Medical MondaysA Complete Guide to Pacing for Chronic Pain

So, last week I posted the reviews for the final two weeks of Esther Smith’s course A Complete Guide to Pacing for Chronic Pain; I feel very privileged to have been asked to review the course for Esther & I just feel bad that I didn’t manage to stick to the schedule that Esther & I agreed to – but she was lovely about it & I’m very thankful for that. Here’s my overall review of the course for you…

So, this post should have gone up weeks ago but life got in the way & I fell behind – however, I still got a lot out of the course & I’m very happy that I got to be a part of it. A Complete Guide to Pacing for Chronic Pain is an online course put together by a woman called Esther Smith, who suffers with chronic pain because of an injury that occurred during a chiropractor session; for a long time Esther suffered with her pain without any idea of how to improve her situation… anyone who suffers with chronic pain will know that the help we get is very limited, so Esther took that into her own hands & put together a 6 week online course that instructs fellow Spoonies on how to manage their pain better, whilst living a productive life.

When I first started the course I was sceptical about whether or not Esther’s ideas would help me, but I was definitely proved wrong. Esther has come up with a set of pacing systems that help people put in place things that can help them to live their life well, whilst dealing with their pain effectively; it turns out that two of the pacing systems that Esther included in her course are things that I’ve done without even realising it, & knowing that other people are doing what I do, lessened the guilt or shame I felt about how I was living my life.

As well as educating students about 5 different pacing systems (week 2 & 3), Esther also gives advice & instruction on how to increase your activity levels in a healthy way, after initially finding your “baseline” (week 4), that will limit the amount of pain you end up in when you do more (or will hopefully leave you in no extra pain at all). As someone who avoids being too physical out of genuine fear of the pain that will be of consequence, week 5 was very interesting to me & gave me hope that I can actually one day be as active as other people – namely my boyfriend.

The final week, week 6, looked at the emotional & mental affect that suffering with chronic pain has upon a person. As I mentioned previously, this course helped to lessen the guilt & shame I felt about how I have to live my life in order to not be in too much pain, & the final week increased this massively. It felt so nice to watch Esther talking about how being chronically ill can make you feel & it made me feel so much less alone… even though I’ve now finished the course I know that I’ll re-watch the week 6 “lecture” because there have been so many times in the past when I’ve needed the reassurance that I’m not the only person feeling how I have done.

Now, I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have been allowed to be part of this course for free; as Esther’s online courses are her livelihood she has to charge people to join up, but I do genuinely believe that the money will be worth it for the majority of people that sign up*. If you’re considering signing up to Esther’s course then please make sure you are 100% committed to listening to & carrying out the advice that Esther provides you with. At the end of each week Esther gives her “students” a small piece of homework to do, & how much you get out of the course depends massively of how much effort you put into the homework Esther gives you.

*She does offer a free mini course to those of you that are unsure about whether you want to sign up though.

A Complete Guide to Pacing for Chronic Pain isn’t the only course that Esther provides & you can find out more about the other courses here – you can also use the following links to find the rest of my posts on the course;

 Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four | Week Five | Week Six

Before I finish this post I just want to thank Esther Smith for all the effort she has put into this course, & the others that she’s created, & tell her that I think what she’s doing is wonderful – I also want to say that I do highly recommend her courses to anyone suffering with chronic pain. If anyone has any questions about this course, or my experience, then please don’t hesitate to DM me on Twitter!


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