Welcome back to the Healing Pain Podcast with Niamh Moloney, PhD, PT and Marnie Hartman, DPT, RYT
In this episode, we’re discussing how to bridge the gap that exists between a person and pain, their ability to move beyond suffering and back to life through applying both modern pain science principles and the ancient wisdom of yoga. Yoga is a practice that is more than 5,000 years old and the field of pain science is probably more than 40 years old. However, when brought together, both of these methods and techniques offer each other enormous resources and wisdom for the treatment of pain and many other chronic health conditions. Joining me to discuss the combination of pain neuroscience with yoga for effective pain care are physical therapists Niamh Moloney and Marnie Hartman. Niamh is a physiotherapist, pain researcher and yoga teacher. Marnie is a physical therapist, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a registered yoga teacher.
Both have a special interest in pain neuroscience and how to use yoga for effective pain care. In this episode, we discuss how to apply modern pain or science to yoga and yoga therapy, the similarities between yoga and a modern pain science approach, how to optimize both the mind and the body for effective pain relief and whether or not mindful movement is more effective than general physical activity for pain management. Together, Niamh and Marnie wrote a great book called Pain Science-Yoga-Life, you can find that on Handspring Publishing, make sure to check that out. Without further ado, let’s begin this episode and learn about pain neuroscience and yoga for effective pain care.
Watch the episode here:
How To Combine Pain Neuroscience With Yoga For Effective Pain Care With Niamh Moloney, PhD, PT And Marnie Hartman, DPT, RYT
Marnie and Niamh, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you both here.
Joe, thanks for having us.
We have a little trio going on, which is always fun. Usually, I’m doing these one-on-one interviews. I’m excited to talk to both of you. We’re going to talk about an awesome book that I read through. It’s quite detailed and I’ve read through these and I enjoyed reading it. It’s called Pain Science-Yoga-Life. People can learn more about it by going to that link PainScienceYogaLife.com. The title tells you that there’s some overlap between pain, science and yoga. We’ll be talking about that throughout the whole episode.
Before we get into the science and the nitty-gritty, the evidence base and the practical applications, a good place for us to start is to talk about and dispel some of the misconceptions around yoga for our readers who are practitioners, as well as people who are living with pain. Marnie, maybe we can start with you. Can you talk to me about some of the misconceptions that exist around yoga?
Generally, I hear things like, “I’m not that flexible so I shouldn’t do yoga.” Maybe some armoring that comes thinking that yoga is a religious or a strong spiritual-based practice. Even now, there’s the Westernized and trendy version of yoga that has to do with the clothes that you wear and the fancy handstands, arm balances that you can do and the picture you put up on Instagram. It’s important to note that yoga isn’t any of those things. There is a strong, traditional, spiritual component to yoga but even if that’s what you choose to practice, it doesn’t mean that it has to be something that you baptize yourself into. It’s an inclusive form of philosophy of wisdom.
At the root of that wisdom is a dedication to studying yourself. If we think about the actual definition of yoga, it means to yoke, to bring together. The idea is that we’re bringing together the three primary parts of ourselves, which are our body, our mind, our spirit and the way that we’ve chosen to look at what it means to have a spirit. It’s the deeper inner part of ourselves and how that relates and connects to the outside world around us.
You used the word in that early introduction called armoring. I saw it in the book, which is an interesting concept and I said, “We have to make sure to touch on that.” Niamh, can you talk about that concept of armoring and what that means, let’s say maybe for the yoga practitioner and for the person living with pain?
It’s a lovely word that Marnie has introduced me to and has used a lot throughout this process. Sometimes we have this instant automatic response that shuts us off a little bit that closes us down to maybe a new idea, a new perspective or a different way to look at something. We touch on that in the book in terms of asking people to note when they’re starting to armor. One of the things that we often advocate in how we teach if you’re going to be a health professional or a yoga teacher, that’s going to use this for pain care then we’d like you to explore it for yourself first. Explore the ideas and the practices for yourself so you get to know it a little bit and you can sense what these automatic reactions can be like. We can teach and look after the people who we work with in pain with a greater level of authenticity.
