Is there relief for people with chronic pain and dementia?

Feldenkrais and Mind Body Exercise Helps People With Chronic Pain and Dementia to Find Relief

Have you been concentrating and thinking hard about standing up straight, moving the right way, and trying to get out of pain? While thinking so hard can help, it is a lot of work and I’m here to say, let’s relax the mind look for a better way! I often like to say in Feldenkrais change happens by feeling, and sometimes thinking just gets in the way.

That’s one reason that Feldenkrais appears to be so helpful for people with memory loss. In addition to my experience with clients, I learned a lot about how mind-body approaches can support people with Alzheimer’s, vascular and other dementias, who also have chronic pain, when working with the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine on the PLIE study, a study of mindfulness and body awareness exercise for people with early stage dementia.

Have you ever heard of the term “body memory”? Body memory is different than the type of memory that people primary lose in dementia which is called “explicit memory.” There are many different parts in our brain that contribute to who we are, our emotions, our personality, our ways of moving, and sensing pain. These are interrelated but also separate systems.

Here’s a famous saying: The body remembers when the mind forgets. And here’s the good news corollary: the body learns and can grow whether or not the mind forgets or remembers, and might even influence that memory.

I interviewed experts in the field and helped design a program, along with UCSF reseachers, combining mind-body principles, working with movement and body awareness, that appeared to help people with dementia function better. Here is a research paper of some of the results. If you prefer , you can also see that the statistical results in the first small pilot, show just as much if not more, effectiveness than Alzheimer’s drugs.

Are you dealing with chronic pain, and ready to learn a new way? Or do you have chronic pain and some type of early stage dementia? I welcome you to come for an introductory session. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact me.