September is Pain Awareness Month and Human Touch® has asked a couple of it’s Wellness Council Members to help out and educate the public about various types of pain, pain management and the benefits of massage. Stick with us this month to learn about various types of pain and chronic pain and gain valuable insight into how you or your loved ones can feel better.
The following post is by Dr. Dill, one of Human Touch’s esteemed Wellness Council members. Human Touch is committed to educating professionals, sports-enthusiasts, back pain sufferers and consumers alike on the importance and benefits of taking control of their daily lives, maintaining a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit and maximizing their overall health and wellness lifestyle by incorporating regular massage into their “wellness” routine through the use of personal massage products.
Four Ways to Manage Chronic Pain with Holistic Care
by Dr. Shawn Henry Dill, D.C.
Gone are the days when health meant a singular focus on the physical aspects of the body. Traditional medical doctors may continue to “treat” health issues by addressing the symptoms with pills and surgery, but as more people realize the limitations of this process, they’re turning to holistic healthcare.
Holistic healthcare addresses more than the physical symptoms. Instead, a holistic approach to managing health issues looks at the body, mind and spirit as one working unit. Because these three parts of the body are intertwined with each other, they must be addressed together, and to do that, holistic care looks for the underlying causes of symptoms instead of artificially “curing” problems using invasive procedures.
This is good news for those who suffer from chronic pain. Though most people experience a bit of soreness or stiffness every once in awhile, waking up to pain every day can take a toll on a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. Whether that pain manifests itself as fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome or some other chronic condition, it can hinder the quality of life. For those who suffer from chronic pain, however, there is a solution beyond popping pills or simply “dealing with it.” Using holistic health techniques like those listed below, people can live a healthy and happy life free of chronic pain.
Look at what you eat. A common cause of chronic pain is often affiliated with sensitivity to certain foods. For example, those who suffer from arthritis find that removing onions, potatoes, green peppers and tomatoes helps alleviate pain. Toxins in chemicals and molds may also be a problem. Using unscented laundry soap and avoiding chlorine bleach have been advantageous to sufferers of back pain and headaches.
Get a massage. Frequent massages not only feel good initially, but they also have long-term benefits as well. Massage helps because it is directed in the specific places where people feel their pain. Not only do people walk away from massages with an overall sense of well-being, but stress responses in the body associated with pain are reduced through massage.
Consider an upper cervical chiropractor. Unlike mainstream chiropractors that are known for their spine-twisting techniques, upper cervical chiropractors specifically focus on the top two bones in the backbone. When these bones are unaligned, they disrupt the flow of communication from the brain to the body, but when they are aligned properly, full neurological capacity is restored to the body, which can then heal itself.
Meditate. This is one of the most affordable, convenient and easiest holistic techniques chronic pain sufferers can use to manage their medical problems. Meditation is simply the practice of calming, quieting and clearing of the mind for inner contemplation. During meditation, there are real physical changes that occur in the body. These changes alter metabolism, blood pressure, brain chemistry and the respiratory system, creating a relaxation response. Studies have shown that those using meditation to manage chronic pain have an increased ability to perform their daily activities and long-term improvements in mood. It also helps with stress management, which is a root cause of pain for some people.