It’s part of that study of the self when we start to think about when we notice that moment where we’ve had an automatic reaction, maybe we’ve shut off and said, “I don’t like that idea.” I’m not that kind of therapist. That idea of, “Yoga is not for me because I’m not spiritual or maybe the airy-fairy approach to pain care. Whereas I’m an evidence-based researcher.” I like to stick to the signs. I suppose those are the armors that we’re going to notice and see what you want to do with those pieces and whether they’re helpful or not helpful. “Are they closing you down? Are you staying open?” We get curious like we would in yoga practice.
There’s a concept in my book that I talked about. I wrote a book called Radical Relief. In the book, I talk about the idea of us building up armor around not only our body but also our heart. Mindfulness is the steel wool that you can start to use to wear off that armor. Start to wear down some of that armor so you can access your heart and access some compassion, which is important in pain care. This sounds like there are some similar concepts in there. Would you say that’s true, Marnie?
Absolutely. That’s a beautiful connection to think about mindfulness being this delicate or gentle steel will have. At the root of yoga is mindfulness. Asana means posture so every posture that you do can be meaningless. It doesn’t have to be yoga unless you connect the mindfulness component of paying attention to being aware. Part of that’s being aware of the armoring that comes in, the preconceptions and judgments that we have about things. Part of it is about being aware of our heart space of our own tenderness and compassion for ourselves, for others and for this life that we have to journey through.
People don’t realize that based on history, yoga probably came first and mindfulness grew out of that yoga tradition. There’s an idea of how the opposite came first. The contemplative approach came first and the actual physical part. The Asana came next. Is that what you found in your research? Do you talk about that in your book at all?
We haven’t touched that in the book and the approaches that we’ve looked at. I never delved into the deeper history of these practices and their roots. What’s interesting for me is to look at some of the modern pain care approaches and how they have evolved quite a lot from some of these mind-body that are older, more traditional approaches. If you think about armoring, in mainstream medicine, you can armor away from some of these practices. We all know that that’s changing dramatically but there’s still a road to go. It’s quite interesting when we see some of these modern health care approaches and where their roots are. It’s quite traditional in this ancient wisdom.
Let’s talk about that, Niamh. Pain is multi-dimensional. The evidence base is looking at pain from a multi-dimensional perspective. How does that relate to yoga? Where does that overlap between yoga and pain science come in?
That’s the conversation that Marnie and I have been having. It all began in a Neuro Orthopaedic Institute Pain Conference where we ended up sitting at a table. We’re being asked to look at all of these different dimensions in pain care. We’re asking people to look at all of these different dimensions that may be contributing to that pain. Is there something else that we can lean on? We were both working yoga practitioners at the time so we were looking at that and going, “Yoga has this philosophy and has all these practices that lend itself to supporting pain care and whether that’s a primary pain care approach or whether it’s a support to other pain care coaches.”
There are movement practices, meditation practices, breathwork practices, as well as that philosophical approach where we study ourselves, our traits. How we approach life whether we’re engaging fully or whether we’re showing ourselves love and kindness. Like Ahimsa, a principle in yoga, which means non-harming. I suppose that’s a classic that we could bring into pain care. Are we engaging in taxes that are harming ourselves or are non-harming towards ourselves? I will talk about it as the container for pain care because it is a multidimensional pain care approach or it is a multidimensional approach. We were looking at all of these different dimensions that we’re asking people that walk in our clinic or studios every day to look at so it seems like a good fit.
Marnie, that idea of container that Niamh mentioned from a physiotherapist perspective, they might say, “The container is the PT practice or physical therapy and yoga is the intervention.” How do you start to reframe that for professionals to know that the container is yoga so to speak and everything else is in the inside container and you can place more things in the container?
You reframed it for us. Traditionally, if we look at the practice of physical therapy and the intervention that we offer patients, it tends to be body-centered. Certainly, the pain science world has brought in the concept stronger of the biopsychosocial interventions but even in that self, it seems those are their little entities and we like to pull it apart of, “This person who walks into my clinic, I can treat with therapeutic exercise and that person who walks in, we’re going to do a little bit of talk about the science and how maybe understanding that some of your thoughts and beliefs contribute to your pain.” The thing to remember is that it’s all there with everybody who walks into our clinics, studios or whatever intervention it is.
Physical therapy is one strategy of looking at this person who is struggling to walk through their life comfortably. The idea is that yoga is this broad container that surrounds the person and we get to add things into it to make that person more comfortable, functional and accepting that the back part of life is facing our struggles, facing ourselves and coming out on the other side. As a PT, there’s no way that I will ever imagine that I have all the answers to help one person go through. I hope to lean on things that have a much stronger either science side or have a much stronger base in tradition and practice. I get to help them build all these little components to hold their own container.
