Details of the 4th Annual Costa Rica “Pain Management in Paradise”
Erik Dalton, PhD

As you may recall, in my last e-bulletin, I mentioned my preparing for the annual retreat to Costa Rica and I promised to share the communal afterglow that always remains when I return to the states. Again, each retreat is different in so many memories. And the 4th Annual “Pain Management in Paradise” retreat was just as memorable.

This year I invited my good friend James Waslaski to co-teach the seven-day (26 hour) pain management seminar. Jim and I brought our lovely wives Franny and Teri along with four wonderful teaching assistants…Kim, Ann, Paul and Rudy. Having the 15 acre resort completely “blocked-out” to retreat participants and their companions, the communal spirit and enmity was spectacular…..the view panoramic; the food unforgettable, and the tours breathtaking. I’ve included a photo of all the attending therapists…many who perhaps began their journey as strangers, yet ended the exhilarating Costa Rican adventure as life-long friends. In addition to learning many new therapeutic modalities to enrich their practice, the 60 participants were treated daily to superb yoga classes, multiple types of spa therapies, salsa and hand drumming classes, etc. Each experienced the richness of this ecologically diverse country and the luxury of learning from not only the instructors but from one another.

Each year, I am amazed by participants who travel from around the globe to attend. This year therapists arrived from diverse places such as South Korea, Australia, Hawaii, Singapore, and Europe to share their honed skills and passion for the “work”. In summary, I would humbly like to thank everyone for their contribution to such an exciting and fun week.

Special kudos to Perry Isenberg at Biofreeze for helping make it an extra special event.

The memories still linger although since my return, I’ve traveled to Long Beach, and prepare to leave again soon for Portland then off to Florida for the renowned FSMTA Annual Convention. Even after so many years of traveling and working with so many fine manual therapists, I constantly seek out new approaches and try to learn something worthwhile from each class participant.. And maybe that’s a fundamental fact of life—a true sign of wisdom is knowing one always can learn more. My wife may say it is a sign of “old age” but I cling to the belief that helping people in pain makes the touch therapy profession the most personally evolving and rewarding of all professions.

Well, enough travelogue. Hope to see you soon in Portland or Florida this month…..there may not be any banana or eucalyptus trees outside one’s walkway, but the thriving companionship among bodyworkers is as inspirational and breathtaking.

In touch,