Classes

The Montana Center - Classes
The following classes are offered by The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management to assist you on your wellness journey, ease chronic pain and reduce stress. For class schedules and additional information, please contact The Montana Center.

EMPOWER Goal Setting Class

This class is an important first step on your journey to wellness and pain management. In this class, we will take a look at why it is important to set your own goals on this journey. No one can tell you what you want and how you want to live, but we can help guide your process by helping you clarify your goals.

The goal of this class is to help you clarify what you want on this journey and why you want it. This process of clarification will help you find confidence that you are good enough to reach your goals. This confidence will help inspire you to get out of bed with motivation and energy.

People who set specific goals perform better than those who do not set any goals, or those who set goals that are too general or too easy. Goals take us forward in life. They are fuel for our dreams. They are the first steps to every journey we take.

Instructor: Mary McGrath
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: No charge

Gentle Movement for Chronic Pain

This class is intended for people with chronic pain or other health concerns that might otherwise make them hesitant to work out or participate in other forms of exercise. The class combines mindfulness and movement based in yoga, qigong and gentle stretching exercises. Information about the role of movement and deep breathing in stress reduction and pain management is shared in each class.

Many of the exercises can be done sitting in a chair or lying down, so they are suitable or modifiable to match the participant's levels of ability. The class theme varies from week to week, and there are options shown for exercises that make them suitable for nearly everyone. We encourage people to come experience the class even if they can only participate in the deep breathing and relaxation exercises.

Instructor: Tanjariitta Anttila, LCSW, pain counselor and certified yoga therapist
Location: The Summit Medical Fitness Center, 205 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, MT 59901
Cost: $5

Pain Skills Orientation

Shoulder pain You may have heard that pain management skills might benefit your ability to manage chronic pain, but how can mental techniques and gentle exercises help?

The function of acute pain is to tell you that you have done damage to your body and that you need to pay attention to that in order to survive. With chronic pain, the activity in the brain is different, but it’s still attempting to understand, “What does that pain mean?” Over time, that leads to a lot of stress and worry. In addition to this subconscious process, there is the obvious worry, “What is it going to do to me in five years?”

Studies have shown that mental/behavioral health techniques are more effective than most medications for reducing chronic pain. That stress creates muscle tension, which aggravates the original source of the pain. It’s tempting to think, “There’s no way that learning to relax is going to have any impact on the level of pain that I experience,” but it can. Anything you do to reduce stress will have a direct impact on reducing pain, simply through lessening muscle tension. This is just one way pain skills can help.

To learn more, come to a free, 90-minute class to learn about ways to reduce pain levels through deep breathing, meditation and light yoga. These are simple techniques that anyone can use that have helped millions of people.

Instructor: Daniel Gregerson, LCPC
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5

Meditation

The use of medications alone is almost never the best way to reduce your suffering from chronic pain. Studies have shown conclusively that a regular practice of meditation is more effective than medications for chronic pain management and also as effective as antidepressants for most depression and anxiety.

More than 10 million Americans say they practice some form of meditation. Anyone can meditate. It doesn’t take a special place, special equipment or a special level of mental control. This class will focus particularly on a type of meditation called mindfulness – which, simply put, is working toward being aware of what is happening in the moment, here and now. Through learning to keep your focus on the present, rather than being overwhelmed with the past or future, you can lower your overall experience of pain and increase contentment and even happiness in life.

Instructor: Daniel Gregerson, LCPC
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5

Skills for Healthy Thinking

This class teaches skills using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has been found to be effective for the management of chronic pain. CBT for pain management takes an active problem-solving approach to addressing the challenges associated with the experience of chronic pain. Rather than seeing yourself as helpless and disabled because of your pain, the CBT approach teaches you skills to take back control of your life and re-engage in activities, creating a more fulfilling experience of your life.

Instructor: Stephanie Cymbal, LCSW
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5

The Art of Emotional Balance

Butterfly in hand Come spend an hour learning how the brain copes with imbalances in an effort to help us maintain resilience. Then we will explore some basic skills for using mindfulness in your effort to achieve balance, understand distress tolerance, promote effective emotional regulation and encourage interpersonal effectiveness.

Instructor: Kelly Brewer, LCSW
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5

Qigong

Try this slow-moving restorative exercise that uses breath and movement as a tool for wellness, pain management, stress reduction and self-awareness.

Instructor: Mary McGrath
Location: The Summit Medical Fitness Center, 205 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, MT 59901
Cost: $5

Breath Mechanics

We now understand that how we breathe can directly affect how we experience stress, both emotional and physical. This class is intended to help people learn how to breathe correctly, according to the mechanics of the body. We will focus on why correct breathing is so important to our health and well-being.

Perhaps you have heard someone say, “Just breathe deeply.” But do you understand what that means and how to do it? This class will focus on the actual mechanics of taking that deep breath. We will look at how our lungs take in air, how the oxygen in the air gets into our blood and is transported throughout the body, and what this has to do with feeling good! We will also explore how proper breathing can be used as a pain management tool.

Instructor: Mary McGrath
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5

Stress Matters

Every disease, illness, pain and discomfort involves stress of some sort. Stress is a root cause of anxiety, panic disorder and depression. Stress is now a worldwide epidemic. Stress can create depression, anxiety, insomnia, difficulty with decision-making, difficulty thinking and focusing, and much more.

Research has shown conclusively that how we breathe directly affects our experience of stress. We will learn how stress impacts our daily life and how our breathing can help us manage that stress. This class will focus on how to breathe to alleviate our stress response. We will learn how to breathe in the moments of intense stress such as panic attacks and anxiety, as well as techniques to use for pain management.

Instructor: Mary McGrath
Location: The Montana Center for Wellness & Pain Management
Cost: $5