“Building Your Toolbox” videoconference series
Each meeting in this monthly series will focus on discussing a different pain modality with an expert. The series will be done as a videoconference using the Zoom platform, so participants can see and hear one another and interact directly with an expert speaker.
This series is typically held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm ET, and is led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, and Bobbi Blades, a long-time chronic pain support group leader.
The calls will generally follow this format:
- Welcome from Gwenn
- Brief presentation from a speaker about a particular pain modality
- Open Q&A and discussion with participants
Participants will be muted for the first portion of the event and then will be able to speak to ask questions. We encourage you to join via video, but if you’re not feeling up to it and want to participate without video, that’s fine.
NOTE: By registering for all or part of this series, you acknowledge and agree to the terms of our waiver.
Building Your Toolbox
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December 6, 2022
Laughter: The Ultimate Pain Cure
- Learn the art of Sit Down Comedy
- Guaranteed to cure all life’s ailments
- Discover a life of eternal bliss
Malcolm Herman, Director of Comedy Programs for US Pain Foundation
Malcolm Herman worked as an attorney in Maryland for 25 years. After his wife, Gwenn, was injured in an automobile accident, Malcolm became active in the chronic pain community and assisted Gwenn as she created Pain Connection, a nonprofit corporation in Maryland, which is now part of U.S. Pain Foundation. Malcolm previously served as a director of Pain Connection. He participates in the training of chronic pain support group leaders, focusing on caregivers and family members, and is co-facilitator of the Caregivers/ Care Partners Support Group.
Malcolm’s love of comedy has caused his children to leave home and has driven his wife to a life of meditation and chakras. Malcolm has no chakras and doesn’t want any.
December 6: Laughter: The Ultimate Pain Cure
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email with the link for attending via Zoom. If you do not receive this email or have questions about registration, please email email@example.com.
Past topics and speakers
John White: Gentle movement
John White is a recognized leader in the renaissance of Pilates and the integration of movement education and health. A former Martha Graham dancer, John was the Director of Movement and Aquatic Therapy at Canyon Ranch and now owns John White Movement – a progressive movement studio and teacher-training program in Tucson, Arizona. John began his study of the Pilates method 36 years ago and is a Master Teacher, having taught for the past 25 years. His students have included Olympic gold medalists, Wimbledon champs, Oscar-winning actors and actresses and members of several royal families. More often, however John is sought out for his ability to work with challenging physical conditions, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, spondylitis, scoliosis, chronic pain, and rehabilitation.
Gloria Mathiesen, MA, LMT: Aromatherapy
Gloria C. Mathiesen, MA, LMT, LAC, RYT-200, Certified Aromatherapist, Usui Reiki Master/Teacher graduated in 1997 from Irene Gauthier’s Myomassology Institute located in her home state of Michigan. She has been providing therapeutic massage services ever since.
Gloria received her MA in Mental Health Counseling and is licensed in Ohio and Arizona. All of her modalities and trainings interweave the connection between the mind and body and how to build resilience. She focuses on courses and workshops addressing topics including PTSD, eating disorders, addiction, chronic pain and trauma.
Rick Dyer, MSK: Core strengthening
Sept 2020: Rick Dyer, MSK, is director of CrossFit Los Altos and a personal trainer. As a collegiate baseball player, Rick was named the Conference Player of the Year in 2004. For nearly twenty years, he has been helping individuals improve their strength, mobility and overall physical function and health.
He is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and certified personal trainer (CPT). In his free time, Rick loves to cook, eat and spend time with his three young sons and wife.
Millie Quinones-Dunlap: Expressive Writing
August 2021 Millie discussed using writing to manage pain.
Adrienne F. Asta: Self-Care Strategies for Chronic Pain
Adrienne discussed using selfcare strategies to manage pain.
Kate Benson: Stained Glass Painting
We learned how to create beautiful stained glass designs at home.
Mara Gerke: Supplements
July 2021 Mara Gerke discussed using supplements to manage pain.
Lucy Dunning, Ed.S: Virtual Reality
March 2021: Lucy Dunning, Ed.S, discussed how virtual reality can decrease pain.
Ryan Drozd: Nutrition
April 2021: Ryan Drozd discussed the challenges of changing dietary habits and ways to overcome them.
