02 Nov 2023Interview with Lauren Cannell
TEDx Hobart 2023 Speaker
"I may not be a pain scientist but I am the expert of my story..."
Tell us why you applied for TEDxHobart 2023
Several years ago I came across a TED talk about chronic pain delivered by world renowned pain scientist Lorimer Moseley of UniSA and it was the start of my journey to recovery from chronic pain. That 15 minute talk had a profound impact on my life and made me aware of the power of this type of delivery. When I saw the opportunity to apply come up I just thought - hey maybe I can have a similar impact on people who are in pain. I honestly didn't think I would get past the first phase and before I knew it I was on stage.
What was your talk about
I spoke about my personal experience of chronic pain following trauma, how I became curious about why I was in pain, what I learned along the journey and how I ultimately recovered. I aligned this journey with my approach to long distance running, using a process of education, planning and training, but instead of training my body, I needed to train my brain to stop producing pain, using neuroplasticity.
How has speaking at TEDxHobart aligned with your business and personal interests.
I work in emergency services and do peer support work for my colleagues who have pain. I love doing the one-on-one support but TEDx gave me an opportunity to reach a lot of people at once. I can also send it out through my networks for health care providers to provide to their clients who experience pain. It has a different approach to other TED talks on pain because I come from a position of lived experience, rather than being a medico. I think that give it authenticity and people who are in pain can relate to my experience. My husband was in a cafe recently and heard some other customers talking about my talk! That's what it's about, creating conversation. In nearly any group I speak with about my experience someone will come up to me and say they are dealing with the same thing, or they have a relative who is. It's a great opportunity to share insights and help people find resources that can help them.
What did you learn
That my story is important. When I first saw the list of other speakers I thought why on earth did they pick me? these other speakers are experts in their field and I'm a nobody! But I had such a great response from people who heard it. I may not be a pain scientist but I am the expert of my story and I have a lot to offer to others who are just starting their pain journey.
I also had heaps of fun. We had a great, generous and honest group of speakers in 2023 and I loved getting to know them and working with the TEDx Hobart team who prepared us really well for the day.
What is your advice to other Tasmanians interested in applying to speak at TEDx@2024
Don't think that your story is not important! You don't have to be a somebody to impact somebody. I hear from people all over the world who have heard my talk and have been impacted by it. Just do it!