A Pain(full) Journey

The Fungteria Road Trip

gmi graded motor imagery journey pain roadtrip teamwork together Jun 09, 2022

In September 2011, I had an opportunity to take a new Graded Motor Imagery course on the road in Australia with my good friend and colleague, Tom Giles. The trip became known as the Fungteria trip as Tom had recently saved a Joey he’d found in a dead kangaroo at the side of the road and in the process contracted a strange fungal/bacterial infection, affecting his arms! 

I knew it was going to be a legendary trip when Tom arrived in his car at NOI HQ, Adelaide, with speakers taped to the back of the two front seats, an Eski parked between them, with appropriate refreshments for the journey, and surf boards strapped to the roof.


The journey from Adelaide to Sydney via the Great Ocean Road is around 1786km and Tom had organised 4 courses for me to teach over 2 weeks in locations dotted along our route. 

The courses were great. We got well rehearsed with the material and manufactured our own mirror boxes so that everyone could explore mirror visual feedback. 

Probably the most incredible moment of the journey was when we caught a shark whilst fishing for crabs off a jetty. In true Aussie style, Tom assured me it was fine to reach in its mouth to pluck out the hook, as he wrestled/held it (almost) still. Somehow we survived intact, completed our mammoth trip and wrote a good chunk of the Graded Motor Imagery Handbook in some of the most stunning places on the East Coast of Australia.


It’s fascinating looking back to see what was achieved working together, knowing that in a small way we’ve been a part of the development and growth of Graded Motor Imagery, a treatment approach that continues to grow, offering hope for people suffering with complex pain and movement problems.