Inside that container, you’ve even brought the mandala into practice so to speak. It’s in the book. It’s a unique one. Can you talk about how you use that mandala clinically?
The mandala is basically a glorified bubble diagram if you want to think about it that way. If you look at it from a scientific perspective, it’s a bubble diagram demonstrating all of the different dimensions and systems that are present when we look at the science of pain and surrounding that, we put it into an image of a lotus flower. In the center is you and the pain that you are experiencing and surrounding it are systems and the petals showing the dimensions. Surrounding that are the eight limbs of yoga. The idea is that the mandala itself has no beginning and no end. It’s this dynamic entity that’s always in a state of movement or flux. It’s not that one piece is bigger than the other. They all come together to create this integrated system.
I use it clinically to help demonstrate that pain is this broad-based experience and it’s incredibly unique to each one of us. Oftentimes, I’ll let the person in front of me help guide what strategy I want to use to start to get into. For some, we all know, sometimes movement isn’t the best way and sometimes going straight out, that isn’t the best way because we get immediate armoring or we get immediate pushback of, “I’ve been there before.” If we can show them this image that they can look at and go, “I see that there’s sleep in here. I don’t sleep well. Maybe we can talk about that first.” That’s how I tend to use it. It’s a little bit of a roadmap to help demonstrate all the different components and help find the entry and exit points.
The mandala that we’ve designed isn’t meant to be all-inclusive. There are aspects and systems that we didn’t include mostly because we tried to keep it within our areas of greatest knowledge. At some point in time, you have to go, “This is enough.” I hope that answered that question. The mandala is fun to work through with patients. I was surprised that it wasn’t something that I thought I would directly bring into the clinical practice. I have and it’s been successful.
It’s a nice illustration of the biopsychosocial model from a yogic perspective. Within that biopsychosocial model, you started to touch on emotions and thoughts are a part of that. There’s a concept in the book called real but not true. I wonder if you could talk about how you define real but not true and how that relates to the experience of chronic pain.
The concept of real but not true is something that came into my life more based on working through some emotional struggles. It immediately felt like, “This is similar to what it’s like when somebody is struggling with persistent pain. It’s the catastrophic thinking that goes along with pain and as a clinician, how we tend to fight these thoughts, real but not true, helped to wrap it into something that allowed me to communicate that to others.”
If we walk it through a specific example you have somebody with back pain and they immediately fear that they are never going to be able to pick up their child again, they’re never going to be the marathon runner that they once were and this pain is never going to go away. All of that is real. Those feelings are incredibly real and potent in their suffering and their struggle with pain. Even though they feel so real, if we challenge the truth behind them, most people can immediately see that the foundation of truth is unstable. Does that make sense? I use it as a way that it’s a mindfulness practice that when you find yourself in those head spins in those thought processes to be able to close it down and say, “What here is real.” My feelings, my fears and my apprehensions are all real. The truth of it, I know I can see some holes there. If I can see a hole then maybe I can go into that and start to find someplace to comfort myself.
It’s interesting. What struck me about that concept of real but not true is that there are elements of mindfulness and acceptance approaches in there. There are elements of a traditional CBT or pain education approach, which tries to identify problematic thoughts and it either changes them or modifies them in some way. It’s great that you have that in there because a lot of therapists have a problem cognitively switching between pain acceptance and pain reconceptualization or changing pain. A lot of professionals are starting to figure out what these two concepts mean.
As you become more skilled it’s like, “How do I cognitively switch from one to the next?” There is definitely a place where reconceptualization should be used. Typically, that’s in the beginning. Although sometimes it’s used throughout. Pain acceptance is a through-line that continues throughout pain care. It’s part of a yoga practice as you’re working with both your body, your mind and even your spirit. Niamh, can you talk to me about yoga and how yoga relates to the cultivation of acceptance.
Before I delve into that, I’d like to pick up on your point about how pain acceptance can thread through the whole pain care from the get-go. That’s an important point. I’d also pick up a little bit on what Marnie said about real but not true in the sense that when I see the language used around reconceptualizing pain, challenging pain and disabusing people of faulty cognitions. You start to see that there’s a pejorative layer that we’re starting to make judgments around people’s beliefs. Often when I’m teaching to healthcare professionals, yoga teachers and so on, I often get them to teach them exercises where they challenge their own thinking, thoughts and beliefs when they’re in a time of struggle. We start to see that all of these things are present in all of us to some degree and that these are the human condition.
