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.

The Problem

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.

How We Can Help You

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.

Sample "Breathing Out the Pain" Technique

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.

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Laura Winslow

Laura has been a devoted Yoga practitioner since early 2000 and has been teaching yoga since 2007.

She received her Yoga Teacher training in 2007 under the guidance of Joseph LePage, a pioneer and leader in Yoga therapy training programs since 1993 and the founder and director of Integrative Yoga Therapy. Laura completed her Yoga Therapist training through Inner Peace Yoga Therapy. She received an additional certification from Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Yoga of Recovery for Counselors in 2009.

She has continued to expand her knowledge and experience by attending yoga therapy workshops and trainings for depression and anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, and teaching teens. Since 2007, she has taught hundreds of yoga, mindfulness and other mind-body therapy classes at local facilities such as Genesis Recovery Center, OnTrack, Kolpia Counseling, Substance use disorders Recovery Center, Lithia Springs Program for incarcerated teens, as well as various yoga studios and the YMCA. Additionally, she provides individual sessions for substance use disorder recovery and chronic pain therapy through the Oregon Access to Recovery program.

Laura’s training in Integrative Yoga Therapy encourages the practice of all of the most powerful Yogic tools for transformation including physical postures, breathing practices, hand positions, guided relaxation and meditation. Her intention for her classes is to provide nurturing for the body, mind and spirit and to help her students reconnect with their inner peace and wisdom as well as releasing their physical and emotional pain and suffering. She has also trained in Qi Gong, Eden Energy Medicine and many other movement disciplines such as ballet, modern, jazz and tap dance.

She co-founded Integrative Healing and Recovery Programs, LLC, and co-authored curriculum for Breaking Free of Chronic Pain, a seven-week program for chronic pain management, which incorporates training in body awareness, gentle movement, energy techniques, deep breathing, mindfulness and guided relaxation along with education about enhancing one’s quality of life while living with chronic pain. She also co-authored curriculum for Integrative Recovery Therapy a twelve-week program for substance use disorder recovery, depression and anxiety that combines recovery themes with mindfulness and mind-body therapies. The Integrative Healing & Recovery Programs are approved providers of Recovery Support Services through the Oregon Access to Recovery Program. Laura is also the co-founder and Project Director of a non-profit program called Southern Oregon Mind-body Outreach Project, which provides yoga classes to incarcerated teens at the Lithia Springs Program in Ashland and is a program of Yoga Blue, Inc.

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.

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Kathryn Reppond

Kathryn Reppond has over thirty-five years teaching experience and introduces into her mainstream practice the aspects of yoga therapy, both to herself and to her participants. A graduate of Yoga Therapy (300 hours) at Ananda Seva School (Santa Rosa, CA), she began volunteer work teaching yoga for a local addiction center after moving to the area eight years ago. She co- founded first Integrative Recovery Therapy, and later Breaking Free of Chronic Pain, whose aim is to assist participants in creating self-help practices through meditation, affirmation, yoga and energy medicine exercises.

Formerly director of an adult education center where she conducted yoga and other classes involving movement, her focus has continued through the years to enrich any and all practices through better communication between the body and mind. She has initiated programs of dance and exercise for diverse population groups such as children, retirees at independent living centers and Alzheimer’s patients. In all, she remains guided by the therapeutic aspects of peacefulness and presence as provided by the yogic experience.

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