Cindy Steinburg: Pain Advocacy and You
Sept. 2021 Cindy educated the group on advocacy.
Marcia Henry: The Power of Music
May 2022 Marcia showed the power of music to improve quality of life.
Linda Shaw: Making a Gratitude Board
June 2022 Linda taught us the healing power of gratitude and we learned how to make a gratitude board.
Helen Hess, NP, CHT: Medical hypnosis
Helen has been a certified hypnotist and hypnotherapist since 2005. She trained at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America located in New Mexico. Helen’s specialty is health hypnosis. She utilizes hypnosis to decrease pain; decrease stress, fear and worry; improve sleep and energy; enhance relationships; and change lifestyle choices for better health. Helen is a Certified Medical Support Hypnotherapist and Fellow of the International Board of Hypnotherapy. She is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, the Arizona Nurses Association, and is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
Lee Blank, LMT: Self-massage
Oct. 2020: Lee Blank, LMT, RYT200 is a licensed massage therapist specializing in chronic pain and oncology massage. Her company, Massuage Associates, LLC offers full-body table massage, and massage for patients and families struggling with chronic illnesses. She is a registered yoga teacher as well.
Lee is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park with a BS in Applied Sciences. She was recently honored by the Rockville Chamber of Commerce with their Citizen of the Year award for her volunteer work with hospice patients.
Kent Mason: Photography
Dec 2020: Kent Mason is a landscape and nature photographer and conservationist who is currently creating a photographic environmental study of the highlands of West Virginia. This is a collaborative effort with The Nature Conservancy which will result in a book.
He has been involved in photography for over 30 years and has been teaching visual design classes for the past 15 years. He sells fine art landscape photography in galleries, and has displayed his work in The Nature Conservancy headquarters.
Kent has learned strategies for functioning in his career while having chronic pain.
Gwen Minton: Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Oct. 2021 Gwen taught the group how to use CBT.
Mari Hodges: Alexander Technique - Embodied Mindfulness
July 2022 Mari taught how to quiet body and mind to reduce stress, tension and pain.
Lisa Marie Price, LAc, DiplAc: Acupressure
Lisa Marie has completed extensive studies in dietary therapy, Qi Gong, and a variety of acupuncture techniques. Her remarkable healing experiences as a patient led Lisa Marie to the study of Chinese Medicine, rather than Western Medicine. Lisa Marie advocates both locally and nationally for improved services and treatment options for chronic pain patients.
In private practice in Chinese Medicine for 25 years, Lisa Marie Price is a national board-certified acupuncturist (NCCAOM) and received her Master’s degree in Acupuncture. She received her B.A. degree from Stanford University.
Rachel Zoffness, PhD: Neuroplasticity
Nov. 2020: Dr. Rachel Zoffness is a pain psychologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCSF School of Medicine, where she teaches pain education for medical residents. She is an international speaker on effective treatments for chronic pain.
Dr. Zoffness serves on the boards of the American Association of Pain Psychology and the Society of Pediatric Pain Medicine. She is the author of The Pain Management Workbook, an integrative workbook rooted in science and research. Dr. Zoffness consults on integrative pain programs, runs a private practice, and leads multidisciplinary pain workshops for health providers.
Malcolm Herman: Laughter
Jake Benson: Easy Healthy Cooking
Nov. 2021 Jake and Kate taught easy healthy cooking, including crockpot lasagna.
Janet Jay: Poi Spinning
Janet taught the art of Poi Spinning for mental, physical and emotional health
Christie Cox: Mindfulness
Christie taught Mindfulness 101. 3 Steps to Train Your Brain. How to train your brain to reduce pain and to calm the chaos.
Gwenn Herman, LCSW: Chakras
Jan. 2021: Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, discussed chakras and breathing techniques.
Paula Mintzies, Daily Energy Routine
May 2021: Paula Mintzies discussed a daily energy routine and Qi Gong.
David Hall: Sleep Hygiene
June 2021: David Hall discussed ways to improve sleep.
Anne Smith: Easy Traveling
Dec. 2021 Anne shared useful tips for traveling with chronic pain and overcoming barriers.
Debbie Hall: Pet Therapy
Jan. 2022 Debbie taught about pet therapy and the magical power of pets.