When chronic pain does not improve with medication, injections or surgery, or when the treatment of pain creates new problems, Living Well with Chronic Pain Shared Medical Appointments (SMA) in the Centers for Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine can help.

Learning effective ways to manage chronic pain is critical. Untreated chronic pain can disrupt your entire life, affecting your relationships with family and friends, career, self-esteem, and ability to care for yourself. Integrative Medicine Providers use holistic approach to address pain by incorporating meditation, gentle stretching and acupuncture into your treatment plan. They will teach you skills and tools to help you to manage your symptoms and take control of your life.

Learning in a shared setting

Living Well with Chronic Pain SMAs are a series of uniquely designed medical appointments that give you continued extended time with integrative medicine providers in the company of others who share similar health concerns. More information is often exchanged during a SMA than an individual office visit because participants learn from each others’ comments and interaction with experts. Participants also enjoy group support. What you will experience during our program

What you will experience during our program

Living Well with Chronic Pain SMA can help you get your life back as you’re guided through activities that help you break the cycle of pain:

  • Yoga – Gentle stretches will help to release tension and stress. Simple body movements and breathing techniques that you can practice at home.
  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been effectively used for more than 3,000 years to treat pain and improve overall health. It can reduce inflammation and release the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Stress Management – Relaxation has been shown to improve pain. Learn how to practice focused awareness and compassion. We will practice them together in a supportive group setting so you can feel comfortable using them at home on your own.
  • Meditation and Guided Imagery – Use the power of your subconscious to help “program” your mind for health and wellness. Learn to anchor yourself in a state of peace and relaxation while creating new habits, positive ways of thinking, and behavior patterns that will support your healing.
  • Massage and Self-Massage – Learn simple techniques that you can practice at home to improve range of motion, strength, relieve stress and much more. Learn techniques practice at home.
  • Nutrition – There is proven correlation between inflammation and pain. Will discuss simple steps to move away from inflammatory foods like ultra-processed foods and sweetened drinks to healthy eating patterns like the Mediterranean Diet.
What to Expect

What to Expect

Guidance from a team of experts

A Cleveland Clinic physician and a licensed mental health therapist and/or a behavioral health specialist lead the SMAs. They work with a team of professionals who are experts in nutrition, yoga, massage, guided imagery, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

We strongly encourage each participant to see a holistic therapist for individual weekly sessions throughout the five-week program. We have noticed greater improvement in managing pain symptoms when participants take advantage of this additional form of treatment.

Living Well with Chronic Pain SMAs are three hours long and take place once a week for five weeks. During the program, you will develop a handbook filled with useful tools to guide you through daily activities and help you improve your quality of life.

Is this program covered by insurance?

Shared medical appointments are covered by most insurance plans. Participants are responsible for insurance copays for each appointment. (Cleveland
Clinic employees have no copay for the physician component of this program.)