The How of Ow: Everyday Self-Care and the Art of Pain Relief

The How of Ow: Everyday Self-Care and the Art of Pain Relief

by Wanda Jean Swenson
The How of Ow: Everyday Self-Care and the Art of Pain Relief

The How of Ow: Everyday Self-Care and the Art of Pain Relief

by Wanda Jean Swenson


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The “How of Ow” is a self-care guide for aches and pains—both acute and chronic— based on mindful-body awareness. It provides simple exercises that can be done during work or play, while sitting or driving, in bed before sleep, and after waking. The “art” of pain relief is the practice of creatively applying these skills as needed from moment to moment.Using personal and professional narratives it gives the reader a better understanding of: •The nature of pain. •The timeline of healing. •Why pain medication is ineffective for the treatment of chronic pain. •What to do for effective early self-care of neuro-orthopedic aches and pains from head to toes (including body mechanics, tips on walking, and help with balance). •Basic anatomy. Wanda Jean Swenson is a PT with over 30 years of clinical experience and a lifetime of recovering from her own injuries, who has seen the dramatically different outcomes from early versus delayed self-care. Preventative care, early self-care, and education are seen as key to improving health care outcomes. Many people are without access to health care and even those with health insurance often have coverage that doesn’t include physical therapy or are delayed in getting to physical therapy. Written for the layperson and the health professional, the book has clear illustrations and is full of information. With its humorous and compassionate style, it’s a reference book, but also a good read. Visit the website:

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780960069125
Publisher: Wanda Swenson
Publication date: 12/16/2019
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Wanda Swenson has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. She received her education at San Francisco State University and received her Physical Therapy degree from the University of California at San Francisco in 1986. She began working at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, CA outpatient department in 1988. After moving to Sonoma County in 1993, she worked at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa, CA, becoming a clinical instructor in addition to treating patients individually and teaching classes. She is a member of the APTA. Retiring from Kaiser Permanente in 2013, she continues to practice physical therapy in her rural community in the coastal hills of Sonoma County, where she and her wife Gayle live and tend an olive grove to produce olive oil. Writing her first book, she brings together her life long interest in eastern philosophies and mind body awareness, with her dedication to physical therapy in her "How Of Ow" approach to self-care.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 • Now This Won’t Hurt a Bit Misconceptions About Pain9

Chapter 2 • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pain but Were Afraid to AskPain Science17

Chapter 3 • The Burned Foot StoryExperience Is the Greatest Teacher of All 25


Chapter 4 • Gravity: Friend or Foe Introduction to Postural Isometric Lengthening (PIL) 33

Chapter 5 • A PIL That Does Make You Taller The Yoga of Life 41

Chapter 6 • Rockin’ and Rollin’ PIL and Spinal Exercises to Do in Bed 55


Chapter 7 • Might Need a Tune UpBody Mechanics 63

Chapter 8 • Take It In StrideBalance and Walking 83

Chapter 9 • Too Soft, Too Hard, Just RightChairs and Beds 93


Chapter 10 • The Nuts and Bolts of MovementAnatomy and Exercise Basics 111

Chapter 11 • All for One and One for AllThe Spine: Neck, Mid Back, and Low Back Problems 117

Chapter 12 • Open Wide and Take a BiteTMJ (Jaw) Problems 141

Chapter 13 • Reaching for the StarsShoulder, Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Problems 149

Chapter 14 • From the Ground UpHip, Knee, Ankle, and Foot Problems 173

Chapter 15 • The Body ElectricNerve Problems 215


What, No Magical Fix?You Have More Power Than You Know 233

Acknowledgements 239

References 241

About the Author 243

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