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Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Can We Do Better for Those in Pain?

Introduction

Ever read a book so interesting that you just wanted to pick the author's brain and ask them all your burning questions? Our new, first-ever 15-part Book Club Webinar Series is your opportunity to do exactly that!

And although as far as I know, we here at Embodia are not practitioners of the dark arts and therefore will not be resurrecting Tolstoy, Hemingway, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez; we will instead offer you the next best (and possibly more relevant) thing: A 15-week webinar series with the 3 editors and all 8 co-authors of the recently published, and much-needed book about the integration of pain, yoga and science, Yoga and Science in Pain Care.

Why Was This Book Written?

Watch the following short video to learn more about why Shelly Prosko, Neil Pearson, and Marlysa Sullivan took upon themselves the complex and important task of weaving together this essential resource.

Join this Book Webinar Series

In The Full Webinar Series You Will Gain:

  1. A more thorough understanding surrounding the complexities of pain and science in pain care and pain management. 
  2. Learn how yoga philosophy and practices can be used as an effective and evidence-informed intervention and provide a biopsychosocial-spiritual framework in pain care.
  3. Practice, experience, and examine the application of yoga principles and practices in pain care.

How Does The Book Club Work?

  1. Get your hands on the book!
  2. Read one chapter (in order) each month.
  3. Join Shelly, Neil, Marlysa and their weekly co-author guest, every second Wednesday of each month, at 7 pm EST for the next 15 weeks!
  4. Party!!! If the world doesn't end in 2020, join all the contributors for a big celebration on December 8th, 2021!

What Will Each Webinar Consist Of?

Each webinar will be about 90 minutes long. The first thirty minutes will include the presentation or lecture component, followed by practical applications through case studies and guided practice, and wrapping up with live Q&A.

For your convenience, we have included the table of contents and corresponding author list below:

Table of Contents: Chapters and Contributing Authors:

Week/Chapter 1: The Lived Experience of Pain  Joletta Belton
Week/Chapter 2: Current Research in Yoga and Pain – Steffany Moonaz
Week/Chapter 3: Current State and Theory of Pain Management – Matthew J Taylor
Week/Chapter 4: Yoga and Yoga Therapies – Neil Pearson, Marlysa Sullivan, Shelly Prosko
Week/Chapter 5: Pain Biology and Sensitization – Neil Pearson
Week/Chapter 6: Polyvagal Theory and the Gunas: A Model for Autonomic Regulation in Pain – Marlysa Sullivan, Matt Erb
Week/Chapter 7: Integrating Pain Science Education, Movement and Yoga – Neil Pearson
Week/Chapter 8: Breathing and Pranayama and Pain Care – Shelly Prosko
Week/Chapter 9: Body Awareness, Bhavana and Pratyahara – Lori Rubenstein Fazzio
Week/Chapter 10: Ingredients for Pain Care: Nutrition and Yoga – Matt Erb
Week/Chapter 11: Transforming Psycho-emotional Pain – Michael Lee
Week/Chapter 12: Pain, Addiction and Yoga – Tracey Sondik
Week/Chapter 13: Pain, A Loss to be Grieved – Antonio Sausys
Week/Chapter 14: Compassion in Pain Care – Shelly Prosko
Week/Chapter 15: Connection, Meaningful Relationship and Purpose in Life: Social and Existential Concerns in Pain Care – Marlysa Sullivan

To help you decide if you would like to attend all the webinars (highly recommended), or select your favourite ones, we have included a weekly synopsis and brief corresponding author bio below. If you would like to check out their bios in slightly more detail you can do so here:

Week/Chapter 1: The Lived Experience of Pain

Joletta Belton, Advocate and person living in pain

The editors believe that grounding in the lived experience is truly important for pain management. The message of this chapter can be summed as "we as people in pain need to know that we are strong, adaptable, resilient and capable." Joletta writes wonderfully about the issues related to pain, what she has run into, and the solutions she suggests. 

Week/Chapter 2: Current Research in Yoga and Pain

Steffany Moonaz, Director of Clinical and Academic Research (Maryland University of Integrative Health)

Stephanie explains why the research is so important, however, she does not glorify research above the lived experience. She discussed the scientific method as yet another way to observe things, experiences and people, and that yoga, also provides us with another way to observe these things;  they both have worth and one is not more powerful than the other.

Week/Chapter 3: Current State and Theory of Pain Management

Matthew Taylor is on the Advisory Board of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, he is a physical therapist, and holds a Ph.D. with an emphasis on Individual and Organizational Transformational Learning and Change.

In this chapter, Matt goes through the pain theories embedded in each one of us. This chapter is essential as it will allow us to understand which theories we are basing our client plans on, it will then also help us evolve our own theories about pain.

Week/Chapter 4: Yoga and Yoga Therapy

Shelly Prosko, Marlysa Sullivan, Neil Pearson

Shelly Prosko is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator and pioneer of PhysioYoga with over 20 years of experience integrating yoga into rehabilitation with a focus on helping people suffering from chronic or persistent pain, pelvic health conditions and professional burnout.  

Marlysa Sullivan is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist with over 15 years of experience working with people suffering from chronic pain conditions. She is an Assistant Professor in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at the Maryland University of Integrative Health and holds an adjunct position at Emory University, where she teaches the integration of yoga and mindfulness into physical therapy practice in the DPT program. 

