Total Recovery Offers a Game-Changing Look at the Way We View and Treat Chronic Pain and Depression | Arts & Culture
Where do you go when you’ve been suffering from inexplicable pain, have seen countless specialists, undergone every test imaginable, and still have no answers? Dr. Gary Kaplan, founder & director of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, VA, offers answers to these questions, along with fascinating new insights into the field of chronic pain and depression treatment in his book, Total Recovery: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain & Depression (Rodale, May 2014).
About 100 million Americans live with some form of chronic pain and this is more than the combined number of people living with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Furthermore, the majority of individuals who suffer from chronic pain also suffer from depression, while the majority of people who suffer from depression also suffer from chronic pain. In Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan reveals his single-point-of-origin theory - that seemingly unrelated symptoms of chronic pain and depression actually have a single, neurological basis - neuroinflammation. Dr. Kaplan draws on dramatic patient stories and cutting-edge research to reveal that physical pain and emotional pain are manifestations of the same inflammation, brought on by tiny microglial cells found in the brain and spinal cord.
“Every injury, infection, toxin, trauma, and emotional blow generates the same reaction from the microglia: inflammation. If the microglia react too often, they become hyper-reactive, which leads to chronic pain,” Dr. Kaplan explains. “Each chronic pain sufferer has a history and a story with clues that can lead to treatment of the underlying problem to bring relief, rather than continually chasing the symptoms, leaving the cause unresolved and the patient in distress.”
In this groundbreaking new book, Dr. Kaplan argues that by shutting down inflammation at its source – inside the brain – we can FINALLY have success in treating diverse and chronic conditions including fibromyalgia, migraine, osteoarthritis, back pain, neuropathy, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, and IBS. He believes that, by understanding the physiology of microglia, we can gain new insights and a unified theory about how people get sick, why they stay sick, and how they can recover.
About Gary Kaplan, DO: A pioneer of integrative medicine, Dr. Kaplan is one of just 19 physicians board-certified in both family medicine and pain medicine and practices in McLean, VA. A clinical associate professor at Georgetown University and director of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine, he also has served as a consultant to the NIH, and in October 2013 was appointed to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee at Health and Human Services. He has discussed his work on Good Morning America, NPR, NBC News, as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Falls Church, VA.
TOTAL RECOVERY: Solving the Mystery of Chronic Pain and Depression - How We Get Sick, Why We Stay Sick, and How we Can Recover (May 2014; Hardcover; 272 pages)