Sandra Woods
Art despite pain

In the news

(posted on 26 Nov 2023)

I have an event coming up that's art-related, but not in a way that you might expect.
Earlier this year I presented a 3-hour guest lecture to students in a pre-medicine program at a local university, on "Perception & Pain", as one class in their 300-level psychology course. It was such a success that the students asked their professor to have me give another guest lecture. 
My second 3-hour talk was on "The Limbic System", as part of a 200-level psychology course "Brain & Behaviour".
That second class covered the basics of the Limbic System, and how it relates to anxiety, chronic pain, depression, PTSD, and other health issues.

In two weeks I'll be giving a shortened one-hour talk at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), here in Montréal, based on my second pre-med lecture.
My new presentation will focus on the body's Limbic System, and how it affects chronic pain. You may have heard the Limbic System referred to as the "Fight or Flight" response, or as the body's "Stress Response" to danger and other challenges.
This talk, for the MUHC's Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit (AEPMU), will include my art practice and other forms of art.
I'll be describing many of the techniques and 'tools' that I use to calm my own Fight or Flight response, to try to calm my high-impact chronic pain from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
Some of these tools, of course, are art-creation and art-appreciation - along with listening to different forms of music, and even dancing.
In 2021 I began learning to paint and sketch specifically because of my rare pain condition, so I'm looking forward to sharing this more positive aspect of my pain-patient journey with others.

This is another example of how my Art Despite Pain #ArtDespitePain initiative combines my art practice with my volunteer chronic pain advocacy, awareness, and education activities.
Unfortunately this event is reserved for team members and patients of the AEPMU pain clinic, so I've hidden the log-in information on the hospital network's poster.