Dancing through Life, Living Well with Pain Workshops

‘Connect to Yourself with Compassion, Calm Your Nervous System, Create a Meaningful Life’

(A Parkinson)

The living well despite pain workshops have been developed to help people suffering with ongoing pain.  Ann developed these workshops from years of clinic experience combined with personal experience of living with pain.  She is a fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist, running Unity Physiotherapy & Wellbeing, who has specialised in working with people who have persistent pain as well as those with neurological conditions.  She is also a qualified Life Coach, Neuro-linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP) and Meditation Teacher.   Ann integrates yoga, NLP, meditation, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy into physiotherapy and health & wellbeing coaching.


‘Dancing through Life, Living Well with Pain’ workshops are a series of workshops for people living with persistent pain.  Persistent pain, also known as chronic pain, is pain that persists for 3 months or more.  Persistent pain is part of living with many conditions including: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue/myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic regional pain syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, migraines and headaches, arthritis, and back pain. 


Over many years of working with people in pain, living with it herself and following evidenced based practice Ann has developed the living well despite pain programme for people living with persistent pain.  The programme also encompasses many aspects of her book called Dancing through life: A Guide to Living Well which was published in November 2020.  The living well with pain programme has been designed for anyone living with persistent pain where pain is limiting life, who is suffering, or feels it is difficult to manage.  


Here’s a link to the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancing-through-Life-Guide-Living/dp/B08P1CFDNW/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=dancing+through+life+a+guide&qid=1606474771&quartzVehicle=45-608&replacementKeywords=dancing+through+a+guide&sr=8-1



The workshops have been based on a variety of aspects from clinical and personal experience, as well as the current evidence.  The living well programme will empower you to live well despite pain being present, whilst pain changes in the background.   Persistent pain involves many things, especially the body, brain, immune system, environment, previous experiences and beliefs.  This is why an approach that is encompassing all aspects of being human is needed to help.  


The ‘Dancing through Life, Living Well with Pain’ workshops aim to empower you to make the changes that are important to you, do what you love, move with more ease, create daily self-care practices (if more are needed in addition to any you use now) and live well.  Physiotherapy and coaching knowledge are blended together to provide a programme of care for the whole person, encompassing the different aspects that make us all human.  We are not the sum of our parts, things can not be split, the body and mind need focusing on together.  The programme is tailored to you as a whole person to help you make the changes that are important to you.  As well as being a group programme the different aspects from the workshops are integrated into 1:1 appointments.


Is it time for you to see how pain can be moved out of the driver seat into the back seat or even the boot?  Would you like to learn how to do the things that are important to you and live well despite the pain being present? If so this programme can help you.


What is covered in the programme?


These workshops for people living with pain will: encourage compassionate exploration of how things are now and the potential contributors to your pain; empower you to move back into the driving seat; explore helpful strategies; and see what changes you can make to be able to what’s important to you despite pain.  This doesn’t mean ignoring the pain and pushing on regardless, this tends to create pain flares and fatigue.  You will build a deeper awareness of body and mind as we explore things, awareness and understanding are part of making changes. We will also look at some of the pain science, what the evidence tells us about pain and relate this to you in your world.  


The workshops:


  1. Understanding Pain Neuroscience & Retraining Your Nervous System:


  • Understand how the body & nervous system adapts when pain persists
  • How the immune system is involved in pain & why this matters
  • What can help systems adapt and change pain (an introduction to other workshops in the series).


  1. Goals, Values & Intentions:


  • We will explore the importance of matching values & goals
  • Setting values based goals
  • Why intention matters
  • Living a meaningful & purposeful life despite pain.


  1. Stress Management


  • What is stress
  • Understand how you see stress
  • The connection between stress and pain
  • We will explore some ways to manage stress.



  1. Compassionate Mind Training:


  • Understand what compassion & self-compassion are
  • The impact of self-criticism, anger, shame, frustration on pain
  • Understand your relationship with pain & why this matters
  • Build more breath, body and self-awareness
  • Understand the three circles model in compassionate mind training and how this relates to pain
  • Learn some soothing practices that help calm your nervous system and body.


  1. Mindful Movement & Exercise:


  • Why exercising with persistent pain is different
  • Understand the recommended exercise guidelines & how these can be tailored to you
  • Understand what mindful movement is & how it can help
  • We will explore mindful movement in a guided practice.


  1. Self-talk, Thoughts & Beliefs


  • What is our self-talk & why it matters
  • How our self-talk, thoughts & beliefs affects our physiology
  • The relationship between our self-talk, thoughts, beliefs & pain
  • Understanding our thinking habits & how these can help or hinder us
  • What can we do about unhelpful thinking habits.


  1. Sleep Well


  • Why do we need sleep & how much do we need
  • The factors that affect sleep
  • The relationship between sleep & pain
  • Things that can help us sleep well
  • Developing helpful sleep habits.


  1. Nutrition


  • The role of functional nutrition in pain
  • Nutrition & the immune system.
  • How nutrition can support our energy levels
  • How nutrition can help manage pain.


Connect to yourself with compassion, Calm your nervous system, Create a meaningful life



When, Where & Cost


You can do all 8 workshops in a series or you can book the individual ones you feel would be most helpful for you.

Each workshop is 2 hours and £25 and are currently planned to start online in February 2021.  There will be some face to face options when this is possible again.


A 1:1 appointment is not essential, unless indicated on completion of a health questionnaire for some workshops, although it can be helpful prior to the workshops.



If you would like to learn more about how the ‘Dancing Through Life, Living Well with Pain’ workshop can help you, or to reserve your space, get in touch with Ann at Unity Physiotherapy & Wellbeing.


‘Life is not a race, create your pace and embrace the journey.’ 

~ A Parkinson