Clients have been coming to me for over 15 years for help with their pain. My approach usually involved putting together a personal program for them using yoga poses, breath, and meditation to address their specific issue. This was very effective and I was often able to integrate them into my yoga therapy classes after awhile.
A few years ago I accidentally discovered another way yoga could help with pain. I was working as an occupational therapist on a skilled nursing unit of a hospital. My boss asked me to lead a weekly chair yoga class for the patients as an activity. In one of the sessions a gentleman was wheeled in who had undergone a total hip replacement. He was complaining of 9/10 pain and admitted he really didn’t want to be there. Nonetheless he decided to stick it out. I led the group in simple joint movements paired with breath followed by a deep guided meditation call yoga nidra. Everyone was deeply relaxed by the end of the session. The gentleman with surgery pain exclaimed, “I can’t believe it. I hardly have any pain at all now.”
I was so thrilled with this outcome that I wrote an article about it for the hospital newsletter. My boss was equally thrilled and asked me to use these methods on a more widespread basis to help patients with pain. I began to use yoga and meditation with patients on the skilled nursing units with post-surgical as well as chronic pain. The result was significant improvements in patient pain scores, patient satisfaction scores, and patients’ perceptions that the hospital cared about their pain.
During this time, I discovered a physical therapist and yoga therapist in Canada, Neil Pearson, who was providing pain education and resources to health care providers and people in pain through his company Life is Now Pain Care. I kept waiting for him to bring his trainings to the United States so that I could learn from the best. This finally happened. I have completed two weekend courses with Neil so far and intend to complete my certification in Pain Care Yoga.
The most important thing for those in chronic pain to know is that YOUR PAIN CAN CHANGE and you can learn to move again with more ease. The Yoga for Pain Care class on Wednesday at 6:30 pm incorporates the latest in pain science, my experience working with people with pain, and Neil’s vast wisdom imparted to me in my recent training. Keep in mind that it may be necessary for you to meet with me privately first so that I can direct you more effectively in class and so that you can feel as safe as possible You can schedule your appointment or your spot in class here.
I look forward to creating space for you to learn to manage your pain and to live more fully and joyfully. Please call or text 727-826-4754 for any guidance or questions.
Stacy Renz, OTR/L, C-IAYT, E-RYT500