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What our members are up to

The Happiness Trap

We have distributed 50 copies of The Happiness Trap to libraries accross SA! Thank you to the members always so willing to help with this project. 

 Painful Yarns Book

 In 2014 we distributed 64 copies of "Painful Yarns" by Lorimer Moseley to libraries accross the country. 


 Knysna Librarian

The PMPG Book project is in full swing and our members have been very busy delivering copies of Explain Pain to their libraries. Deanna was very happy to receive a copy of Explain Pain for the Knysna Library. 



Romys Graduation - Website

Congratulations to Romy Parker on being hooded!

See below for the Press release:

University of Cape Town researcher Dr Romy Parker, who received her PhD in Psychiatry during a graduation ceremony on 6 June 2013, is the first person in South Africa and the world, to conduct research that explores methods to manage pain in people living with HIV using a non-pharmacological approach.


“South Africa has the largest HIV positive population in the world,” says Dr Parker. “Although we are managing the disease with antiretroviral drugs – which have decreased the number of deaths – this has not fully restored the quality of life in those living with HIV/AIDS.”

Her thesis titledPain in HIV/AIDS: Characteristics, contributing factors and the effects of a six-week peer-led exercise and education intervention, examines the prevalence and characteristics of pain in people living with HIV/AIDS. Using a systematic review and a quantitative clinical study, Parker establishes that pain is a significant problem in people living with HIV/AIDS.

She further determines that only 1% of people living with HIV/AIDS receive adequate pharmacological management of their pain. Parker said: “Even with treatment, pain remains one of the most common symptoms in PLWHA. Living with pain not only decreases the quality of life but also has an impact on a person’s ability to function, concentrate, learn and/or participate in society (both as a member of a family and as a worker).”

Her work included developing and testing a novel intervention programme using exercise and education to manage pain in Xhosa women living with HIV/AIDS and experiencing pain. The intervention was found to significantly reduce pain severity and pain interference in this population. Results further support the premise that pain in people living with HIV/AIDS is biopsychosocial in nature and responds to exercise and education interventions 

“The intervention appears to be a culturally acceptable, effective treatment which can be rolled out in low resource primary healthcare settings with the potential to have a wide impact in South Africa,” says Parker. The next step is to test it in different communities across South Africa.

Parker is a senior lecturer at UCT’s Department of Health and Rehabilitation. She holds a BSc(Physio) and BSc(Med)(Hons) in Exercise Science (Physiology) from UCT. She obtained her MSc (Pain) from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Parker received her PhD in Psychiatry at the graduation ceremony on 6 June 2013.



Frog 2 

Passionate about Photography and pain

by Ingrid Sellschop


I have been a passionate photographer for the past 20 years and I travel extensively photographing wildlife, birds and landscapes.


I am a member of the Westrand Photography club and the Photographic Society of South Africa. I became a Professional Photographer in 2012 and started running workshops for beginner photographers who want to master their skills in creative photography.

I also enjoy taking clients out on photographic trips where they put into practice what they have learnt. Over the years I have won awards for Nature photographer of the year in 2011, for the Southern Explorer competition and in 2012, one of my photographs of an elephant with her calf was selected out of 22 different countries as the winning photograph for expressing emotions in nature. The ARKIVE website for endangered species have published some of my “frog photos” of the critically endangered Pickersgill Reed Frog, which I happened to find in a nature reserve in Natal..which has now been identified as a 3rd area of location for this endangered little frog. I have also been published in Photographic Vibes, a photography book from the United States, and more recently I am published in the Hand Book of the World of Birds, soon to be launched in 2013. 

I have a keen interest in educating people and empowering them to help themselves, and naturally I found that my interest in Pain and chronic pain conditions could be incorporated into my passion for teaching photography. Hence, I have written a workshop aimed specifically at patients with chronic pain who may benefit from starting photography as a creative hobby. The workshop is called “Healing through the Lens” and it aims to help people with chronic pain to better understand why they have chronic pain, and to engage in an activity which promotes both active movement, relaxation and creativity.


Romy's Fish River Adventure

by Romy Parker


The Fish River Canoe marathon in Cradock has to be one of the best (if not THE best) canoe race in South Africa.


Its two days of fun in the sun on a full rolling river with rapids around every bend and over 1000 paddlers turn up every year in early October to join in the adventure! This was my fourth time down the river and the first time that I “drove” the boat with my doubles partner Lis Hart taking the back seat (the engine seat)! This year the race was the SA K1 championship so we weren’t there for the racing but for the joy of being out on the water with a group of like-minded people having fun in the warm sun! Yes, the sunshine has to be mentioned because as Cape paddlers our season stretches through winter (the only time there is enough water in our rivers) so paddling for us usually means layers of thermals, ear-muffs, beanies and hours of defrosting afterwards!


Sunshine and paddling is a treat for us Capies! Lis and I had a great race, we relaxed and enjoyed every challenge that came our way and finished day 1 without a single mishap * 46km in the bag. Day two was lots of fun but we got a bit cocky and paid for it, first with a short visit into a Karoo thorn tree which required a swimming evacuation (and resulted in both of us getting our legs tied up in fishing line, something we didn’t notice until we tried to step back into our boat and found our feet tied together like some bizarre three-legged race!).Our second swim was over the Gauging weir, I think we might have dozed off before we went over it! I was relieved to see that we weren’t the only ones to swim there; the winner of the ladies K1 race also had a little swim at that point! Day 2 finished on a high and low, it’s so exhilarating to finish the35km but so sad that for another year the fun is over. We were chuffed with our406th place out of 793 boats but the cherry on top was the surprise at prize-giving, first veterans ladies K2!








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