Neil Pearson is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. He is a founding chair of the Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division.

This webinar will provide a background in yoga and yoga therapy. The authors will talk about yoga therapy as an integrative practice, what yoga teaches about pain and suffering, and how the 8 limbs of yoga are related to pain care. They will also discuss how the Pancha Maya Kosha perspective provides further insight into assessment and treatment planning and pain care beyond just the typical biopsychosocial perspectives that we might be familiar with. 

Week/Chapter 5: Pain Biology and Sensitization

Neil Pearson

Here, Neil will summarize what we understand about the biology and physiology of pain including novel research in the field. 

Week/Chapter 6: Polyvagal Theory and the Gunas: A Model for Autonomic Regulation in Pain

Marlysa Sullivan and Matt Erb. Matt is a physical therapist with a focus on mind-body integrative care. He is a leader in translating the construct of integrative healthcare into rehabilitation, he's also faculty with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine and the founder of Embody Your Mind. Together, Marlysa and Matt wrote an article with Dr. Steven Porges on polyvagal theory and understanding the polyvagal theory and yoga. 

Understanding autonomic dysregulation and polyvagal theory, pain care, and yoga. 

Week/Chapter 7: Integrating Pain Science Education, Movement and Yoga

Neil Pearson

In this chapter, Neil brings together various topics to discuss the importance of pain science education in terms of an approach to giving people a new understanding of pain. He also integrates the idea that Jñāna yoga is another path with which we can learn new things about pain.

Week/Chapter 8: Breathing and Pranayama in Pain Care

Shelly Prosko

Shelly discusses the relationship between breathing and pain; how our breath can influence our pain, and how our pain can influence our breath. 

Many people in pain report that breathing practices are some of the most powerful aspects of their pain care. We'll learn how breathing strategies can be an effective and accessible strategy for pain care and can be used and implemented immediately in the clinic or in an online setting.

Week/Chapter 9: Body Awareness, Bhavana and Pratyahara

Lori Rubenstein Fazzio, clinical professor and clinical director of yoga therapy at Loyola Marymount University, where she designed and implemented the very first yoga therapy internship. Lori is also a physical therapist, yoga therapist, meditation teacher, and collaborates in yoga research.

In this webinar, we will learn about adaptive and maladaptive body awareness and how this relates to persistent or chronic pain. We now understand that disruptions of body awareness and body image appear to be a lot more common and impactful on pain care than we previously ever really considered, and yoga provides many practices that address body awareness. 

Week/Chapter 10: Ingredients for Pain Care: Nutrition and Yoga

Matt Erb

Matt will discuss evidence-informed concepts in nutrition as it relates to pain biology and how yoga offers a framework for exploring each person's unique history and relationship to food and nutrition. 

Week/Chapter 11: Transforming Psycho-emotional Pain 

Michael Lee, founder of Pheonix Rising Yoga Therapy, a leading yoga therapy program that focuses on the psycho-emotional aspect of well-being as well as transformation. 

Michael will discuss the distinctions between yoga therapy as symptom relief or management versus yoga therapy as a catalyst for transformation. He will discuss essential elements for transformational experiences, as well as elements of yoga philosophy, Buddhism and neuroscience. 

Week/Chapter 12: Pain, Addiction and Yoga

Tracey Sondik, a licensed clinical psychologist and yoga therapist. Tracy works with people with trauma, addiction, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a whole host of other issues and conditions. She is an assistant clinical professor at Yale University Department of Psychiatry and also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford in Psychology and the Maryland University of Integrative Health in the Masters of Science and Yoga Therapy Program. 

Tracy will explore the relationship between pain and addiction. We will learn how yoga provides an evidence-informed framework for understanding and addressing addiction, and will learn a new integrative model for addiction recovery that combines yoga principles and practices with modern-day psychological treatments.   

Week/Chapter 13: Pain, A Loss to be Grieved

Antonio Sausys, somatic psychologist and yoga therapist who specializes in grief counselling and therapy. He is the author of Yoga for Grief Relief.

Antonio will discuss grief, loss, and pain and their relationships with one another, and provide techniques to help balance emotional reactivity and to reframe the experience of pain. 

Week/Chapter 14: Compassion in Pain Care

Shelly Prosko 

Shelly will expand on some of the nuances of compassion and discuss how it can benefit both the therapist and the person in pain. She will then expand on some of the misconceptions surrounding this topic including compassion fatigue.

Week/Chapter 15: Connection, Meaningful Relationship and Purpose in Life: Social and Existential Concerns in Pain Care

Marlysa Sullivan

In this last chapter, Marlysa will discuss what being spiritual means and the literature. We will go over the components of spiritual well-being like meaning and purpose and a sense of connectedness, social connection, and alignment with our values. We will also discuss Aristotle's idea of Eudaimonia, which is like a secular spirituality. 

 

After so much growth and education, it seems only fitting that we enjoy ourselves! So on Dec 8th, 2021, we will try to have a big party with all the contributors, just a free celebration, so maybe put that into your calendar!

Our hope is that through this series you will gain a deeper understanding of pain, of people in pain, of yoga, and of course of the practices to help enhance pain care; we look forward to meeting you and chatting in one of our webinars!

Join this Book Webinar Series

 

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Blog writer, editor: Nataliya Zlotnikov 

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