What is Pain School?

          Pain School gives people in pain hope by providing tools and techniques that make chronic pain less mysterious. It also helps individuals gain more control over their lives.  Because persistent pain is such a complex mind-body experience, it is also why a healthy approach to treatment must include an exploration of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, movement patterns, social interactions and coping strategies.  Our Pain School program guides individuals towards improving their quality of life, reduce suffering and feeling more empowered in the face extremely difficult challenges.

The curriculum is built upon three foundational components:

  1. Pain Education

  2. Cognitive Behavioral & Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Techniques

  3. Movement Therapy

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Pain Education

Current research has shown that educational strategies utilizing easy to understand language help reduce pain, increase function and reduce fear that is often part of the pain experience.  Pain education also helps increase confidence in dealing with pain and diminishes the perspective that pain is a constant threat. This section of the program goes over what is currently considered to be the best evidence for the treatment of pain and why it is useful as part of a patient centered holistic approach.  We include the use of metaphors, images, examples and real world case studies explaining neuroscience to people in pain.

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CBT + Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), when combined with Mindfullness Based Stress Reduction, has been shown to be more effective than other approaches for treating complex chronic pain.  We introduce cognitive behavioral techniques and mindfullness practices in a safe and supportive environment to give people a chance to "try on" these approaches.  Many people in pain know that the mind and body are really one, and that it makes sense not to separate the two.  How you think, feel, act and bring meaning to the pain experience can either make matters worse or set you up for success.  We teach these concepts through activities that are enjoyable, easy to understand and help people learn new ways of living despite painful experiences.

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Movement Therapy and Skill Building

Decreased muscle strength, flexibility and endurance from not being able to get regular exercise or engage in movement throughout the day is a common problem for people in pain.  Learning how to move again can be downright scary and the last thing many who have suffered with pain for years want to do.  It is important to keep in mind that pain levels may not necessarily correlate with a persons ability to function.  Many people who graduate from our programs learn safe ways to increase their activity levels without increasing their pain.  They also learn that listening to messages sent by the body can help avoid problems and soothe painful experiences.  It is really about giving people more choices about how much movement they want to have in their lives.  You can choose to say "no," and it's ok to say "yes," that's enough for now.  Movement therapy gives people the skills they need to make the right choices for them and own those experiences.  Our teachers "meet you where you are" and truly care about your health.