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An Introduction to Mindfulness for Pain Treatment

presented by Carolyn McManus, PT, MPT, MA

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Carolyn McManus provides individual and small group mentoring, offers continuing educational programming, and produces online guided relaxation and meditation products. She receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial: Carolyn McManus has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 71 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 36 Minutes

As pain perception results from the complex interaction of sensory, cognitive, and emotional factors, clinicians need evidence-based treatment strategies that address these three components. Mindfulness training uniquely meets this challenge. Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce pain intensity and unpleasantness, decrease depression and anxiety, and improve function and quality of life in patients with persistent pain. This course introduces you to the practical application of mindfulness training to the treatment of pain. The Two Arrows metaphor is discussed to support a patient's insight into the sensation of pain, the first arrow, and their reactions to the sensation, the second arrow. How to get a patient's buy-in when introducing mindfulness, as well as research on the role of diaphragmatic breathing in reducing pain and stress, is presented. Initial strategies to address challenges patients experience when first introduced to mindfulness, and approaches to teaching mindful progressive muscle relaxation, body scan, and movement are offered. Combining lecture and demonstration, this course is applicable to healthcare professionals, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, athletic trainers, and registered nurses, serving patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings who would benefit from sensible, effective pain self-management strategies.

Prerequisite: Previous knowledge of and experience with the principles and practices of mindfulness and experience in their clinical applications to patient care are required to benefit from this course. It is highly recommended to watch the courses below in this order:
1. Fundamental Mindfulness Principles and Practices
2. Integrating Mindful Principles and Practices into Patient Care

Meet Your Instructor

Carolyn McManus, PT, MPT, MA

Carolyn McManus is a highly skilled clinician, researcher, and professional trainer and is a national leader in the integration of mindfulness into healthcare. She is the past president of the APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Pain Special Interest Group. She holds master's degrees in physical therapy and in psychology. Since 1985, she has integrated…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. An Introduction to Mindfulness and Pain Treatment

This chapter introduces the topic of applying mindfulness training to pain treatment. It highlights the complexity of the pain experience and suggests a two-component model for the mindful self-regulation of pain.

2. Mindfulness and Pain Research

This chapter highlights research on pain modulation with experienced and novice meditators as well as quantitative and qualitative studies on the topic of mindfulness training in clinical pain populations.

3. Getting a Patient’s Buy-In

This chapter discusses how to introduce the power of the mind and value of learning to self-regulate reactions to pain. This information is presented to support a patient’s active engagement with mindfulness training.

4. Introducing Mindful Breathing and Addressing Challenges

This chapter highlights research on diaphragmatic and mindful breathing to help engage a patient with this practice. It identifies common challenges patients experience when first introduced to mindfulness, and practical strategies to address them.

5. Additional Formal and Informal Mindfulness Practices and Pain

This chapter highlights both research and language that can be applied to introducing mindful progressive muscle relaxation, body scan, movement, and informal mindful activities to patients. In addition, book recommendations for further exploration of mindfulness and pain are provided.

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