BIG RAPIDS — Starting in January, the Michigan State University Extension Big Rapids office will be offering two its most popular evidence-based workshops.

PATH — short for Personal Action Towards Health — is an interactive workshop that support chronic disease and pain management.

Diabetes PATH is a hands-on workshop where individuals share common issues of diabetes self-management.

“We get such great feedback from individuals who attend Diabetes PATH,” stated Pam Daniels, with MSU Extension. “No matter how long they’ve had diabetes or if they are newly diagnosed, this workshop helps them navigate through common issues most individuals with diabetes share.”

Tammy Brice, of Big Rapids, completed the workshop in 2019 and commented, “For one thing, PATH got me back on the right track. I’m managing my diabetes a lot better now.”

Topics covered in Diabetes PATH include the American Association of Diabetes Educators and self-care behaviors such as monitoring, reducing risks, healthy eating, being active, problem solving, taking medications and healthy coping.

Diabetes PATH does not change participants’ treatment. The workshop is open to all, including caregivers.

Chronic Pain PATH is a unique workshop targeted for individuals in, or recovering from, a chronic pain condition. It may also be appropriate for those with conditions such as persistent headache, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, people with diabetes who have neuropathy, and for individuals who have pain due to arthritis, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

The workshop covers a variety of topics, including fatigue management, dealing with difficult emotions, addiction, opioid topics and pacing and planning. Caregivers are also welcome.

“What is unique about Chronic Pain PATH is it incorporates the Moving Easy Program, which is a gentle range of motion exercise that helps improve endurance and flexibility. It can be done by anyone even people with low mobility,” Daniels stated.

Both Diabetes PATH and Chronic Pain PATH are six weeks, meeting for about two hours each week. The workshops are free of charge. Participants receive free books, CDs, and gifts for completing the workshop.

Diabetes PATH meets from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, as well as Feb 4 and 11, at MSU Extension, 14485 Northland Drive.

Chronic Pain PATH meets from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, as well as Feb. 4 and 11, also at MSU Extension. To register for either class, call Lisa at 231-592-0792.