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Chronic Pain SIG - Utilizing Somatic Approaches to Manage Pain
Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM CST
Category: SIGS



6:30 – 8:00 Presentation of course content and experiential learning
8:00 – 8:30 Questions and discussion

Course Description:

These Somatic approaches facilitate the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance.  Somatic techniques provide clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states  and is appropriate for use by a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.


This course will provide a basic explanation of:

-The polyvagal theory
-Tracking sensation and activation in self and client
-Interoception and exteroception
-Clinical approaches useful for clients who have experienced trauma

**Course time will be largely spent engaging in experiential learning of clinical techniques, including orienting, voo breathing, and resourcing.

Speaker bios:

Peggy Ninow, OTR/L, is a graduate of St. Catherine's University OT program. She has worked with complex and chronic conditions for over 20 years. She specializes in syndromal patterns such as: fibromyalgia, migraines, post concussion syndrome, PTSD, and chronic fatigue. She is currently working at Regions Hospital . Her primary focus is on development and treatment of trauma and chronic pain programs in mental health.  Peggy believes that understanding the brain, the nervous system, and the impact of traumatic events on the nervous system are critical components when assisting others in their healing process. Peggy uses a hands on and verbal approach to help strengthen and bring forth the inherent health and healing capacities of each individual. Using the processes of Somatic Experiencing, Healing Touch, Qigong, Biofeedback, and other modalities; physical and emotional patterns, traumatic stresses and strains can be gently released and the system can reorganize, restoring one's true potential of health. Her focus is to help each client become more embodied and experience life more fully.

Vicki Barth, OTR/L graduated from St. Catherine's University.She has 30 years experience in the area of rehabilitation of both inpatients and outpatients. She currently works at the HP Neuroscience Center, in St. Paul, providing outpatient services for patients with chronic pain, post concussion syndrome, TBI and stroke. In the past she worked at Regions Hospital, in St. Paul, and the Courage Center (now named Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute), in Golden Valley. She has completed 2 of the 3 year certification program of Somatic Experiencing (SE) for trauma healing. She incorporates the SE treatment approach while using Myofascial Release, Strain Counterstrain and Fascial Counterstrain techniques for pain management and nervous system regulation.

Megan Flood, OTR/L,  is a recent (2016) graduate of St. Catherine University’s MAOT program.  Prior to voyaging into occupational therapy, she danced professionally for 15 years, and then joined Regions’ Hospital’s Integrative Therapies Department as a massage therapist and Reiki practitioner.  She currently works with the remarkable occupational therapy team at Regions’ Mental Health, and is beginning the second of a three-year training in Somatic Experiencing.


After completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the polyvagal theory, and its applicability to working with persons who have experienced trauma
  • Guide self and others through clinical approaches, including orienting, voo breathing, and resourcing
  • Identify appropriate clinical populations with whom to utilize somatic approaches to facilitate improved engagement in meaningful occupation

Target Audience: OTR, OTA, OTS

Course level: intermediate

Event location: HealthPartners Neuroscience Center: conference center A-1320 and B-1320
295 Phalen Boulevard, St. Paul, MN  55130

Fee: MOTA members Free          Non-members $20.00 

Continuing Education Credits:  2.0 CEU

Chronic Pain SIG - Register Here



This course fulfills the AOTA Classification Code for Continuing Education Activities: Category 1:Domain of OT and Category 2: Occupational Therapy Process





Contact: Karen Carr- email: [email protected]