Posts tagged Pain Science
Taming the Beast - with Lorimer Moseley

Pain scientists are making exciting new discoveries about what causes pain and how to successfully treat it. Last weekend the RMTs from Intent Health attended an engaging workshop with Dr. Lorimer Moseley - one of the world's most prominent pain scientists. 

"Understanding Pain: From Biology To Clinical Care."

"Understanding Pain: From Biology To Clinical Care."

Dr. Moseley recently helped develop an excellent online resource called The project aims to promote an evidence based understanding of pain and guide patients to make more informed decisions about pain treatment and recovery. It answers questions like:

  • How can I train my pain system to be less protective?
  • How do I know if I am safe to move?
  • How do I know if my health professional understands modern pain science?
  • Will I re-injure myself?
  • Will I get better?
  • How can I speed up my recovery?

Visit to watch a clever animated video that depicts pain as 'beasts' that can be tamed. You can also peruse a list of resources to help you understand pain, and listen to real stories from people who have recovered from pain. The information provides a path forward and affirms that "is it possible to tame the beast of persistent pain!" 

Tame the beast
How Can Massage Therapy Help with Pain?

What makes a person more prone to developing persistent pain? Why is it that the longer pain persists, the less it correlates with actual tissue damage? Exciting new discoveries in neuroscience are changing the way we view the pain experience.

We now understand that pain is a protective output created by the brain’s interpretation of a multitude of inputs including biological, psychological and social information. 


Pain =
[credible evidence of danger]
– [credible evidence of safety]


In any given moment your brain is processing a variety of ‘safety signals’ and ‘danger signals’. These signals include changes in pressure, temperature, and chemical balance, along with signals affected by sights, smells, sounds, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, previous experiences, expectations, cultural influences, social interactions and more. 

Pain serves to encourage a person to focus on protecting and healing, but what happens when pain lasts longer than the normal timeframe for tissue healing? This can occur when the body’s alarm system remains on high alert and is stimulated by a lower intensity stimulus than before. The good news is that the brain’s ability to change means that it is possible to retrain the nervous system in positive new directions.

The Role of Massage Therapy

Massage and movement can inhibit the influence of ‘danger signals’ in a person’s nervous system.

At Intent Health Clinic we employ a variety of approaches with this in mind:

  • We provide a quiet, predictable and comfortable treatment space
  • Our treatments and homecare suggestions involve techniques that aim to calm the nervous system
  • We encourage healthy sleep and relaxation practices, as well as graded exposure to movement
  • We provide pain education. Studies show that learning about the neurophysiology of pain decreases perceived threat levels to the nervous system which can result in decreased pain levels
  • We connect you with resources like the Protectometer App: a useful tool that helps people identify potential ‘danger signals’ and ‘safety signals’ in their life, and encourages the novel combination of ‘safe inputs’ to retrain the nervous system


Adapted from the article: Sharman, Jenn. “Reconceptualising Pain.” RMT Matters. July 2017 vol. 10 no. 2. pp.14-15. Accessed 1 Sep 2017.