We have done the run!

up-maraThe Royal Parks 1/2 marathon today (9th October 2016) ~ we have done the run!

Team UP completed the run around the Parks and London today to raise awareness for UP and money to launch our campaign. It was a great success!

The Team: Richmond Stace, Jonathan Vickers, Peter Brown, Chris Mutch & Ann Dunmall

On a beautiful morning, we completed the course in good time. Ann even sang in the Rock Choir performance on the main stage!! Awesome!

We were very well supported by Jo, Lucy, Lucy H, Georgie, Mark and of course the volunteers and staff. A big thanks to Sally!

This success means that we will do it again. And again. The #upandrun will now be one of the ways in which we continue to raise awareness through exposure and conversations with people and other charities. UP will support runners in the UK and beyond by funding their place and supplying a running shirt while the runner raises money for UP. So if you want to run for us, get in touch ~ upandsing@gmail.com

You can still support us here: upandrun

And now for the feet to go up!

Some strong words about pain

Here are some strong words about pain because this is what drives the UP | understand pain campaign. Chronic pain is the number one global health burden — it costs us the most and then consider the personal cost and suffering endured by each individual. We are not just talking about musculoskeletal pain (e.g., back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis etc.) but all pain: headaches, migraines, pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer related pain, pain related to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and all the other situations in which we hurt and can continue to suffer.

Traditionally the search for the reasons for pain consisted of looking for a pathology, an injury or other structural explanation in the body. The biomedical model needs something to find, something to see with the naked eye or on a scan. Pain can never be seen.

Pain is the ultimate example of a conscious experience, and conscious experiences are built by the individual based on a number of factors that are biological, psychological and sociological. Typically it is the biology that is focused upon with some psychology, which means that the biopsychosocial model purported for some years now, is not really used except in name.

The reality is that you cannot separate these dimensions. How is psychology not biological or sociological? How is biology not psychological? It makes no sense to divide what is a lived experience, a first person experience that embraces the unification of thoughts, perceptions and actions. Fortunately for society, there is a model that is most likely to be able to reflect this unification and the research needed to test the model is going to be supported by the UP campaign (charity-to-be).

As society has evolved so has our pain. Chronic pain is a societal phenomenon — on certain parts of the world, back pain did not exist until the concept was introduced by modern healthcare. That is a societal issue, not a medical issue. And by this regard, society needs a shift to support a new understanding of pain to relieve that very society of this on-going pain problem. This is not a medical problem. As time moves away from the initiation of the pain experience, it shifts rapidly towards the need for a sociopsychological model — what does the person in pain need to understand? What do they need to do? How do they engage with their family? How do they engage with their work? How do they communicate their pain? What actions do they need to take day to day to get better?

This is a public health problem that needs addressing as such. It is not dramatic to say that world leaders and policy makers need to be having conversations about the health problem that costs the globe the most and taking action now. It is absurd that the main reason for seeking help, the vehicle taking people to healthcare is frequently pain. How much formal training do healthcare professionals receive?

The passion behind UP | understand pain emerges from the absolute need for an enforced change from the bottom up. Society needs to be instrumental in the change for its own good and so this is where UP is taking the campaign. To the people. The voice of the people to enforce the necessary change.

This weekend UP has a team at The Royal Parks 1/2 Marathon, raising funds that will be the foundation for all that is described above. So join us and spread the word as we raise the profile of this problem into the consciousness of society for action to be taken now.

Join us on Twitter @upandsing using #upandrun

#upandsing T5 Heathrow Sat 25th June

Tomorrow is the 3rd #upandsing event at London Heathrow T5, so if you are working or passing through, come and see the show! There will be hundreds of singers once again, entertaining the passengers and staff at Terminal 5 from 1030 in the morning until 4pm. It’s a marathon sing song! And what better way to be uplifted than with music and singing.

The last two events in 2015 were both great fun days as well as opportunities to deliver the UP | understand pain messages. Chronic pain is one of the largest health burdens. The personal suffering and cost to society is enormous, yet many people do not realise this fact. Recent figures suggest over 40% of the population suffer pain beyond 3 months, a timeline that is deemed to be chronic. Whilst there is much more to it than a timeline, this figure demonstrates the enormity of the issue that needs addressing urgently.

One of the main contributing factors to this vast problem is the misunderstanding of pain in society. The UP campaign seeks to address this aspect by providing the latest information and thinking about pain. One of the reasons for raising money is to develop this website into a great resource for people across the world to access freely and learn both about pain but also what they can do to change their pain. Further, we are in the process of designing the best structure to apply for charity status so that we can fundraise to support important research and studies into pain so that understanding and treatment continues to advance.

