Local Rehab Program Teaches Patients About 'Natural Painkillers'

October 11, 2017 07:18 PM

Bill Clements has lived with chronic pain most of his adult life.  After he had colon surgery, he relied on fentanyl administered through an internal pain pump.  He says something had to change.

"The drugs were taking away too much of who I am," Clements said. "It made me a zombie."


To take charge of the issue, Clements sought help at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Gold Valley, where they have one of the only behavior-based, residential pain rehab programs in the Upper Midwest.

The immersive, three-week program focuses on meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling.

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Dr. Matthew Monsein says the institute teaches natural painkillers.

"It's like going to school to learn about how to live more effectively with your chronic pain experience," he said.

"We work with exercise and physical reconditioning," Monsein said. "We also work with mindfulness training and other psychological approaches."

Clements says at first he was skeptical, but the program has worked for him.

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"I can feel my body calming down in a way I could never get it to do," he said. "It's that simple."

According to data from the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, 83 percent of patients who complete the program are able to reduce the medications they take for pain management.


Ellen Galles

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