Shediac, New Brunswick

Neil Pearson

Shediac, New Brunswick, is the Lobster Capital of the World. This small resort region on the east coast of Canada booms from a population of less than 10,000 in the winter to over 50,000 in the summer, when the days are long and warm, and the ocean beaches are packed with sun- and seafood-seekers. At the city’s western limit there is a giant crustacean guardian. The biggest lobster (no doubt) in the world.

I was in Shediac recently to teach health care professionals about pain science and pain self-management. Twenty-eight doctors, psychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and massage therapists gave up their weekend to attend the workshop.

When the local representatives of the Arthritis Society heard that I was coming, they asked me to consider adding a public seminar on pain and pain self-management. Since this is one of my passions, we set it up and were able to fill 64 seats with curious people. As an added benefit, this evening session was recorded by the local Rogers community station and by a videographer who will be editing the recording for the New Brunswick Arthritis Society. As soon as that is available, we will be posting it onto our websites, allowing even more people to view the session.

As I reflect back on the weekend, two things stand out for me.
Firstly, that people seem so ready to hear a message of hope and, secondly, that they’re eager to receive updated knowledge about pain management.
Although most of the information I provide has been known for the last 10 years, most health care professionals have still not heard it.

I have been teaching similar information for about 13 years now. No matter how familiar it is to me, much of the knowledge – and most certainly the practical clinical applications of the knowledge – are brand new to many others. It’s made me realize that, even in small communities such as those in the east of New Brunswick, there are more than enough people who will benefit from education sessions.

I like to think that I made a positive change in the clinical practice of all the health professionals in attendance, and that each one of them will make changes in the treatment of all of their patients. I would also like to think I provided hope, as well as a new approach to activity and exercise, for all those in attendance at the public forum.

A very smart mentor suggested that I should be pleased if I could change one person in each session. If you are reading this, HL, I haven’t succeeded with that just yet – but I’ll keep trying.

  • Neil Pearson’s book, Understand Pain, Live Well Again, helps yoga teachers and practitioners to provide students and clients with a new optimistic view of pain management.
  • [tags] hope, New Brunswick, occupational therapists, pain management, practical clinical applications, Shediac [/tags]

    Author: Neil Pearson

    Neil Pearson is a yoga therapist, physical therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC. He provides therapy exclusively for people with complex pain problems. Neil shares his knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pain and pathophysiology through

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