Why Patient Stories Matter at Professional Conferences

This has been a year of presenting or participating in meaningful ways in conferences, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities to share what it is like to live with pain, and to recover, out into the professional conference world. The most recent was the Reforming MSK Practice conference from Jack Chew and ReformPhysio, where I was a keynote speaker

Acceptance revisited ~ what has acceptance meant to me?

These days I’m feeling like I’m just a person, not a person with chronic pain, which is an interesting perch to view the past eight years from. I’m trying to piece together how I got here. Granted, I’ve been trying to do so for some time! But never from this vantage point. I recognize how much acceptance has been a part

Pain education – educating patients or making sense of pain together?

In my last post I shared some thoughts on pain education and the phrase ‘pain is an output of the brain‘. I compared pain as output to pain as a lived, conscious, complex experience that people feel. From my perspective, describing pain as an output robs the experience of pain’s harsh, all-encompassing, life-changing reality. We are not machines producing outputs.


Psychological: Let’s talk about the P in BioPsychoSocial

Psychological. What do you think when you see that term? Be honest with yourself, what’s going through your head right now? When you think about the word psychological or the phrase ‘psychological factors’, what comes to mind? I ask because I have seen misconceptions abound when it comes to the P word. Misconceptions about the term ‘psychological’ I have seen


Relax! Running, pain and my CFT experience

In the last week I’ve gone on 2 runs. This is a big deal for me! I love running. Running has been one of the things I’ve missed most these last 7 years. I’ve given it a go a few times, and was quite successful last summer (read about it here!), but I started experiencing new pain in my left hip

Cognitive Functional Therapy with Peter O’Sullivan

I recently attended the third annual San Diego Pain Summit (I’ve been to all three!) and was fortunate to be the patient demo for Peter O’Sullivan‘s Cognitive Functional Therapy workshop. (for a review of the whole workshop, check out Diane Jacob’s post.) Funny thing was, heading into it I thought I was going to be the wrong kind of patient

Trying to get better while having to prove we’re in pain

How do we get better if we have to constantly prove we’re in pain? And does that constant need to prove we’re in pain prevent us from getting better? In recent posts I wrote about the shame I felt after developing chronic pain and how I’ve been working through that shame. They were the hardest posts I’ve ever written, my most vulnerable by far. And


Unashamed and unafraid: living well with pain

My last post, on shame, resentment, hurt and pain, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever written. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever published on this blog. It’s scary to let our truths out, to expose our cracks to the world. But it’s also been my most resonant post, by far, based on the reactions and the

DermoNeuroModulating course review

I attended Rey Allen’s course on DermoNeuroModulating (DNM) in Boulder, Colorado last month and have been processing all that I learned and experienced there, with much more processing to do. But while it’s still fresh I want to share some of my initial thoughts and impressions. I’ll start with that I highly recommend the course. It was thought-provoking, engaging, interactive,

Shame, resentment, hurt, and pain

At my first ever Writer’s Camp this summer we were given a writing prompt about shame. Shame is a tough thing to write about. It’s something I’ve wanted to write about for quite a while, but I’ve been ashamed to. It’s hard to be that vulnerable, that bare. It’s hard to let the world see into those deep dark places.


Goals. Whose goals are they, ours or theirs?

I went for a walk today and took pictures, a favorite pastime of mine and one I’m very grateful for. As I was perched on two rocks, squatting to gain a better perspective for a photo, I started thinking about a few things, namely goals and motivation.  For a long time I couldn’t squat, at least not with any comfort.

Successful living: redefining living with chronic pain

I would like to make a plea. A plea to stop framing pain as the enemy, a thing to be battled, defeated, beat, eradicated. A thing not to be tolerated, to be vilified and stamped out. Perhaps our emphasis on pain as evil, pain as punishment, pain as suffering is only serving to make pain worse. Perhaps using warlike, military

Trail running: imperfect steps to getting back at it

I started this post about trail running just over a year ago. I thought I was on track to being back at it. I thought trail running was going to be a regular part of my life again. It wasn’t. I didn’t finish the post because that whole being a runner again thing didn’t quite materialize. I’d flare-up, I’d feel the