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Pain Education and Interactive Guided Imagery

Pain is felt in the body, but it is created in the brain. Recent research in neuroscience has overturned how physicians and scientists understand pain, and brought new ways for patients to ease their pain. Research has shown, as with any disease or disorder of the human body, patients can’t begin to effectively manage and overcome their condition without first understanding its basis.

One important insight from this research is that our thoughts and actions affect how well we recover from pain. Mind-body techniques such as meditation or Interactive Guided Imagery have been shown to be effective in decreasing pain and in helping to calm a sensitized nervous system. By learning how to direct and control attention, sensory experiences, and emotions pain can be modulated in ways that drugs or procedures can’t touch.

The best news is that everyone has the capacity to learn, use, and benefit from these tools. No special understanding or previous experience in mind-body methods is required. Our clinical sessions are individualized and delivered in a supportive, one-on-one format that allows patients to gain a firm understanding of this new science and develop ways to help themselves. To know pain is one thing, but to understand and control pain is to master it.

Dr. Shelley Smith

Occupational Medicine & Pain Management

Dr. Smith joined Columbia Pain Management in 2014 and developed the one-on-one pain education program. Dr. Smith coaches patients on how pain works in the body so that they can develop effective strategies to decrease pain and return to their active lives.