50hr CPD09 Meditation & Yoga Therapy for Pain Management - Neuroscience of Pain

Meditation, Mindfulness

Post-Grad Training Courses

Post-Grad Training Courses



11 Nov 2021

15 Nov 2021


8.30am - 5.00pm


$1448 In-person, $1098 online

Face to face, online portal, videos, audios, marking and assessment


Celia Roberts

“Mindfulness meditation trumps placebo in pain reduction.”

“The research, published in the Nov.11 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that study participants who practiced mindfulness meditation reported greater pain relief than placebo. Significantly, brain scans showed that mindfulness meditation produced very different patterns of activity than those produced by placebo to reduce pain.”

One in five people in Australia suffer from persistent pain.

In this 50hr Yoga Therapy and Meditation course, designed for yoga teachers and meditation teachers, you will learn about the neurophysiology and science of pain. You will be able to provide your clientele or students with a new outlook on how to perceive and manage pain through yoga, mindfulness and meditation.

With fascinating examples found within the latest research, science is showing there are complementary and/or alternative approaches to drugs in the recovery from chronic pain. We now have evidence-based alternative recovery options to the increasingly widespread problem: the overuse of opioids in Australia and the US for many chronic pain sufferers.

Undertaking this course, you will be able to offer some of these alternatives: helping others to understand pain, re-engage with evidence-based biopsychosocial treatment protocols, and retrain the brain to harness adaptive neuroplasticity.

Recent studies are beginning to understand the complex nature of pain and how, at a neurological level, the experience of pain is influenced by much more than just tissue damage, including anticipatory processes and emotional responses. From an evolutionary perspective, pain is about protection, however when pain becomes chronic, these signals are no longer all about such protection and survival instincts.

“This is a critical idea because the science clearly says that overprotective pain systems mean the painful body part is actually a lot safer than it feels like it is. Over time, we slowly get more and more into an overprotected state in which things other than the tissues that hurt can become significant contributors to pain”, says pain scientist, Professor Moseley. The research is that pain doesn’t necessarily correlate with tissue damage.

Through the practice of mindfulness and non-judgmental awareness of our own bodies, we can learn to change our expectations, even our anticipation or fear of pain. With mindful training of the mind and body, we can learn to overcome stress, fear, PTSD, depression and anxiety which have a strong correlation with pain and one’s perception of pain. Stress makes pain worse and pain usually makes the stress worse. However, the research also shows that meditation not only shifts such cognitive and emotional processes, but also directly targets the pain at a neurological level.

Meditation assists by calming highly reactive nervous systems, which, when left untreated, can lower the pain threshold and maintain pain, even after an injury has healed. Retraining our mind and body through yoga and meditation can lower our stress levels, reduce anxiety and high reactivity of the nervous system and improve general well-being.

Through learning to sit mindfully in breath and body, we acknowledge thoughts and note what the mind perceives as ‘danger’.

“Repetitive thoughts about danger contribute to pain. That’s the thing with pain – any credible evidence that you are in danger has the potential to make pain worse. So stress, fear, anxiety, depression all correlate with pain.” – Professor Moseley

In yoga therapy and meditation practice we start to see that pain is memorised and anticipated, possibly even somewhat illusory. If we refer to the latest research, pain is “entirely in consciousness”, considering that “pain is always the result of the brain making its best guess about what would be most helpful for us as an organism”.

Acknowledging this, we can re-train the body and brain to once again experience ease or safety, often called neuroception. Acknowledging that muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress, we can understand that it is the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain.

Experientially, and with good guidance, we can use both meditation and yoga to re-explore appropriate muscle tonus for our bodies. We can reduce inflammation which is a disease process that gives rise to pain and helps patients or students to understand when their pain is protecting body tissue that actually needs to be trusted, loaded and retrained.

Through mindfulness, meditation and yoga-based therapy, we have the extraordinary ability to cortically remap the body in the brain, within the somatosensory cortex or the homunculus. We also have the ability to rebuild function in the body. With attention and practice, we begin to experientially understand change within and the emerging science of “bioplasticity”, connecting mind to body and body to mind. We integrate the mind and body with an experiential understanding of bottom-up neurophysiological processes and top-down neurocognitive mechanisms. We come to understand experientially and cognitively that “Bioplasticity got us into this and bioplasticity will get us out of this”.

We can also use mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to retrain the brain and movement or yoga to assist our recovery, acknowledging the latest in pain research. The empirical data clearly shows us that if people learn how persistent pain works, its overprotective nature and the multiple contributors to pain and the ways in which they could retrain their system, then “excellent outcomes are possible”.

Pain and its neuro-physiology is fascinating.

Let us learn…

What You Will Learn

- Yoga Therapy for Pain Relief and to re-build function – the science and research.
- Pain and Endocannabinoid system
- Meditation for Pain and placebos
- Yoga Meditation, Vagal tone and GABA
- Understanding placebos and nocebo effects and their role in healing
PMS and pain
- Mindfulness Meditation versus Sham Meditation (in Pain relief and other health factors)
- Hypothesis of central sensitisation.
- The Neuroscience of Pain
- Bioplasticity of Pain.
- Efficacy of Compassion Meditation for pain relief
- Languaging appropriate for therapeutic settings.

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