Holistic Approach

Leaning TreeFor most pain therapists focused on healing and rehabilitation, a holistic approach is key to affecting lasting change. Still, those of us seeking that help still find challenges in integrating that approach. Even the converted have been subject to conditioning that sees mind, heart and body as separate, and so the process of healing often involves unlearning what we have been taught.

This section features thoughtful articles or pieces that may offer inspiration in making previously-lost connections, as well as organizations or collectives that promote integrative medicine. I welcome anything as well on pain therapy and rehabilitation that embraces and teaches a holistic perspective. If you have an idea, suggestion or contribution, please see the Call for Submissions page.



CRPS / RSD: A Call for Interdisciplinary Research (Globe & Mail)
An argument for a holistic approach, re-positioned as a “What It’s Like” feature for their Health section

When the Body Says No: The Hidden Cost of Stress by Dr. Gabor Mate
(Highly recommended – includes audio excerpt of book)

Psychology of Pain
Scientific American

Does Music Reduce Pain?
by Sabina Walker, Pain Matters

Emotional and Physical Pain Activate Similar Brain Regions

Seven Facts About the Brain that Incline the Mind to Joy
by Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, PhD

The Relaxation Response 
Pioneer in mind body medicine

Art Therapy (Book Excerpt)
“Pain provides its own hyperactive, frantically negative form of mind-body-spirit energy. If you harness this energy to fuel creative expression, the pleasure of unleashing it and creating something new can offer your heart and soul a sense of liberation and boundlessness.

“Oftentimes artistic expression is the only way that some patients can present how a pain feels, both physically and emotionally. Art, like prayer, comes from the same source: the heart. Many people, such as Dr. Erv Hinds in A Life Beyond Pain, would dare say the heart is synonymous with the soul. Using this interpretation, art therapy – either under the guidance of a trained art therapist or on your own – can aid you immensely in this journey.”

Elena Juris, Positive Options for CRPS

American Art Therapy Association

Canadian Art Therapy Association

International Expressive Arts Association

Global Art Therapy Resources