I am just so excited to work on the new "unpacked" version of the Mastering Pain 101 class. Each night as I research the latest science of the topic I am re-energized. This is such an exciting time and I cannot wait to share the information. This new class is 9 hours instead of the original 3 hours. We found the original version just too overwhelming. The new version gives us time to present the information in more detail, diving into the science and detailed rationales, while trying out each skill, and providing the support to one another while we work to master the torture of the chronic pain experience.  

Ted Talk from 2011 on Chronic Pain

Love when someone points out a resource that does a beautiful job of demonstrating a core concept in chronic pain. This Ted Talk does just that in the demo of allodynia! While I'd love to have heard him acknowledge that pain psychology also addresses the physiology of pain directly, he does a brilliant job of acknowleding that the psychological effects of pain are extremely common.   


Laughter activates endogenous opioids

While this isn't the first time laughter has been linked to the endogenous opioid system, repetition is key both for science and public awareness! We've certainly been providing the psychoed and encouraging online searches for humorous blogs, youtube videos, and other sources of comedy. I wonder how other's work this into their care with people with pain.




How Doctors Respond to Chronic Pain

A Fantastic Blog post summarizing attitudes and calling attention to the shame and stigma perpetuated in cultural attitudes towards people with pain.  


"Bearing witness is different from witnessing alone. Any doctor who has felt tired or forlorn after spending time with a patient in chronic pain, understands the burden that we feel when our patients share their suffering. We know that this is hard work, indeed, compassion means ‘to suffer together with’. "



Gaslighting Individuals With Pain

I had not applied the concept of gaslighting to pain before. After reading this article I can see how well the term speaks to the natural ramped up reactions that are felt following invalidation of a medical concern. Often individuals are referred to me with terms such as "neurotic or personality disordered." While these terms certainly can describe an individual's behavioral patterns, I have found that these problems also can appear to magically go away with genuine validation, real explanations, and relief from intense pain. It is time we truly treat individuals as experts of their own experience and stop patronizing, invalidating, and traumatizing the person with pain.