I recently held a morning workshop on understanding and managing persistent pain, and am really pleased by the feedback from those who attended.
The 2.5 hour workshop was a mix of theory and practical stuff. I covered the biopsychosocial (BPS) model of pain science, and how this newer more holistic approach to understanding pain can be used to help self-managed recovery from persistent pain. I also briefly covered the science behind the stress response, and how this has a huge influence on the body’s sense of wellbeing (or otherwise) and the link to pain. I won’t go into the theory here as I’ve previously written a blog post on pain theory and one on stress.
I interspersed the theory with practical breathing, meditation and guided relaxation exercises, along with a couple of short yoga sessions. All the practical things were intended to be calming and relaxing, so that the body would feel less vulnerable, more at ease, and able to activate the relaxation response.
I backed up the learning with two handouts so that participants could re-read the theory, follow links to find out more, and have reminders of some of the practical things we did, with links to other free resources.
Self-management and self-care is central to improvement if you suffer from persistent pain, as once you realise you have the ability to influence how the brain interprets a situation and the degree of pain it decides on, you have the power to change your life!
I’m really chuffed that all the participants who completed the anonymous feedback form afterwards said that the workshop was useful to them, although some people wanted more yoga and meditation. I am considering making it 3 hours next time which would allow for more of the practical elements.
There were also some lovely overall comments:
- “I had wonderful time. Highly recommended the class.”
- “Enjoyed the link to recent research”
- “Really enjoyed the morning”
- “Thank you for a lovely workshop”
- “You are a very gentle and patient teacher with lots of knowledge.”
So, now that I’ve finished blushing, I’m going to get on with setting some dates for a repeat workshop in the autumn, with some tweaks. I am also going to deliver a similar workshop on stress, which will cover theory along with practical things you can do to help improve your wellbeing.