchase their next drink. A trusted experienced midwife could make a decent living from midwifery with the written, or 'word of mouth', testimonials from women who had been birthed by them. These midwives would be given access to places many other women would not, as with Elizabeth Cellier and her prison visits to give alms to the suffering, or gain entrance to gentle women's residences to assist in their birthing hours.  All midwives were however, open to abuse from misogynistic men, and to accusations of being whores and witches.

Elizabeth Cellier is a woman with an unwavering confidence and belief in herself to do what she believes is right and will defend those who have been unjustly accused. She is also a midwife, a Catholic, and married to a Frenchman, all of which mark her out as a target for ill wishers seeking potential benefit from her downfall in such superstitious, and political conspiratorial, religious times of upheaval. Highly intelligent and articulate, after witnessing a prejudiced courtroom hearing, she uses the experience of the proceedings to her advantage when she is herself charged with treason.

Told in first person narrative with authentic dialogue, Christensen has written a fascinating, brutally honest, above all entertaining debut novel.  With characters so vividly drawn, and scenes rich in atmospheric historical detail, I could almost imagine being there smelling the fear, and decaying bodies of the poor sufferers, I wanted so much to reach out to the unfortunates from within Elizabeth's imagined body.  Christensen came upon the 'real life' Elizabeth Cellier’s story by accident when she won some pages recording Elizabeth's trial in an auction. She felt that her story should be told and 'The Popish Midwife' is her story, and one which I highly recommend.  She is currently working on an historical novel about Marie Desormeaux, another 17th Century midwife, who murdered her husband, cut him up and distributed the body parts around London.  Definitely looking forward to another entertaining and gruesome, oh and educational tale from this author.

Disclaimer: I am extremely grateful to have been given an opportunity to receive an advanced digital copy of 'The Popish Midwife' by the author to review as part of HF Virtual Book Tours.

About the Author:
03_Annelisa Christensen
Annelisa Christensen was born in Sussex, took a psychology degree at the University of Stirling in Scotland, then returned to the south to partner in a fashion design company with her childhood friend, Julia. They had fun selling to shops and in street markets all over London, but dissolved the business when children came along, both believing in putting their families first. Delighted to be offered the job of laboratory technician in the local secondary school, in which she had herself been Head Girl twenty years earlier, Annelisa simultaneously wrote a magical realism series (as yet unpublished). She wrote The Popish Midwife after falling in love with Elizabeth Cellier in some 300-year-old loose pages of a trial she bought on the internet. The more she discovered about Elizabeth Cellier, the more Annelisa wanted to share this amazing woman’s story. The Popish Midwife is the result of years of research and writing.

For more information, please visit Annelisa Christensen's website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for her Newsletter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, October 19
Spotlight at The Book Connection
Spotlight at Blogarama

Friday, October 22

Monday, October 24

Tuesday, October 25
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Friday, October 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, October 27
Guest Post at Books, Dreams, Life

Friday, October 28
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 1
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 2
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, November 4
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Monday, November 7

Wednesday, November 9
Interview at The Book Connection
Guest Post and Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, November 11