Have you wanted to try acupuncture for your pain, but weren’t sure if it was worth it or didn’t know how to find the right practitioner? Maybe you’re interested in trying it, but needles make you nervous, and you want to know a little more about how it works.

At our next Pain Education Portal (PEP) Talk webinar on Friday, July 19, at 2:30 pm EST, we’ll learn about all this and more from expert acupuncturist Carrie Sawtell, LAc, of Many Rivers Community Acupuncture in Connecticut.

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Efforts to disseminate and begin implementing recommendations from the new report from the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (PMTF), released in May, are underway.

Most notably, according to a June 3 report from Fox News, Sen. Lamar Alexander—chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee—said that he plans to hold a hearing before the committee that will focus on the task force’s findings. The pain community can take part in an action campaign to encourage a hearing by clicking here.

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You are invited to connect with legislators and fellow pain warriors–and help create awareness around the issue of chronic pain, especially migraine disease–during our July 10 INvisible Project event at the California state house!

The INvisible Project is a print magazine and traveling display that highlights the stories of real people with pain. This year, we’re bringing the displays from our most recent edition on migraine disease to state houses across the country.

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View a slideshow from MHAM 2019 here!

U.S. Pain Foundation was busy in June with activities surrounding National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM). In collaboration with member organizations of CHAMP (Coalition For Headache & Migraine Patients), awareness of headache diseases was elevated.

U.S. Pain hosted two interactive web events, which can be viewed by following the links:

Ambassadors worked to obtain proclamations from their local governments to recognize June as National Migraine & Head Awareness Month. U.S. Pain also helped promote Shades for Migraine, attended the Danielle Byron Henry Foundation’s “Shine Her Light” event in Salt Lake City, and participated in two of Chronic Migraine Awareness, Incs “Fact-A-Day” social media posts, and partnered on the start of their newest program, Triage Kits.

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Pain Awareness Month, recognized annually in September, is just two months away! The theme this year, #LetsTalkAboutPain, is about the power of sharing patient stories and experiences. More details about how to get involved with U.S. Pain’s “Storyathon” campaign will be available in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, U.S. Pain volunteers are encouraged to get involved with annual initiatives to raise awareness: obtaining proclamations from state and local governments and asking landmarks and buildings to light up in blue on Sept. 13 for Shine Blue for Pain (formerly Light Up the Landmarks). Participation in these campaigns requires advance preparation, so volunteers are urged to get started now.

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The director with the stars of the film and their loved ones. View a slideshow from the premiere here.

On June 14, Becoming Incurable, a U.S. Pain-sponsored documentary, premiered to a sold-out crowd of more than 200 people in Sacramento, CA. Directed by Victoria Suan, the film portrays the complex lives of three individuals living with severe, chronic illnesses and how their worlds completely transformed as soon as their illnesses began.

The film is especially important to Suan, as her cousin, Leo Suan, is one of the three individuals profiled in the feature-length film. In fact, seeing his abrupt transformation after his dystonia diagnosis began was the catalyst for the film. Sofia Webster, who lives with Lyme disease, and Charis Hill, who lives with ankylosing spondylitis, are also featured in the film. Suan wanted individuals to see how drastically and quickly an individual’s life can change as a result of severe chronic illness.

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Hometown: Oceanport, NJ

Age: 61 years old

Pain warrior role: Pain advocate since 2018

What type of health conditions do you live with? Daily chronic migraines and chronic neck pain.

Favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Calm down. And I mean that literally. I spent years trying to be the person ‘I used to be’ before chronic migraines. I would barrel through the day on pain medications and sacrifice my body in the process. I wasn’t until I was diagnosed with severe inflammation in my brain that I started to understand the consequences of not calming your nervous system. Essential oils such as lavender and frankincense, soothing music, and relaxation techniques really helped me to heal my chronic pain. Self-care is definitely not selfish!”

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Through Pain Connection, U.S. Pain Foundation offers a network of support groups across the country. These support groups are led by people with pain who have received special training from Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Pain Connection’s Clinical Director, and Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy.

We are always looking to expand support groups to even more locations.

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Have you ever wanted to find a way to better communicate with your doctor, get the most out of your visits, and maximize your treatment plan?

If yes, please join us this Thursday, June 13, at 7 pm EST for an intimate conversation between neurologist and headache specialist Abby Chua, DO, and patient advocate Katie Golden. Dr. Chua and Katie will discuss what patients and doctors can learn from one another, and offer tips for interacting.

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Photo courtesy of Shawn Dickens.

Kids who live with chronic pain have same desire as anyone else their age: to feel understood, connected, and supported. Attendees at the second Pediatric Pain Warriors retreat, held over Memorial Day weekend in San Antonio, TX, experienced all this and more. The retreat included 90 kids with pain and their family members. (View a slideshow from the weekend.)

The weekend kicked off with a welcome dinner, which included a surprise visit from former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Charmeachealle (Mike) Moore. On Saturday, children and their family members were treated to an education day with speakers covering topics from virtual reality for pain to medication safety. On the final day of the weekend, everyone headed to Morgan’s Wonderland, a handicapped-accessible theme park, for some well-deserved fun in the sun. Founded in 2010, the park admits anyone with a special need free of charge, no questions asked.

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