Empowered Relief: Expanding Rapid Access to Low-Cost, Evidence-Based Pain Care

Greetings All, As you know, poor access to comprehensive pain care remains a major problem worldwide. To help address this problem, at Stanford University, I developed a 2-hour skills-based pain treatment class that rapidly equips people to self-manage pain and symptoms. It’s called “Empowered Relief™”. Empowered Relief™ is unique and transformative pain treatment because it: Requires only ONE in-person, 2-hour class Is skills-based and evidence-based 100 people can be treated in a single class (you are only [...]

2019-07-13T13:40:36-07:00July 3rd, 2019|

NPR ‘Morning Edition’ show on the brain, emotion, and pain

Today National Public Radio featured pain psychology on its "Morning Edition" show. I was pleased to be included among the guests discussing the critical role of thoughts, emotions, and other psychological factors have on our experience of pain. The role of psychology in the experience and treatment of pain in no way diminishes one’s physiological and medical diagnoses or causes for pain. Behavioral treatments offer opportunities to gain control over some of the experience of pain. [...]

2019-05-20T22:16:44-07:00May 20th, 2019|

Digital Health Intervention Associated with Less Need for Opioids After Surgery

Results from our newly published randomized controlled study show that patients who engaged with “My Surgical Success,” a fully automated online pain treatment program, stopped opioids sooner after breast cancer surgery than patients assigned to a control intervention. The study was published in Pain Medicine (Darnall et al, 2019). This finding is important because it suggests that a low-cost, scalable, digital treatment may help patients effectively self-manage symptoms and enhance recovery after surgery. Our study is [...]

2019-05-23T16:52:33-07:00May 14th, 2019|

My “Nature” Editorial – What’s Needed in Pain Research and Care

I was pleased to be invited by Nature to give my thoughts on what is needed in pain research and care ("To treat pain, study people in all their complexity"). Too often, the person is forgotten while the symptom is treated. Our systems must account for the individual variability in the experience and treatment of pain, and to address the unique needs of each person. Psychology is fundamental to the experience of pain, regardless of the [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00May 5th, 2018|

O Magazine and Washington Post interviews on opioids

The April 2018 issue of O Magazine includes a few of my comments in an article that addresses addiction risks for opioids ("Why prescription opioids are so addictive" by Peg Rosen). What's not stated in this article is my belief that opioids can and do help some people living with chronic pain. This is a nuanced issue that requires individual consideration and treatment planning. Right now the national focus is on opioid risks, and while I [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:25-07:00April 15th, 2018|

“The Tao of Chronic Pain Relief” My feature in Jan/Feb 2018 issue

I was honored when Stephen Kiesling, the editor of Spirituality & Health, asked me to contribute content on addressing chronic pain with psychological strategies for the magazine. I ended up having a lot to say, and compiled it into a 5-page feature for the Jan/Feb 2018 issue! In the feature I describe the role of psychology in the experience and treatment of pain, and most importantly -- how pain can serve as a useful teacher that guides [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00January 4th, 2018|

TIME Features Science-Backed Pain & Stress Relief

Dr. Emma Seppälä and I were pleased to publish in Time Health "3 Science-backed Ways to Relieve Pain and Stress"! We focus on natural, empowering relief techniques that can help you feel better. Stress and pain are inevitable parts of life. As many as 1 in 3 individuals lives with ongoing pain, and everyone is likely to experience it at some point in their life. While you cannot always control what happens to you, you can [...]

2019-04-02T15:18:26-07:00August 9th, 2017|