You will be assigned a licensed counselor or psychologist who will provide a "home base" of support and understanding. Your individual needs will be thoroughly assessed and discussed, and we will begin training and practice of the skills that lead to recovery. These include meditative training in pain and stress management, using biofeedback training and other self-calming skills, improvements in daily health habits, a movement program within your safe limits, and an increase in daily enjoyable activities. Most importantly, you will have a safe place to talk about this crisis, with an increasing understanding from your therapist as to the ways that you as an individual can use your strengths and the help from our clinic to start to recover.
Pain patients need to talk to other pain patients, and people who are ill and discouraged need to encourage each other. No one really understands pain better that other pain patients, and it helps to talk to each other. Our groups provide support and encouragement to stay steady in your daily recovery efforts, while learning from each other what is working. We also use groups to deepen your understanding of the skills we are teaching, by regularly bringing in experts for more education and discussion. The bottom line is this: pain patients are at risk of getting isolated and depressed, and you deserve to be part of a community where we are being honest about how hard this all is, and where you get respect for your loss and the efforts you are starting to make to get better. We also offer specialized "Skills Groups", where we learn and practice different meditation, prayer-based, or Tai Chi techniques to help with pain management (this includes emotional pain, like depression and anxiety).
Many of our patients have gone through standard clinical physical therapy, with only short-term gain or even aggravation of their pain. We want to start over with you and meet you where you are: this involves a very careful evaluation of your current physical state, and individual treatment to help with gaining back strength, flexibility, and stamina. You will be assigned an individualized home program, very simple and basic ways to gain back movement, slowly but steadily, and treatment will be used to reinforce those gains. We also use micropoint stimulation of the acupuncture points and damaged tissue as well as massage and other soft tissue mobilizations for pain relief. Our physical therapist has also studied Tai Chi for years, and along with Dr. Whiting helps run our Tai Chi groups.