Medical literature defines chronic pain as pain that has lasted for more than three months. Chronic pain is an epidemic worldwide, with 1.5 billion people feeling its effects. In the United States, about 100 million individuals are estimated to suffer from chronic pain, costing the country billions of dollars in health care and lost work productivity each year. While the statistics are staggering, pain research receives less than one percent of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget. [Excerpt from The Dana Foundation News]
Chronic pain is an extremely complex condition. Its management requires a multidisciplinary approach as its effects cause distress at the levels of our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Under normal circumstances, pain acts as an alarm system, causing us to stop what we’re doing immediately. But chronic pain continues despite the lack of imminent danger. In many cases there is no specific underlying cause or treatment and the source of the pain is uncertain. One thing for certain is that the pain is absolutely real and must be addressed in a way that provides coping skills and methods of self-care in order to allow us to function.
Breaking Free of Chronic Pain is a unique program that combines a wide array of tools and techniques for chronic pain management. These self-care tools are derived from a variety of mind-body therapies and provide coping skills which address the effects of this condition at every level.
Understanding pain neurophysiology leads to improved functioning and quality of life. Breathing, mindfulness and guided relaxation techniques help alleviate stress, trauma, anxiety and depression. Gentle movement sequences help ease tension in the musculoskeletal system to provide more freedom of movement. Energy balancing provides specific pain easing techniques and essential practices for daily self-care.
Breaking Free of Chronic Pain classes teach tools and techniques for self-care and pain management. The program helps participants restore well-being when injured or in pain and provides information about the effects of chronic pain on the health of the body, mind, emotions, stress and energy levels.
Each class includes gentle movement to release muscle tension and restore mobility to the body, breathing techniques and mindfulness to calm the mind and the emotions, guided relaxation and body awareness meditations to reduce stress and create a deep sense of peace and well being.
By weaving these practices together, participants learn tools that focus the mind, calm the emotions and rejuvenate the body. The practices taught are intended to provide the building blocks for developing a personal practice of daily self-care and nurturing on an ongoing basis.
Breathe in through your nostrils to the count of four, mouth closed (as if smelling a rose). Visualize the breath going to the area of discomfort.
Hold for the count of seven, allowing the healing breath to transform the pain and break up the blocked energy. Breathe out through the mouth (as if blowing out a candle) to the count of eight, releasing the congestion and tension from the area of discomfort.
Laura Winslow has been a devoted Yoga practitioner since early 2000 and Registered Yoga teacher since 2007, specializing in therapeutic Yoga, mindfulness and other mind-body practices for addiction, depression, anxiety, trauma and chronic pain. Classes provide coping skills, relapse prevention tools and practices for calming and energizing the mind and body without the use of substances. Students experience releasing their physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as reconnecting with their inner peace and wisdom.
Since 2007, she has taught yoga, mindfulness and other mind-body therapy classes at Southern Oregon facilities such as Addictions Recovery Center, Genesis Recovery Center, Kolpia Counseling, LaClinica Wellness Center, Lithia Springs Program for incarcerated teens, OnTrack, as well as various yoga studios and the YMCA. Provides individual Yoga therapy sessions for addiction recovery, depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic pain and health coaching.
Co-authored curriculum for chronic pain management called Breaking Free of Chronic PainTM, www.breakingfreeofchronicpain.com (2012)
Co-authored curriculum for a twelve-week program for addiction recovery called Integrative Recovery TherapyTM, www.inhereprograms.com/irt.html (2009)
Authored curriculum for general well-being called Eight Weeks for Wellness (2017)
Was Project Director of a non-profit program called Southern Oregon Mind-body Outreach Project, A Program Healing Blues, Inc. that provided yoga classes to at-risk youth and those in need from 2010 to 2019.
Prior to her endeavors in the field of mind-body therapy, Laura earned a Bachelor's degree in International Finance and ran a successful securities brokerage business for more than seven years. Her business acumen is apparent in the organization of her yoga therapy curriculum as well as her ability to coordinate programs and collaborate with treatment providers.
• Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) – International Association of Yoga Therapists (2017)
• RYT-500 (Yoga Alliance) & Yoga Therapist - Inner Peace Yoga Therapy-300 Hour (2014)
Training included individualized Yoga therapy, Functional Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Depression, Anxiety & Trauma, Yoga for Chronic Pain, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy, Yoga of Recovery, Yoga for Heart Disease, and Yoga for Cancer.
• Functional Yoga Therapy Intensive-50 Hour (2014)
Training included anatomy, in-depth postural assessment, joint range of motion, muscle strength and stabilization exercises, breathing assessment, and individualized Yoga therapy recommendations.
• Yoga of Recovery for Counselors – Sivananda Yoga-100 Hour (2009)
Training included integration of the wisdom of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and the 12-Steps.
• RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance) - Integrative Yoga Therapy- 200 Hour (2007)
• Barre Above Certification - (2020)
• Peer Support Specialist (2018) – Oregon Traditional Health Worker Program
• Certified Health Coach – American Council on Exercise (2017)
• Reiki Master-Usui/Tibetan Reiki Ryoho – Judy Hilyard & Ronda Barker (2014)
• Medical QiGong for Women – Deborah Davis, Lac (2013)
• Eden Energy Medicine-EM 101 & 102 (2012)
• Bachelor's Degree in International Finance – San Francisco State University (1983)