Book Review: Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

Posted November 15, 2016 by meezcarrie in Miranda Esmonde-White, nonfiction / 23 Comments

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about the book

End chronic pain—for good—with this practical guide from the PBS personality behind Classical Stretch and author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards.

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.

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GENRE: Nonfiction
PUBLISHER: Harper Wave
RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016
PAGES: 320

“Often, chronic pain is the fire alarm that won’t shut off.”

I’ve shared this a few times here on the blog, but I have some autoimmune conditions that have kept me in a state of constant and all-over pain for the past three years. Things that I used to take for granted – taking a shower, getting dressed, even just laying in one position in bed for any length of time – are now extremely difficult and painful for me. Needless to say, the thought of exercise makes me want to hide. And yet, thanks to the meds I take to “manage” my autoimmune conditions, I really NEED to be exercising as a way to offset the weight gain they cause as well as prevent bone and muscle deterioration.

That was all probably TMI for the majority of you. Oh well. lol. I said alllllllllll of that to say this: Forever Painless may in fact be the resource I’ve been looking for.

In the introduction (yes I read those), Esmonde-White explains the purpose of Forever Painless.

This book will help you understand what might be causing your pain so that you can begin to cure it. It will also teach you how your cells, connective tissue, blood, muscles, and joints react when you do the right exercise, the wrong exercise or – the worst – no exercise.

Umm… yes… well… I fall into that “worst” category of no exercise because up until this point I haven’t been able to find anything that my body could tolerate consistently. In Part One, Esmonde-White explains the ins and outs of chronic pain and why her approach makes sense. Though she is clearly very knowledgeable on this subject, her writing style makes the information accessible – and really interesting – even for the most medically novice.

The second part of the book is divided into exercises, including a basic warm-up and workouts that target certain areas or causes of pain. The exercises are described with easy-to-follow instructions as well as pictures for those of us that need both in order to figure out what the heck we’re supposed to be doing. (Coordinated I am not)  I zeroed in on the Connective Tissue workout and the Immune System workout… but what really impacted me was the question she asks and answers – How can I stretch while I’m in pain? This is something I have asked more than one of my doctors, including my rheumatologist and my neurologist, without getting any helpful answers. I practically have that little section of the book memorized now 😀

Bottom Line: There are many great things about Forever Painless, especially for those of us who have been seeking a resource like this for a while. The information is engaging and easy to understand, and the exercises are doable and well-described. Perhaps the best thing about Forever Painless though is that Miranda Esmonde-White leaves the reader – the person who is weary of pain – with the hope that there IS hope. That we don’t have to simply “manage” our pain, but that complete relief is entirely possible. (At the same time, she is also realistic with some conditions for which a cure from pain may not be achieved.) I am looking forward to incorporating her workouts into my daily routine and becoming less sedentary.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from HarperCollins Publishers via TLC Book Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / What I’ve been looking for!

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about the author


Miranda Esmonde-White is one of America’s greatest advocates and educators on healthy aging. She is best known for her PBS fitness show Classical Stretch, which has been on the air since 1999. A former ballerina, she designed the Essentrics technique, which uses low-intensity strength and stretch exercises to relieve pain, prevent injury, and slenderize the body. Esmonde-White works with professional and Olympic athletes and celebrities, and teaches classes to thousands of students worldwide each year.

Follow Esmonde-White on Facebook.

What about you? What’s your favorite form of exercise?

Follow along with the TLC Book Tour by clicking on the button below!

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23 responses to “Book Review: Forever Painless by Miranda Esmonde-White

    • Carrie

      i am looking forward to your review! i smiled when I saw we were schedule-neighbors 🙂 You are in my prayers too <3

  1. Thank you for another great review, Carrie. I have been dealing with some chronic low back pain for several months now. I’ll definitely check this one out. Exercise is one of those two sided coins. It takes energy and sometimes pain, yet it offers increased energy and reduction of pain. Praying for you and all your health concerns.

    • Carrie

      one of the workouts is for back pain, so this might really be helpful for you! And yes, definitely a two sided coin. Thanks, Gabe! Praying for your back pain too – being in constant pain is just weary-ing, isn’t it?

  2. Andrea Stephens

    Thanks for the review Carrie. I always wonder about these books. I don’t know too many people that have read them. I’m not joking when I ask you this so, does it have a chapter for basic beginning movement? I dislocated a rib last night simply by reaching down to the floor (while sitting in my chair) to pick up something I dropped.
    I’m praying for you my friend.

  3. Winnie Thomas

    I do not understand this word “exercise.” Is it a form of torture? Actually, I do find I feel better the next day when I exercise. It gives me more energy. Unfortunately, it’s not so fun when I’m doing it. Let me know if you find this book helps you, Carrie.

  4. Ellen O

    Earlier this morning I was introduced, through PBS, to Miranda Esmonde- White. I was spellbound with her thinking, especially as it related to auto immune disorders and chronic pain. Immediately, I scoured the internet searching for opinions of her theories, her gentle exercise program, etc.

    I was so heartened to come across your book review. Thank you for it and I am now awaiting the audio copy of Miranda’s book “Forever Painless”.

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