It is the human condition for us to worry and to sometimes think to rest. It is the human condition to not always get it right and to wallow in our suffering sometimes and to need people to help us take some perspective. When we look at how yoga can help us do that if we think of it as the study of the self and a little pause whether that’s in breathwork or mindful practice. We take a pause in those moments and we start to see a little bit about what thoughts are running out behind the lines here. What’s the emotional response? What’s my automatic body response here? Start to study that and become aware of it. In those mindful moments, I have a choice. I have a choice about shifting to something else if that serves me, if that’s available or if that’s approachable now because what’s for me now might not be what’s for me in five years’ time or what was for me five years ago.
I suppose yoga allows us that space to consciously become aware. That sounds a bit like an oxymoron but to constantly become aware of these automatic responses. Acceptance threads through the whole thing. I wrote a blog on pain acceptance and it stemmed from a conversation I’ve been having in my brain for a few years. A few years ago, I’m chaired at a workshop for Peter O’Sullivan. Many of your audience will know from the Cognitive Functional Therapy Approach in particular and Kevin Vowels, who is one of the lead researchers in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
They both presented in the same workshop, which was interesting because they’re quite different. They can seem to be quite different in their approaches. I asked him the question of whether these two approaches seem to be in conflict. They said, “Maybe they’re used at different times for different people.” It’s one of those things that stuck in my head as to whether pain acceptance is truly mutually exclusive from what these other approaches that we use. I don’t think it is.
Several years later, I sit here and go, “You’re right, Joe. It threads through all of the pain care.” As a mindfulness practice, if we lean in and accept where we’re at even if it’s pretty rough going through pain or an emotional point of view and we do the best we can anyway. We take positive steps to lead ourselves out of that. That’s a mindfulness practice and an accepted practice. Parts of ACT would ask us to step away from this and take a step back from our automatic thoughts and start to recognize them for what they are. It will ask us to look at what our core values are and what it means to be us and to start to identify that and take action that leads us to a more meaningful life even with our pain and suffering present. Within that, we can move beyond it. Whether it’s an acute injury, a subacute injury, whatever, we can take that approach. Yoga is a way of allowing us to take that step and take up things.
Yoga and ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which we’ll talk about here a lot, has overlapped is what you’re saying. In ACT, there are six core processes. Are there frameworks in yoga that closely align with those core processes?
The ones that we lean on in our work are the eight limbs of yoga. Those who are familiar with yoga practices, they’ll know all about these limbs. For others, they include asana practice, meditation, pranayama, breathwork, as well as these philosophies of yamas and niyamas. There are other dimensions to it. That’s the framework that we used to house the approaches that we can use and in our pain care integrated into whether it’s a routine PT practice that wants to implement aspects of yoga and pain care or whether you want to do a full yoga pain care program.
What you said before about ACT and cognitive function therapy resonates well with me. There are definitely differences between them. There’s a bit of challenging and modifying thoughts in CFT. An ACT is a whole lot less of that, although it does have its place. Although they’re both pain exposure approaches on some level. The way they approach exposure is a little bit different where CFT uses what they call exposure with control, which is more creating safety behaviors around movement. ACT is a lot less about exposure with control. As you’re exploring and testing out this idea of awareness and acceptance, you may go a little bit over your limit so to speak and that’s okay if you’re doing it based on your values. It sounds like act aligns more with yoga but is there specifically a pain exposure approach that exists in yoga that clinicians can say, “In these yoga traditions and yoga frameworks, here’s where pain acceptance is.”
It might tie this to you Marnie but the one thing that I can think of automatically is mindfulness in action. The mindfulness part and phasing is like playing the edge, a term that’s used a lot in yoga where you go to the onset of your pain or it might be the onset of some discomfort or notice an emotional reaction or a breath-holding response. You play the edge of that so you start to navigate, moving into it, moving away from it and changing maybe your breath or changing your body tension as you’re in there. To me, that’s a framework within the movement side of it, where we become more mindful.
