Holistic Care for Chronic Pain Works
by Brian Dean

(Published in the August 2009 issue of Natural Awakenings)

The number of people that suffer from chronic pain has greatly increased over the past several years. In fact, there are so many that the medical industry has created a new type of doctor, the Pain Management Physician. All too many of the patients they see suffer from some illness where the cause is not known (and there are a lot of them out there). In most cases, these physicians try to find the right balance of drugs to limit the pain that their patients feel. Unfortunately, they are limited to what they know... medication. They do not know of holistic treatments that could help.

For those that don’t know, chronic means ongoing, continuing a long time or recurring frequently. A chronic illness is something that never goes away. It may not be really bad all the time. It may have acute periods (times where it is really bad), and then ease away. But it never goes away completely. Illnesses like this would include Fibromyalgia, RSD (also known as CRPS), and even migraines. All too often, medical science knows no cure so they prescribe drugs to reduce the pain as much as possible.

Holistic treatment for these types of problems can range from regular massage to Myofascial Release (MFR) to energy work such as Reiki, or other modalities. Many times it is a combination of those that makes the biggest difference.

Caring Palms has had several clients that suffer from chronic pain problems. Usually, it is a combination of holistic treatments that has helped them.

One client started coming in when she was 14 years old. At the end of each school year, the stress would bring on her migraines. We found that Reiki could remove her migraines, completely, in as little time as 30 minutes. The same has been used on others when they were suffering from migraines with the same results. Yet, while Reiki managed to remove the pain, Myofascial Release was what addressed many of the problems that caused the pain by bringing her body into proper alignment. (When the body is properly aligned, it tends to stay healthy. )  She also learned a few meditation techniques to help her deal with the pain when she felt migraines start coming on.

Another client suffers from Migraines constantly. She is a nurse that has to constantly take pain medication, usually daily. From the first time she had her first massage, her migraines subsided. In the last two week period since her last session, she only had to take half of a pain pill once. That is what regular massage has done for her. We have also added MFR into her treatment. With the regimen she is on now, she is no longer in constant pain, nor is she fogged down by what the medications do to her.

Another major illness is Fibromyalgia. This causes pain that works in the muscles and can spread over the entire body. It has long been known that exercise and massage can keep most types of Fibromyalgia at bay. But there are cases where this is not enough.

One of our clients has been suffering from this since she was quite young. When she was 11 years old, she had a hernia operation. It was not too long after this that she started getting pain from Fibromyalgia. The treatment for this is MFR. Fibromyalgia is caused by problems in the connective tissue. This has been stated by John Barnes who created MFR. Doctors do not recognize his work even though he has tremendous success with it. Connective tissue problems can be caused by any trauma to the body. Surgery is trauma to the body. So is falling down. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t understand this, and overlook holistic care of any kind. Yet MFR seems to be effective. It even works on such things as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

This particular client suffered so much that when her pain got really bad, it hurt to be covered with a sheet. After one session of MFR which included scar release, she was feeling no pain. That lasted a while. As long as she gets treatments, it could eventually go away completely. When one has been dealing with pain for over 20 years, it is amazing to think that there may be an end to it.

Another client suffers from RSD (Regional Sympathetic Dystrophy). She walked bent upward, basically swayback. She had little stamina, and was in pain all of the time. After one session of MFR, she was in much less pain, walking upright, and was able to walk for hours without being tired.

There is another client that was involved in a 50 car accident up north several years ago. He is in constant pain and is on pain medications. His cousin suggested Reiki. After his first session, he was pain free and feeling wonderful. Now, it is not expected that this be permanent, but it is a start on reducing his pain. Regular Reiki sessions combined with MFR could greatly reduce or eliminate his pain. (And one nice thing about Reiki is that it is something anyone can learn, and do for themselves. )

Although with most types of chronic pain illnesses, doctors do not know what causes them because they claim there is no scientific explanation. While methods like MFR put everything back to the level of connective tissue in the body, doctors don’t recognize that. Therefore, most people who suffer from these types of illnesses end up on drugs the remainder of their lives.

But holistic treatments can and do work. No one is going to tell you that they work 100% of the time. Modern medicine does not even not work that well. But a tremendous number of people have been made better through holistic care which allowed them to reduce or completely get off of pain medications.

If you know someone that suffers from any type of chronic pain disease, suggest to them that they could benefit from some type of holistic care. No one will claim that it will always be what works as it is based on each individual case, but the track record is impressive. And if care like this can reduce or eliminate their pain, isn’t it worth it?