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Pain is Really Strange

Pain is Really Strange

Steve Haines. Art by Sophie Standing.

Quick Overview

Understanding pain is a very good way of relieving it. This engaging, funny, and highly original research-based graphic book explains the nature of pain and how you can effectively relieve pain by changing your mind's habits.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2015, 8.90in x 6.30in / 226mm x 160mm, 32pp
ISBN: 978-1-84819-264-5
2015, PDF, 32pp
ISBN: 978-0-85701-212-8
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Answering questions such as 'how can I change my pain experience?', 'what is pain?', and 'how do nerves work?', this short research-based graphic book reveals just how strange pain is and explains how understanding it is often the key to relieving its effects.

Studies show that understanding how pain is created and maintained by the nervous system can significantly lessen the pain you experience. The narrator in this original, gently humorous book explains pain in an easy-to-understand, engaging graphic format and reveals how to change the mind's habits to transform pain.


'This seemingly innocuous picture book on pain is so much more. Steve Haines has compiled a brilliant little volume of insights. Its colorful images invoke a playful approach to unlearning old patterns. Its rich scientific information helps disassemble, piece by piece, the way we've come to think about pain as a culture. Haines takes the next step, too; he doesn't leave us wondering what to do next, but offers practical tools we can use to rewire our mind-body response to pain. This tiny book packs a powerful punch!'
- Bo Forbes, Psy.D., psychologist, yoga teacher, and author of 'Yoga for Emotional Balance'

'With this straightforward, smart, and visually rich book, Steve Haines has done a huge service to people by helping them to better map their bodies, resolve fear of movement, and to find their way out of pain. This book is incredibly easy to follow, but doesn't dumb down pain science in the least. Understanding what pain is is a crucial part of healing, and this succinct and wonderfully illustrated book is the perfect resource for educating people about why they experience pain, and how they can "unlearn" it. I can't wait to give this book to all of my clients and to recommend it to all of my listeners. Whether you are a person suffering with chronic pain, or a teacher or practitioner who wants to better understand pain in the context of your work, read this book. It is a tremendous resource.'
- Brooke Thomas, Certified Rolfer, movement educator, and creator of the Liberated Body Podcast

'Steve and Sophie have done an extraordinary thing: they have managed to make pain beautiful and interesting. If you want to really understand your relationship with pain and be thoroughly entertained at the same time then this is the book for you.'
- Fred Deakin, Professor of Interactive Digital Arts at University of the Arts London, half of the band Lemon Jelly, and founder and director of Airside design agency

'The wisdom and knowledge in this seemingly simple book sneaks up on the reader. Initially one would not think that such a depth of insight could be infused in a picture book. However, it can be likened to a printed version of a TED Talk. It engages the reader more and more with each page until in the end the reader realizes they want to read it again because it contains so much useful information in such an easily accessible manner.'
- David Berceli, Ph.D., Creator of Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

'Pain Is Really Strange is a revelation. I have been actively managing multiple health conditions for over 20 years. In his book, Steve unpacks information about our brains, nerves, and body memories, sketching out a framework, which has presented me with a new, insightful perspective on my pain/health/medical issues. He differentiates different types of pain and eloquently articulates bits of information I have encountered over the years but have not been able to join up. I shall re-read it often as a touchstone. Brilliant!'
- Craig Givens, someone who manages more pain that he would like


Explaining your chronic pain to your friends, family or boss can be difficult. But what if there were a tool, which could not only help your support network better understand your suffering, it could also help relieve your pain? The research-based graphic novel Pain is Really Strange by body worker Steve Haines and illustrator Sophie Standing might be able to accomplish both.

...So take 30 minutes and read this book - not only will it give you an informative, entertaining method of translating pain to your support network, research shows that it could also relieve your pain.

- Pain Pathways Magazine

'A beautifully illustrated book that provides a fun yet informative narration of the science of pain.'
- Kay Mitchell, MFHT

'...Sophie Standing's artwork is instrumental to the success of this volume. She has a distinctive and engaging style that brings to life text that could be dull or overly technical without this visual element. This is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in biology or medicine and it works extremely well in the graphic novel format.'
- The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Collections YALSA

'This book is not for all people with chronic pain - but I would highly recommend it for people living with pain who have the emotional intelligence to look within and for whom visualisation, meditation and self-awareness might provide 'creative responses'. It is a great buy for the right person.'
- Felicia Cox


By (author): Steve Haines
Illustrated by: Sophie Standing