Pain touches so many people across society. Pain is indiscriminate. It does not receive the attention or funding in proportion to the scale of the issue. So many conditions involve painful experiences and so many people experience pain without any serious condition, together making for the seismic impact that it has across the globe.

Please share and spread the word! Follow us on twitter @upandsing and see us on Facebook (a new page has been created today!). You will see picture and videos uploaded from tomorrow’s event, so you can share these with friends and colleagues, knowing that pain can and does change when you understand it and know what you can do.

What’s next for UP?

singforpainAfter today’s huge success once again, we know that we are on the right path. The support from the members of Rock Choir and the public was incredible, demonstrating that people recognise the scale of the problem. They also acknowledged that the situation is changeable, and we will certainly be driving this change with both our messages at events and with the Pain Coach seminars. Pain Coach is an approach to persisting pain that incorporates the latest pain sciences, the latest thinking in pain and strengths based coaching for successfully overcoming pain and resuming a meaningful life — watch out for the dates. This is all about the individual understanding their pain and knowing what action to take at any given moment to take them towards the life they envision.

singforpainHere are our immediate objectives that we are now working upon:

  • Achieving charity status
  • Pain Coach seminars for people suffering persisting pain and their carers
  • Pain Coach seminars for clinicians and others who need to understand pain (e.g. lawyers, human resources, occupational health, managers within business)
  • The next events that will always include music and song; simply because it makes us feel great!!

Party time with upandsingOur aim is to develop and mature UP, widening our net gradually as we support and educate society about pain and how we can go about changing and overcoming pain. If you would like to help us grow, please do get in touch: upandsing@gmail.com

We will announce Pain Coach dates and the next event very soon. Please tell your friends and colleagues about us and ask them to join our journey — a fun way of delivering a serious message and taking definite action.

We look forward to seeing you at the next event!

UP in the news

UPYesterday The Basingstoke Gazette published an article about the UP event tomorrow at Heathrow (Sat 24th October 2015). We are very excited about this second huge sing-song as the members of Rock Choir get ready to belt out the tunes all day at T5, London Heathrow. We will be filing the event and sharing the footage after the event, so you won’t miss out on the fun.

Read the article here

2nd UP event 24th October 2015

UP HeathrowAt UP | Understand Pain we are really excited to have our second event following the enormous success of the launch in March. We had hundreds of choir members from Rock Choir, singing out for UP at Heathrow where passengers and staff enjoyed the entertainment at Terminal 5. This time we are going bigger and better with more choirs and a non-stop sing-a-thon, the only breaks being brief talks about UP, what we are doing and why.

UP was formed by Georgie and Richmond earlier this year to raise the awareness of the huge problem of pain (back pain is the number one global health burden; in the top 10 of global health burdens we have back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis and headaches), and that there is plenty that we can do to change and overcome pain, this to resume a meaningful life as exemplified by Georgie herself and many others.

One of the biggest problems regarding pain that we face as a society, is the misunderstanding of pain itself. It is still thought of and treated as if the body structures are to blame, i.e. where the pain resides is where the issue exists and where treatment must be directed. Pain science has been telling us for years, since Pat Wall and Ron Melzack shifted our thinking, that there is much more to consider as the biology exists elsewhere in the main. The latest thinking blends science and philosophy to consider pain as a whole person, lived experience — e.g. in the case of back pain, it is the person who feels pain, not the back; much like hunger, it is the person who feels hungry and not their stomach.

Our current priorities are:

  1. To achieve charity status — this will afford us opportunities for fundraising and other benefits of being a charity. We have had numerous offers from people who wish to run to raise money. We will support people who wish to fundraise with information and t-shirts
  2. To develop the website and social media presence
  3. Start the Pain Coach workshops* with the monies raised so far and from the next event.

* more information to follow on Pain Coach workshops.

If you are travelling through Terminal 5 or work at the Terminal, come and see us and show your support!! If not, don’t worry as we are filming the event so that the World can see the performances and hear our messages.

Onwards and UPwards….. please spread the word and ‘like us’ on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @upandsing

Pain-ting | send us your drawings ‘what is pain?’

Pain-tingWe are designing a book that will be illustrated by children’s pictures of what they think of pain. As part of our awareness and action campaign to tackle the problem of chronic pain, the book will tell stories about how people have overcome their pain and problems to lead meaningful lives. We hope that this will inspire others to learn the facts about their pain and see how they can move forwards.

Tweet your pictures @upandsing or email them to us upandsing@gmail.com