Science on Tap Coeur d’Alene: Pain, the Brain and the Unexplained

Tuesday, February 24 2009

Feb. 24, 2009

Written by Ken Kingery

MOSCOW, Idaho – Everyone has experienced pain at one time or another, yet it is different for each individual.

While science has learned a great deal about the physiology behind this most intense of human sensations, science cannot yet explain the psychology that often seems to exist in direct contradiction. Insights into how people deal with it, what backgrounds affect perceptions of it and which non-scientific techniques can really help it can only be learned through experience.

This month, Science on Tap Coeur d’Alene presents Steve Heinrich for a program that explores the issue of pain. Heinrich is the director of physical therapy for Option Home Health Care Service in Spokane and has 30 years of experience interacting with people and their pain.

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, at the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company, 209 Lakeside Ave. in Coeur d’Alene. Science on Tap is a partnership between the University of Idaho and the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research.

“The prevailing philosophy we like to think of is that love makes the world go round,” said Heinrich. “But really, its pain that makes us seek change, shelter, food and comfort.”

Though Heinrich will touch on the science of pain – how the sensations are transmitted to and interpreted by the brain – his talk will focus on his experiences from hospitals, private clinics and burn centers. He will offer stories on what he has seen work, what he has seen fail, field questions and even demonstrate a non-scientific pain relief technique that has proven reliable time and again.

“I’m not offering any great answers,” said Heinrich. “Just interesting ideas and experiences.”

For more information about Science on Tap, call (208) 699-6240.

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

About the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
NWABR is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to promote the understanding of biomedical research, and the applications and implications of that research. NWABR's member organizations include over 80 universities, research institutes and hospitals, voluntary health associations, professional societies and biotechnology organizations in Washington and Oregon. Our goals are to educate the Northwest community about the process by which research advances, and to empower citizens to make informed choices on issues related to biomedical research. For information about the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research contact Susan Adler, Executive Director, at (206) 957-3337 or

About Idaho TechConnect Incorporated
Idaho TechConnect Inc. (ITCI) is a science and technology-focused business development organization for start-ups and early stage technology ventures for the State of Idaho. ITCI helps identify resources that help improve the speed and probability of success for these ventures. 

Media Contacts: Ken Kingery, University Communications, (208) 885-9156,; or Laurie Hassell, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, (208) 699-6240,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit