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From Student to Instructor

How one woman is using her experience to help others struggling with chronic pain

For over 10 years, joint and muscle pain was a constant part of life for Linda Turk, often interfering with her ability to live the life she wanted. “I was always in pain. It was a struggle to get through a lot of my daily activities, including work,” she says.

Turk tried physical therapy and several pain management methods to help her cope with the pain, but says while the interventions helped reduce the pain, they never eliminated it completely. She had nearly given up, until she saw something that gave her hope.

“There was new research that showed you could train your brain to control how it responds to pain. I was so excited I called my doctor and asked him about it, and he looked it up and said that Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) was the only health network in the region offering the program,” Turk says.

Empowered relief

Turk attended a free two-hour pain management class at LVHN called Empowered Relief taught by Steve Denton, director of behavioral health integration, LVHN. The class was developed by researchers at Stanford University and focuses on how to address chronic pain that interferes with your ability to enjoy life.

She admits she was skeptical at first. “When Steve handed me the checklist of methods they use, I automatically just started going through and marking the ones I had tried. But there were some things that were new as well,” she says.

To be comfortable, Turk had to stand throughout the session and was impressed by what she learned. Empowered Relief focuses on a deeper understanding of the neuroscience behind the pain and promotes skills to decrease ways that chronic pain affects your life.

“People who participate in Empowered Relief have been shown to experience less intense pain, better sleep and lower stress. We have seen outstanding results among our participants, and  we are proud to offer this as an option for those who suffer from chronic pain,” Denton says.

Moving forward without pain

Turk was motivated after attending Empowered Relief and began incorporating the skills she learned into her everyday life. She says those skills have become second nature.

“It is now part of my daily routine. I can’t even believe the difference it has made. It’s truly amazing,” she says.

After seeing the difference that Empowered Relief made in her life, Turk was eager to share the program with others. She took courses and became a certified instructor for the program, and now teaches the course herself.

She encourages others who deal with chronic pain to try Empowered Relief for themselves. “As long as you are dedicated to learning the techniques in the program, you can have better days without pain. I have a family and grandchildren. I wanted to be able to live my life, and that’s what I’m doing,” Turk says.

Empowered Relief

Empowered Relief

A free two-hour pain management class that helps you learn how to address chronic pain that interferes with your ability to enjoy life.

Learn how to sign up

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