The first thing that comes into my head, to be honest, is maybe a reflection of what happens when we live in a science-based world and we’re trying to put that into a human experience in front of us. That’s where the practice of yoga can come in, which is the idea that everything is fluid and flexible in that sense. What I’m trying to say is, if we look at ACT and some of these other somewhat rigid ideas of, “We start at this point and we move through these six steps, it’s going to end and it’s all going to be over.”
The reality is that limits us especially in pain care because we might start somewhere in the middle and we might trackback a number of times. The reality is, the first part of pain care is learning that this sensation and experience is there. It’s part of us. Maybe before we can even get to the place of truly accepting it, we have to learn how to include it. One of the mindfulness practices that we lean on in our work with Pain Science-Yoga-Life is the idea of, “This too,” which is also another Buddhist mindfulness practice. It’s the idea of, “I am all of these things.” “I am a mother, daughter, athlete, a professional and I have some pain in my life.”
Once you pull in that inclusion then you can start to accept that it’s maybe there. That’s where some of the other more traditional act-type processes can come in. When we think about it, trying to stop narrowing things down to, “I am now going to use yoga in my practice. That means I’m going to use this limb of yoga and it’s going to mean this and I’m going to get that result.” The reality is that it is not great for humans because we vary so much. Our sufferings, emotions and physical things usually don’t have a start and they don’t have an end. They’re this spiral thing.
Most of the time when we think we’re through it, we’ve finished, it’s over, we can put it behind us, at some point in time, it’s going to come back up. For me, it’s this idea of teaching people how to handle that, how to handle that spiral of life. Physical pain and persistent pain might be part of that spiral for some. I don’t know if I answered it real directly but it’s more of a step back. Look at yoga as this big bird’s eye view. Hopefully, as somebody who’s trying to help someone find a place to become more heart-centered in their acceptance of their struggles, they can find that little entryway.
It’s an excellent way to describe and you touch base beautifully on a concept, an act called self as context, which is that there are multiple contexts that we can connect to or identify. Moving in and out of those contexts or multiple contexts at once is a nice way to help people dis-identify with the idea that I am just pain and that’s the root of everything where there are many other aspects to the self. The idea of being flexible, that psychological flexibility exists in yoga and also exists in lots of other different types of techniques and ACT being one of them. There are some pain science books on the market and there are many yoga books on the market. Why did you decide to come together and write Pain Science-Yoga-Life?
Like we’ve been talking about, we recognize that you could offer this multi-dimensional bird’s eye approach where people could be engaged in that study of self. We were aware that the pain science was asking us to look at these dimensions and there was a lot of evidence for us doing that and emerging approaches that would address the different dimensions. We were also aware that the evidence around yoga practices and related practices was growing. Perhaps these two things weren’t necessarily being merged together. There’s a couple of other groups out there as well that lean on this and serve this purpose too. At the time, we felt that that hadn’t happened yet. We felt that this blend of pain neuroscience plus the science behind yoga as well as the practice and philosophy of yoga merged together quite nicely.
For the healthcare professionals and those who are into evidence-based practice, we want to demonstrate that there was a lot of evidence and a lot of good scientific rationale for using your gut in pain care. For maybe the yoga therapists and teachers who wanted to also bring them on that journey of, “Here’s the pain science around that.” For that presence can you hope that it would give them some of the practices and their headspace to see how this helped in their pain care?
Talking about that, Niamh, do we have evidence? Is the evidence growing and mounting to point us in the direction that mindful movement could be more effective or is potentially more effective than regular exercise so to speak?
We don’t have evidence that yoga, as physical activity is better than exercise. That needed to do the exercises will teach you for pain care. It doesn’t prioritize one approach to exercise more than others. In mindful movement, what you’re starting to do is bring in other elements, mindfulness practices. We start to approach a broader approach rather than on the physical activity side of things. In terms of the evidence around yoga for pain care, we’re on this journey.
Having said that, there are some good systematic reviews out there that highlight that there are positive effects from yoga for pain care. Those effects have small effect sizes at this point. The challenges around small study sizes live as a quality and some of the evidence around this. Small effect sizes are probably similar to many of the approaches that we use for pain care at this point, as well. We need to recognize that that’s on balance and they’re not so bad. They’re good effects of using yoga for the treatment of depression and mood disorders. We start to see its effect on broader health conditions. We recognize that many people with persistent pain have come with many comorbidities and these things lived together quite regularly. The evidence base is growing and I hope it will grow more.
