PPDA Press Release

About the PPDA

The Psychophysiologic Disorders Association is a 501(c)(3) health education nonprofit with a mission to end the chronic pain epidemic and opioid crisis. By advancing the diagnosis and treatment of stress-induced medical conditions suffered by millions worldwide, their work provides a new approach to relieve or even CURE chronic pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, pelvic pain and much more. Their evidence-based treatment approach is demonstrably safer, more affordable and more effective than traditional methods or alternative medicine. 

Aside from supporting clinical pain and neuroscience research, the PPDA educates health professionals and the public about the mind-body connection and the brain's powerful ability to generate real physical symptoms. In doing so, they increase the number of professionals around the world who can skillfully diagnose and treat chronic pain and medically unexplained symptoms, and they provide many resources to patients to recover without opioids. These resources can be found on their website: PPDAssociation.org

What is PPD and how do you treat it?

Psychophysiologic Disorders consist of pain and other symptoms not caused by organ disease or structural abnormalities.  Instead, they are caused by neural circuits in the brain that activate the fight or flight response to create painful sensations that are very real. People with high levels of current and past life stress are more likely to develop this but it is through no fault of their own.

Most people have experienced a psychophysiologic response when their face turns red with embarrassment or they feel a 'knot' in their abdomen in a tense situation.  When this normal reaction becomes strong enough it can cause pain or other symptoms that can be as severe and long-lasting as any other form of illness. 

Treatment is usually successful and consists of education about how symptoms originate in the brain, reducing fear about the body being damaged, gradually increasing activity that has been avoided, increasing awareness of emotions linked to past or present stresses or traumas and improving communication skills with key people in their lives who are responsible for conflicts.


Current Projects

1.     Clinical Research: Two PPDA Co-Founders; Howard Schubiner, MD, and Alan Gordon, LCSW, led a 3-arm randomized controlled trial on the efficacy of the mind-body treatment approach for patients with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. The study took place at the University of Colorado-Boulder, along with Tor Wager, PhD, and Yoni Ashar, PhD candidate. The study is in the analysis phase and will be published in late 2019/early 2020 and a documentary about the study, PAIN BRAIN, is expected to release around the same time. For general info on the study, visit: Indiegogo.com and for clinical info on the study visit: ClinicalTrials.gov

2.     Online Training Course for Health Professionals: The PPDA is creating a continuing medical education (CME) online course for health professionals who want to learn how to diagnose and treat mind-body disorders. Led by David Clarke, MD (PPDA President) and Jessica Shahinian (Outreach Director), the course utilizes multiple real-world case studies to challenge participants to conduct a stress evaluation, treat the patient on the basis of empathy, and be capable of curing chronic conditions that were previously thought to be incurable. The online course will be available Spring 2019. Learn more about the course, the instructors, and watch the first module by visiting PPDAssociation.org/online-course

3.     PPD Text Book: Psychophysiologic Disorders: An Interprofessional Approach is a new textbook for healthcare professionals with planned publication in 2019.  The authors represent a wide range of training and experience including Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Movement Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, Sports Medicine and the perspective of a patient. They also represent Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and six of the United States. Chapters will focus on the neurophysiology, clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment of common presentations of PPD including medically unexplained symptoms and chronic functional syndromes. Significant effort is being made to limit specialty-specific jargon so that a range of clinicians (and even the lay public) can take advantage of the authors' decades of experience.

4.     For more info, visit: PPDAssociation.org/Impact


· PPDAssociation.org/impact/#media 

Important Links

· PPDAssociation.org

· Facebook.com/PPDAssociation

· YouTube.com/c/PPDAssociation

· UC-Boulder RCT that the PPDA sponsored: 


·      For any questions or additional materials, contact Jessica Shahinian at info@ppdassociation.org

Jessica Shahinian