Clinical Applications of Pain Science for Manual Therapists (Toronto)


Program Overview

May 26 – 27th

Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy

330 Dupont Street

Toronto, ON M5R 1V9

Equivalent to 7 Category A CEUs

About the instructors

Eric Purves co-owns a multidisciplinary clinic in Victoria, BC.  The clinics primary focus is using evidence based strategies and incorporating a biopsychosocial approach for the treatment of acute and chronic pain problems.

Eric was the lead developer, with support from the RMTBC and their Pain Management Advanced Practice Group, and is the primary faculty, for a chronic pain management workshop for RMT’s that he teaches through PainBC.  He currently is completing his Masters in Rehabilitation Science at UBC.

Monica Noy is an RMT and manual osteopathic practitioner in private practice. She is a clinical instructor at Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy in Toronto, and has developed and instructed pain neuroscience and critical thinking courses for manual practitioners (RMTs, OMPs, PTs).

She is currently completing her Masters in Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University.

Eric and Monica both have a passion for pain science education, rehabilitation principles and evidence based applications in manual therapy.

This 2-day course will focus on reconceptualizing pain in manual therapy, and the role of manual practitioners in healthcare.


This 2 day course will focus on reconceptualizing pain, manual therapy effects and the role of manual therapists (RMT’s, osteopathic manual practitioners, physiotherapists and athletic therapists) in healthcare. The focus will be on how to use manual and movement techniques in a manner that is consistent with the evidence and theories of how biopsychosocial factors can impact pain and its related disability.

The course provides the opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional manual therapy practices can increase success and improve patient outcomes. It aims to decrease practitioner stress and increase confidence when working with routine and complex patients. We will thoroughly discuss the science of pain and how to incorporate effective therapeutic pain management approaches into daily practice. The course will challenge many misconceptions about pain and manual therapy as we learn the basics of utilizing a biopsychosocial framework in a manual therapy setting.

Traditional manual and physical therapy beleifs will be challenged throughout the weekend so participants can understand how a biopsychosocial approach is often more beneficial than a pathoanatomical one.

Lecture, discussion, observation, practical applications and small group work will be used to emphasize key learning objectives.

Learning objectives:

  • Pain has more to do with sensitivity than damage
  • Tissue health and biomechanics become less important the longer someone experiences pain.
  • Understanding of the importance of forming a therapeutic relationship through patient interaction and contextual effects
  • Understanding of how existing manual and practical skills can be effectively modified to improve patient outcomes
  • Understanding of new evidence-based frameworks on persistent pain to enhance their practice, improve patient outcomes, and decrease practitioner stress

Program Objectives

Additional course objectives are to:

  • Increase the practitioner’s understanding of pain self-management and to improve their ability to teach pain self-management to their clients.
  • Utilize pain science research to outline more effective ways to interact and treat patients with chronic pain.