Why does scratching an itch feel so good? Why is pain from a mosquito bite preferable to the same pain from an unidentified source? Douglas Nelson provides the reader with a comprehensive, practical and highly accessible guide to the scientific understanding of pain. The book explores the different types of pain, providing clear explanations of the processes involved within the body. It examines key issues such as diagnosis and measurement of pain, the placebo effect and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and takes an in depth look at causes and treatment for chronic pain. The book is full of practical advice and small changes one can make to improve the effectiveness of pain treatment. Presented as a personal tutorial for understanding the psychology of pain, this book will be useful for practitioners, patients, and the general reader alike. It will be of particular interest to psychologists, alternative medicine practitioners, massage therapists and psychotherapists.