In 2002, Dr. Gardner-Nix founded the Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM) program at St Michael’s Hospital. The program was later expanded to include the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and other hospitals throughout Ontario via the Ontario Telemedicine Network.
Recognizing the need to increase the services offered through the program and the opportunities to broaden the scope of research, Dr. Gardner-Nix founded The NeuroNova Centre for Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management in 2010. The work of the centre is divided into three areas,
- clinical practice for chronic pain patients,
- research on mindfulness, and
- teaching facility for health care practitioners who wish to include MBCPM in their practice.
“We have developed a programme for helping people to decrease their suffering from many chronic pain conditions” writes Dr. Gardner-Nix. “This programme enhances many of the interventions usually offered at pain clinics, such as procedures or drugs, which often provide only short term benefits.”
It is “in addition” to what is conventionally offered, not “instead of”, though many have found that it has reduced, and in some cases, even eliminated, their need for medications and procedures.
Typical conditions include low back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and many others. We are also referred patients with emotionally painful conditions such as depression and panic disorders.
Our programme is described in our recently published book: “The Mindfulness Solution to Pain” available from bookstores and the major book seller websites. Well respected pain specialists have endorsed our book, recognising its potential for enhancing pain management for many conditions.
Meditations, are part of our programme, and are also available through our own website. A common problem amongst our patients is lack of sleep and our meditation to enhance sleep is one of our most popular ones. Coping with painful conditions is much easier if sleep improves, and sleep also aids healing.
Our book describes what we do in the courses we run out of our two teaching hospitals. However, we have extended our reach to other communities in Ontario through linking our “on site” class participants with “off site patients” through Telemedicine: they can see, communicate with us, and have discussions and do the meditations with us, as if in the same room.
Our research has demonstrated that the “off site” patients benefit as much as our “on site” patients.