Hey all! Some of you may recognize my name, I've been around here on and off for several years (started back when I had CFIDS, then mostly recovered, and then resurfaced after developing more fibro-like symptoms).... I had the opportunity to go to a great conference presented (mainly) by two leading medical professionals who work on issues of chronic pain. The conference was for medical professionals AND people dealing with chronic pain, to better educate all of them about new research and treatment options that incorporate changes in the way medicine is coming to understand the effects of pain in the body and brain. Here's a link to the description of the conference: http://www.painsociety.com/conference/brain/index.php It was a REALLY amazing experience! Super informational and very supportive and respectful of all the people with pain in the room as being the experts on their own experiences. The main focus of the conference was that pain shouldn't just be "managed" by people experiencing it and the people treating it, but can actually be OVERCOME (this part made me squirmy and doubtful at first) It was two full days of educational presentations that used FMRI studies (areas of the brain that when they are activated "light up" in the scan) to show that when we deal with chronic pain, our brain actually changes to keep this pain loop going, until there really aren't things CAUSING the pain but our misfiring brain that gets stuck in this loop. They had in-depth discussions and lists of ways to change pain treatment (including using traditional methods like meds, etc) but expanded their focus to basically get at changing the ways our brains work. All this is based on "neuroplasticity" or the idea that neurons and our brain structures can be changed over time (changed into something that doesn't work as well- causing chronic pain- and changed into healing from those issues as well). They recommended a book I'm currently reading that is FASCINATING called "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge I'm not going to go into all the details from the 16 hour conference in this post .... but I'm trying to figure out the best way to convey as much of the information I learned as I can here to folks that are interested.