Everyone experiences pain at some time in their lives. For most it goes away, but for others it continues to the point where it can become disabling, distressing and disrupting, and frequently a challenging issue for health providers working with those who are suffering.
A small group of people who live with chronic /persistent pain, however, have used their creative skills as a self-manage the pain in their daily lives, and some of their work will go on display at the New Zealand Pain Society's annual scientific meeting at Waitaha, at the Copthorne Hotel, Waitangi.
The work will be open to the public from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday.
One of the exhibitors said it had only been in the last couple of years that she realised that creating was not only therapeutic but a good distraction from the pain she couldn't avoid.
"If you can't change a situation, you must just get on with it, figure out how to work around it and still have a good life," she said.
"My photography helps me capture what is beautiful in our world. It provides a mindful lens to see the small things most people fail to notice or appreciate. I go on photography walks and rides on my e-bike. Exercise is a vital part of my pain management toolbox, and photography excursions provide a wonderful mix of exercise and passive creativity as I return to edit and examine my compositions," said another.
The role of the New Zealand Pain Society is to provide support and education for health practitioners working in the area. Its purposes, which are exclusively educational, scientific and charitable in nature, include: working to improve the management of patients with acute and persistent pain, bringing together basic scientists, health professionals and others with an interest in pain research and management, fostering and encouraging research into pain mechanisms and pain syndromes, promoting education and training in the field of pain, promoting and facilitating the dissemination of new information in the field of pain, and promoting and sponsoring an annual scientific meeting of the society.
This year's meeting, to be held in Northland for the first time, was expected to attract around 280 people including doctors (anaesthesia, palliative care, rehabilitation medicine, musculo-skeletal medicine, psychiatry, neurosurgery), nurses, occupational therapists, pain researchers, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers and others interested in working with people with pain.
Papers would be presented by experts from around New Zealand and overseas. The latter had been recorded, the organisers saying most people had got used to Zoom and virtual meetings last year, so this would not be a new experience.
for a conference.
The society was very keen for local people to visit the exhibition on Saturday, to see how people with difficult health conditions could use meaningful occupations such as painting, carving, mosaics, knitting, cake-making and metalwork as tools for self-management and enjoyment. Some pieces would be for sale.