Mindfulness meditation is based on ancient Eastern meditation practices that focusses on paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. Mindfulness helps people to accept their experiences, both physical and mental, rather than react to them with aversion and avoidance. In this way, mindfulness can help our clients to transform their relationship with painful thoughts and feelings in a way that reduces their impact and influence over their lives.
At Odyssey Health Services our clinicians use both graduated cardiovascular training and progressive resistance training depending on a client’s presenting difficulties, current level of physical functioning and requirements of the job to assist the individual to gradually resume their pre-disability level of functioning.
Flor and Turk in Melzack and Wall’s Textbook of Pain 5th Edition (2006) state:
“The negative reinforcement of activity levels is an important process in the development of disability. People with chronic pain typically attempt to base their decisions about the amount of physical activity or work they perform on the level of pain they experience or anticipate. Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome tend to overestimate the extent of their physical limitations. This overestimation may lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy and inhibit their activities because they view themselves as more disabled than they actually are. A specific activity (e.g. walking) is performed until pain sets in, at which point the activity is interrupted and replaced by rest. Subsequently the pain will be reduced.
This reduction of pain negatively reinforces the cessation of activity. The cessation of activity has to be made dependent on the amount of activity achieved, quota based, rather than on the amount of pain. Thus, the pain reinforcing quality of rest is eliminated. This formulation supports the strategy of encouraging patients to perform activity to meet a specific quota” (that is not based upon level of pain).”
For an individual who has been off work for an extended period of time, the key to a successful outcome is the preparation for a return to work. Our work hardening process is designed to utilize real or simulated work activities intended to restore physical, behavioural and vocational functions. Work Hardening addresses the issues of productivity, safety, physical tolerances and worker behaviours. At Odyssey Health Services we use both cognitive and physical work hardening strategies.