Dial Down Your Pain – 8-week Course – Swansea University 

Learn effective strategies to manage long-term pain.

Young person in pain

Experience less pain so you can dial up your life through this 8-week interactive course. 

One of the most powerful tools for treating pain is improving your understanding of pain and the processes happening in your body. 

When we have a better understanding of pain, we gain confidence in our body. We can then reintroduce movement and exercise without the fear that it’s going to do us more harm than good. 

We’ll explore and learn lots of different techniques to reduce anxiety levels around the pain you’re experiencing.

We will discuss what acceptance means and how it can be the key to recovery from long-term pain. There will be lots of practical experiments to try based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

You will be given guidance to develop your own flare-up first aid kit and offered tools to support you to get through some of the toughest days. 

This course can work alongside and complement any medical investigations or treatment. 

How we can get stuck in persistent pain

How often do you hear that you need to keep moving and that exercise is good for you? When you’re in pain, it’s tough to find ways to get back to exercise without worrying that you’re doing more harm than good.

I see many people who are stuck in a persistent pain cycle because they struggle to know what to do. There’s a familiar pattern of trying something new and it not going well, so you’re always looking for another way to fix the pain. We’re desperate to get our lives back and enjoy life.

We get stuck in a persistent pain cycle because we don’t understand how and why the brain and body respond to situations. Sometimes we know the cause of our pain, but other times we experience flare-ups, out of the blue, with no clear reason. Pain is often hard to explain because it’s more complex than physical tissue damage in the body.

Knee pain
Beth Cox

I know this pattern as well as anyone because I was stuck in a persistent pain cycle for over 10 years. It took me another five years to navigate all the different advice out there and find ways to reduce my pain. During the last five years, I still live with pain, but I am now able to do the things I love and live an active life again.

I tried all sorts of treatments and interventions, but the key for me was learning to trust my body. It wasn’t until I recognised the physical effects of stress and anxiety that things began to change. I started to understand how signals from the brain affect our physical symptoms.

I now help other people living with persistent pain explore the various aspects contributing to their pain and offer strategies to begin reversing these effects.

My take on persistent pain

We get stuck because we:-

  • focus on fixing separate parts of the body
  • feel exhausted from resisting pain
  • are overwhelmed by the different advice we’re given

This leads us to us:-

  • become fearful of anything that could make our pain worse
  • reduce the amount of exercise we do
  • isolate ourselves from others

In order to reduce pain we need to:-

  • have a clearer understanding of pain
  • work with rewiring our nervous system response 
  • reduce fear and build trust to move our body more

Course details

In this 8-week programme, you won’t feel overwhelmed but will be given clear strategies to help you manage pain.

You’ll receive peer support to help you commit to making changes. The exercises will be simple and effective.

Details of the course tbc:-

Dates:- October dates tbc

Location:- Swansea University 

Delivered by:- Pain Specialist Beth Cox

Sessions will be in-person,
live attendance is required at all sessions.

Course prerequisites

Before you sign up this course is for people who have:

  • experienced pain in their body for over 6 months
  • seen a medical professional who has assessed their condition

In addition to those two essential prerequisites…

You’ll get the most from this course if:-

  • you’ve experienced pain for over 6 months and you’ve seen a medical professional who has assessed your condition. (I’ve repeated so you don’t miss this key point).

  • you recognise that stress/anxiety levels impact your experience of pain.

  • you want to be more active but are worried that exercise will make your pain worse.

  • you like to know how things work and are interested in experimenting with alternative ways to manage pain.

  • You want to make changes in your life and will prioritise time for this.

It might not be the best fit for you if:-

  • you’ve experienced pain for less than 6 months. (This is likely to be a short-term situation that your body is likely to recover from).

  • you think that surgery or physical intervention is the only solution.

  • you believe in “no pain no gain” and will always push beyond the signals your body is giving you. 
  • if you’re currently under a lot of external pressure, making it difficult for you to attend the sessions.

  • if you have no interest in learning more about how your body and brain work. 

What people say:- 

During the practical experiment, I felt an immediate calmness and release of tension in my body

Alice

I’ve been able to reduce my migraine medication by 75% from working with Beth

Helen

After sessions, I felt more positive and encouraged to know there are different approaches that I could try

Karthryn

Format of Sessions

We’ll be sitting in chairs, and there’ll be frequent breaks to move throughout the sessions.

Each sessions will be based on this structure:-

  • Beth will introduce the topic we’ll be exploring.  
  • Group sharing – share your thoughts and experiences linked to the topic in small groups.
  • Whole group discussion – share any techniques that you currently do that work for you
  • Practical tools – experiment with some practical exercises that you can use between sessions
  • Feedback on practical exercises in small groups
  • Group share on the practical exercises
  • Discuss take-away exercises and accountability buddies

Format of the 8 week course

This will be based upon the group’s requirements however the likely structure will be:-

Week 1 – intro session, what to expect, build our community, first-aid kit.

Week 2 – review first aid kit, explore helpful and unhelpful habits

Week 3 – what is pain, neuroscience, language, triggers

Week 4 – anxiety and pain, recognising and managing stressors

Week 5 – lifestyle, sleep and pain

Week 6 – exercise and pacing

Week 7 – adapting and accepting change

Week 8 – committed action – sustaining change

Why book this course now?

I see many people who’ve experienced pain for decades, whose lives are ruled by pain despite numerous medical interventions.  

I’ve also witnessed many people who have changed how they relate to pain so it no longer controls them. All of these people have found ways to manage their pain. They’re not exhausted by the constant search for the magic solution that will fix them.  They have dialled down their pain to the point that they can live a full and varied life despite their pain. 

It takes most people who’ve experienced persistent pain years to get to this place.  This course will offer you simple ways to start changing your life that you can begin straight away.  It’ll offer you a supportive environment where you can connect with other people who know what living with persistent pain is like.

The university is offering this programme for free to help you improve your wellbeing.

Are you still a bit unsure?

You might be worried about making things worse.

This isn’t a physical workshop so I won’t be asking you to do anything different to what you do in day-to-day life.

You might be worried about spending time focusing on your pain.

But if you’re anything like how I used to be, not many hours would go by where I hadn’t thought about my pain at least 20 or 30 times and wished things were different.

You might be anxious about sharing with others.

You can decide how much you want to share about your own situation.  When you meet other people going through a similar thing it can be very reassuring and you might not feel so alone.

You might be thinking that I can’t face trying another thing that fails.

But as the purpose of this course isn’t to change your pain but it is to change how you relate to your pain it’s likely to be different to what you’ve tried before.

If like me you’ve tried so many ways to deal with your pain before, you are probably wondering if these ideas will help you.  I know these are genuine concerns but I also know how many people with persistent pain are reducing the impact of pain in their lives by regularly using many of the tools I share.

If you’d like to know more about Beth and her lived experience with pain and the techniques she offers you can explore other sections of this website.

BOOK YOUR PLACE

If you’ve been struggling with persistent pain but believe there are ways to reduce the impact pain has on your life this course is for you. 

In this course, you’ll be given practical tools to apply to your situation alongside support and accountability so the positive changes you make last. 

Break free of persistent pain cycles by learning more about what’s keeping you stuck.

 

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