I’m surprised to hear you say that because, as you mentioned, a singular modal approach to pain. Exercise or CBT. It usually gives us minimal outcomes, minimal effect sizes so to speak. When I think of yoga taught in the way that we’re talking about here on this episode, we’re talking about, the physical aspect of it but also the psychosocial spiritual aspect to it. There’s more than one mode there. It’s multi-modal and multi-dimensional.
I’m curious. I wish I could jump into PubMed together and do some searches. I would think that because it’s multimodal that the outcomes would be greater than exercise. With that, it should point us to maybe there’s something in mindful movement that we should include in practice or is it that without knowing it PTs incorporate some mindful movement even if they’re not trained it or is it that the yoga studies have been focused on the physical and haven’t included that psychosocial spiritual aspect in it? There are lots of different things wrapped up in there.
We go to some of the younger studies and what they’ve included. Often, it’s hard to discern exactly what’s been included in those studies. Particularly in pain care whether there’s been a pain and care aspect to it and it’s not clear from the studies that I’ve come across so far. Future students could look at describing that in more detail and maybe paying more attention to the pain care side of things. The challenge with respect to the exercise world, we’ve been studying exercise for a long time but on the other side, we have large files that have used exercise and across the board in chronic pain conditions and persistent pain conditions.
In some ways, there is a much more established evidence base for that and we can leave on that. I would agree with you. Is there something a little bit more in mindful movements? I’m not sure that we can say that it’s better yet. I’m hesitant to stick to an advocate of evidence-based practice and adhering to what the evidence shows us. I’m reluctant to go suggest that it’s much better because, for some, it might not be intense enough. It might be the intensity of exercise that might be more important for some people. For others, it might be that mindful movement and I would certainly advocate that for many people that I work with that the mindful movement, part of it is an important component but also these other dimensions. We see several dimensions are being included in broader pain care approaches.
The research isn’t there. You would need a three-arm randomized control trial where there’s a yoga group, an exercise group with minimal instruction. As soon as you add a lot of instruction and guidance, it adds that cognitive component to it, which is a confounding factor and we need a control group of someone who is reading a pamphlet about pain, let’s say. They’re interesting things for us to think about as professionals with regard to how we utilize these different types of skills and how we titrate even what’s in the intervention. Whether we’re titrating more movement into it, titrating more extra instruction or adding in more of the mindfulness component. They’re out there with regard to precision pain medicine, as I like to talk about.
That’s where the clinical decision-making from a therapist comes in. That’s how you titrate those things. Your book does a pretty good job at talking about all those aspects so a professional can start to read, learn and of course, integrate that into practice. Speaking of the book, let us know how we can order the book and read about it. Let us know how we can learn more about both of you and the great work you’re doing.
You can find us on PainScienceYogaLife.com that’s probably the easiest way. You can find the link there to also order the book or it’s published through Handspring Publishing so you can also go to HandspringPublishing.com and read it there. We have a blog that is also on the website that we update nearly monthly. There will be a new post coming out that does a good discussion on the ACT and how it can be paired alongside the pain world as well as a little bit of yoga. Reach out and also on Facebook, it’s the same tag.
I want to thank Niamh and Marnie for joining me on The Healing Pain Podcast. You can learn more about both of them as well as the book on the website. It’s pretty easy to remember. It’s PainScienceYogaLife.com. If you enjoyed this episode and you’re a yogi, physio or pain science geek, make sure to share it with your friends, family and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and tag me on Instagram. My handle is easy. It’s @DrJoeTata and I’ll be sure to tag you back. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.
Thanks for having us, Joe.
- Pain Science-Yoga-Life
- Handspring Publishing
- Radical Relief
- Pain acceptance – “I just want my pain to go away” – Moving towards pain acceptance and life beyond pain.
- Facebook – Pain Science Yoga Life
- @DrJoeTata – Instagram
About Niamh Moloney, PhD, PT
Niamh Moloney, PhD, PT, is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Pain Researcher and Yoga Teacher. A passionate advocate of evidence-based practice, she is an active researcher, which is foundational to her clinical practice, specialising in persistent pain. She runs pain education and yoga courses for people with persistent pain, and teaches widely to healthcare professionals.
About Marnie Hartman, DPT, RYT
Marnie Hartman, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She has a special interest in pain neuroscience and has used yoga in pain care for over a decade. She believes deeply in human connection through loving kindness to self and with those she aids in rehabilitation and wellness.
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