The Long Mile: Managing Chronic Pain

Dr. Caroline MacCallum & Dr. Teresa Clarke

Dr. Caroline MacCallum is the Medical Director at the Greenleaf Medical Clinic where she has assessed and developed cannabis treatment plans for more than 5,000 patients. Read more here.

Dr. Teresa Clarke is a physician at the Complex Chronic Diseases Program at BC Women’s Hospital and at the Greenleaf Medical Clinic where she teaches online workshops on acupressure for chronic illnesses and integrative approaches to optimize immune health. Read more here.

Dr. Caroline MacCallum and Dr. Teresa Clarke have collaborated to develop a 10-week online chronic pain group series.

Neuroscience studies have demonstrated that chronic pain changes the brain and alters brain circuitry, creating multiple pathways throughout the brain that involve areas such as the limbic system and the brain stem. This program takes a patient-centered approach to influence brain networks and rehabilitate chronic pain circuitry. The program includes educational, experiential, and interactive components to achieve this goal.

Who would benefit? Chronic pain patients who are looking for improvement in symptom severity, physical and mental wellbeing, and quality of life.

Registration is for the full 10-week program. Please register when you are ready to commit to attending all sessions (we understand there may be rare unexpected emergencies).

Session 1: January 6th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Introduction to highlights of the program
  • Understanding the different models of health
  • Overview of integrative approaches to support the health journey
  • Evidence-based integrative approaches for chronic pain & the influence on the brain’s pain circuitry
  • Mind-body approaches for stress & chronic pain

Session 2: January 13th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Overview of Canada Food Guide
  • Benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet for chronic pain
  • Highlights of an anti-inflammatory healthy diet
  • Understanding macronutrients & micronutrients & factors that deplete nutrients
  • Foods to eat more, eat less or avoid
  • Importance of social factors & food intake

Session 3: January 20th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding the stages of change to improve lifestyle habits
  • Exercise as a treatment for chronic pain
  • Importance of pacing, moving & stretching
  • Tips for pacing & resting
  • Setting & reaching goals
  • Understanding the health benefits of sleep
  • Tips for a good sleep

Session 4: January 27th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understand the benefits & limits of evidence-based medical treatments
  • Understand the role of medical cannabis in chronic pain
  • Learn how to choose & integrate evidence-based alternative therapies into a foundation of self-care
  • Learn the benefits of some evidence-based integrative approaches & supplements for pain

Session 5: February 3rd

By participating you will learn about:

  • The sensory-motor system & pain-spasm cycle
  • Types of pain
  • The autonomic nervous system
  • Tips for pacing & resting
  • The Default Mode Network & chronic pain
  • Neuroplasticity & its potential to promote recovery

Session 6: February 10th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding pain: types of pain & gate control theory
  • Learn how fibromyalgia is diagnosed
  • Learn strategies for healthy pain management
  • Master the art of pacing
  • Understand the factors that influence pain

Session 7: February 17th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding effects of stress on muscle tension, physiological functions & resilience
  • Effects of chronic illness on resilience
  • Identifying your stressors
  • Stress reduction strategies
  • Benefits of mind-body practices for chronic pain

Session 8: February 24th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding how cognitions & emotions affect chronic pain
  • Health benefits of positive thought habits
  • Choosing attitudes & beliefs that support health
  • Influencing the brain’s pain pathways & the autonomic nervous system

Session 9: March 3rd

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding how meaning & purpose contributes to pain reduction & wellbeing
  • Health benefits of happiness, fulfillment, kindness & compassion
  • Discovering our passion
  • Learning from life experiences

Session 10: March 10th

By participating you will learn about:

  • Understanding the influence of spirituality on chronic pain
  • Promoting homeostasis of the autonomic nervous system
  • The evidence for uplifting experiences on health & chronic pain
  • How to improve our uplifting experiences