Information For Patients

What is the Mindbody Pain Management Program?

Thank you for visiting. Our OHIP funded program consists of 2 hour group sessions that include discussion of pain related issues and training in meditation and relaxed movement. Our methods incorporate traditional Eastern practices such as qigong but are grounded in modern medicine and psychology.

Chronic pain involves the whole person – not just the mind or just the body. If you have chronic pain, you already know this.  It turns out that this point of view is strongly supported by current medical research showing that environmental, physical, emotional and cognitive factors can all play a role in causing pain. They can all play a role in reducing it too.

We chose our methods because of research based support for the idea that treating all the different factors involved in pain gives the best results. We use traditional Asian exercises because they are at heart,  mind-body exercises in the same way that Yoga and Tai Chi are. Many of the methods are adapted from a special internal art called Bagua (ba-gwa) which specializes in fluid relaxed movement. Click here for more information on this unique system.

That is why we like to call what we offer mindbody training.

Who can attend?

We believe it is suitable for almost anyone with any kind of chronic pain regardless of cause. Our participants have included those with headaches, osteoarthritis, immune arthropathies, post surgical/traumatic pain, whiplash injuries, mechanical neck/back pain, complex regional pain and fibromyalgia. If you can sit, stand (with or without a walker, cane or crutches) and move your body a little, then you can participate. You will always be encouraged to go at your own pace.

Why the focus on relaxation?

Pain leads to physical tension and apprehension. Doing an activity that causes or aggravates pain weakens the motivation to keep exercising. Tension and apprehension may make an exercise even more difficult or painful the next time it is tried. We think a different approach to managing chronic pain is needed, one that emphasizes relaxation and comfort over performance. Being relaxed makes moving easier and moving more easily reduces apprehension.

Do I have to reveal personal information in the group?

Sessions usually begin with an informal discussion and or questions related to pain. During these you are not required to introduce yourself or reveal any personal information to anyone. You do not have to say anything if you don’t feel like it. This is not a traditional group psychotherapy program in which you discuss the nature of your pain and its consequences. Of course, if you wish to chat with a fellow participant or ask questions, you are welcome to do so. We’re sociable but respect your privacy.

Are participants pressured to achieve results?

Please understand that no requirements are made of you to participate in any of the activities when you attend a session. In fact, we realize that chronic pain can limit all activities including simply paying attention. Because of this it is your choice to sit, stand or even lie down if necessary at any time during a session. You will be encouraged to rest if you become tired and we advise stopping an exercise if it starts to hurt. Much of the instruction provided can be practiced while sitting.

We believe that by showing you how to relax instead of trying harder during an activity you will have less pain. If you have less pain you will be able to do more.

If you have questions or feedback for us please contact us here.