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A new way to think about pain relief

If you or a loved one struggles with chronic pain, you may find an answer in Salem Health Rehabilitation Center’s Pain 101 class series and Pain University suite of services.

An instructor speaks to a Pain 101 class in a CHEC classroom at Salem Hospital.

What is Pain 101?

“Pain 101: Intro to Pain and Its Treatment” is a free, six-week class series that helps people living with chronic pain. During the classes, you will sample many different ways of coping with and improving pain — finding the personalized combination that works for you!

The classes give you a chance to learn about — and try for yourself — a variety of proven techniques for loosening pain’s grip on your life. Led by a psychologist and a physical therapist, you’ll practice physical strategies like:

  • General movement
  • Breathing
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Pacing

Instructor teaching Pain 101 class in front of a screen that says

But there’s lots of evidence that pain doesn’t just affect your body. Your thoughts, environment, outlook, sleep and stress level can influence the way you feel. One of the goals of Pain 101 is to help you change the way you think about pain so you can feel more motivated and in-control. You’ll address the emotional impacts of pain with:

  • Education about pain’s role in the body
  • Group discussion
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • Goal setting
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises

Patients who have completed the classes say they feel more empowered about their treatment and less fearful of their pain. They also reported physical improvements in their daily activities — everything from cooking and cleaning to walking and sleeping.

What happens when the classes are over?

After you graduate from the Pain 101 class series, we encourage you to continue your progress by signing up for ongoing Salem Health programs:

  • CHEC classes like tai chi and yoga
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy pain group
  • Mindfulness training
  • Aquatic therapy group
  • 1:1 physical therapy
  • 1:1 psychological therapy

We call all of these services together “Pain University.” Some are community-based classes with a nominal fee and some are covered by insurance. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Sign up for Pain 101

No referral is required for Pain 101. Everyone is welcome, and classes fill up fast.

Six-week class sessions run several times a year, Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. To learn upcoming dates or sign up for our next session, call the CHEC at 503-814-2432 or sign up for Pain 101: Intro to Pain and Its Treatment online.