Naturally Pain Free [Book Review]

Naturally Pain FreeThe book Naturally Pain Free: Prevent and Treat Chronic and Acute Pains-Naturally by Letha Hadady covers a large range of ailments and how they can be treated using herbs or foods. I was immediately drawn to the idea of fixing a variety of ailments without needing to ingest pills, especially since some of these pills can actually work adversely against the body when it comes to athletics.

There are chapters on headaches, backaches, sciatica, arthritis, skin issues, etc. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn’t a chapter on respiratory issues, since that’s been plaguing me a lot right now. But there was a chapter on digestion as well as one on female issues, so those are more things that have been bothering me lately! (Okay, the female issues chapter doesn’t have fixes for pregnancy… but it does have some info on avoiding postpartum depression.) The book even covers nerves and emotional issues.

Chapters on “Home and Field Injuries” and “Sports Injuries” contain useful information for athletes. Tips on ways to reduce inflammation from training to issues one might encounter from spending a lot of time on the trails in nature, there was a lot to cover. One thing that jumped out at me in particular was the discussion of heat vs. cold for injuries. I’ve always advocated “ice, ice, ice, ice!” for myself and for the runners I coach. And ice seems to work for me… except when heat is better. Heat seems to have more of an effect on upper back troubles for me, this is something I’ve figured out through my own trial-and-error. The book mentions specifically that heat or cold can both work, it depends on the person. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that, but it does go along with everything I preach about every person being different and we’re all an experiment of one. Plus it goes along with principles in ayurveda and the different doshas. I have only done a little bit of studying on ayurveda and would love a more thorough understanding… but the basic gist is that different people are affected by things differently based on physical characteristics that dictate how their body works.

Toward the end of the book there is talk about future techniques of pain management and controversial techniques. One of the controversial treatments mentioned was marijuana. The text admits that marijuana can have benefits for things, but the way it fries someone’s brain isn’t quite worth the risk but the author is optimistic that there will be a safer way to use it in the future. (My biggest issue with medical marijuana – aside from the brain cell destruction – is that people smoke it. I feel that anything that is smoked should not be legal, simply because I do not like being around smoke. Second-hand and third-hand smoke are destructive, nobody should have to be subjected to that.)

One of the things that concerns me about the book is that there are so many herbal remedies and it seems like it would be easy for someone to get a little overly ambitious and try too many things at once. What if there was some kind of  reaction from intermingling of herbs?

I would also like to have seen more cures in the form of regular everyday foods. There are some mentions of these, but I feel it is heavier toward herbs and many of these are strange herbs that you have to order from uncommon sources. The author does recommend a few brands that are trustworthy, but it would probably be pretty easy to get swayed by cheaper options online that may not be trustworthy.

Legalese: This book was provided to me for free for the purpose of review. Opinions here are my own.


  1. Hi Jill

    I am glad you read my book and found some useful treatments for chronic pain and injuries. All the herbs I mentioned are available in health food stores and online. In the first couple of chapters I describe ground rules for using herbs such as taking digestive herbs at mealtimes and herbs for other issues such as injury between meals because they are not digestive. I also enjoyed sharing my modified acupuncture approach in the book offering treatments for knees, hips, sciatica with a cold laser. Every athlete should know about Yunnan Paiyao for injury and there are lots of good martial arts ointments in the book.

    If you are interested in a dietary approach to wellness I recommend Feed Your Tiger. In that book I describe the energy of foods and offer recipes. The background of Feed Your Tiger is traditional chinese medicine and martial arts in which 4 body types are described along with their most efficient diet to avoid illness and aging. The types are Dragons, Bears, Tigers, and Cranes.
    *Dragons (global overweight and water retention, low energy)
    *Bears (sweet tooth and blood sugar issues)
    *Tigers (people with joint and muscle issues, allergies)
    *Cranes (tall, thin people who may have complexion issues, poor absorption or smoking/drug addictions)

    Happy 4th of July, Letha Hadady D.Ac.

    • Thanks for the “Feed Your Tiger” recommendation, I’ll have to look into that.

      I know you mentioned some ground rules, but I just felt like there should be something more BOLD telling people to be cautious. Especially for runners… we tend to be a very gung-ho group, hear about a fix so ALL methods must be even better! I know this from my personal experience as well as runners I have coached! 🙂

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