Category Archives: holistic pain management

I know it’s cliché , but you have got to try to take control of your pain, says the authoritative Nursing Times

managepainNow, I’m not in the business of promoting books or products of any kind on this blog, but this is one to seriously consider taking a look at—not just another “manage your pain” book, okay?  Bear with me.

First of all, it fares high praise from the prestigious magazine for nurses in the United Kingdome, NursingTimes.net.  The magazine, and their sister website publish original nursing research and a variety of clinical articles for nurses—and patients on occasion. 

Manage you pain.  Practical and positive ways of adapting to chronic pain by Dr. Michael Nicholas, Dr. Allan Molloy, Lois Tonkin and Lee Beeston was reviewed by Helen Simkins, clinical nurse manager, St. Giles Walsall Hospice.  What’s the book like?  Well you can sample it on Amazon, of course, but Nursing Times deems it a guide “that looks at the causes of chronic pain and provides practical solutions for people to implement into their lives, to help reduce the discomfort that they encounter.”  Now, I’ve heard all this before.

Personally, I’m still not impressed, just based on the rhetoric.  I’ve heard it all before, and took a great deal of it to heart with petty improvement.  But, this silver lining review came from such an authoritative source I had my suspicions in check:

This title allows people who suffer from chronic pain,alternative methods of addressing it. The way the book is set out enables manageable chunks of information to be digested and provides a framework for incorporating practical steps into your everyday life. It provides a message of hope for chronic pain sufferers that they can continue their day-to-day lives and regain the control that they felt they had lost.

The book provides alternative and the many holistic ways of addressing the debilitating pain.  In short, Dr. Michael Nicholas et. al provide some meaningful suggestions for taking control of your chronic pain.  Perhaps even I will check it out.

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Memphis residents take control of chronic pain with a holistic approach to pain management

GoldFlwr3I wanted to share this article from June 4 by a Memphis newspaper because it introduces a completely different paradigm of pain management than traditional western models, and seems to be having a lot of success.  There are so many great quotations in the article that I encourage everyone to take a look if you have a moment.

To summarize, this piece takes the angle of Debbie Nichols who suffers from chronic arthritis pain and had little luck when she sought medical treatment.  She gave yoga a try, then her yoga instructor urged her to incorporate massage therapy into her treatment plan.  She had tremendous success with the two treatments working in tandem.

“I am in no way pain free, but when I have pain, now I know what to do with it.  Now I know that when I’m not doing well, I know what I’m doing wrong and I can stop doing that and do something more productive.”

Yoga instructor, Leah Bray Nichols, and licensed massage therapist and massage instructor, Lorrie Garcia, began sharing clients and had so much positive feedback that they collaborated to create a free panel discussion on pain management.  The panel added a meditation teacher and an art therapist.

“We were getting clients who had had every test under the sun, seen all kinds of doctors and specialists, and couldn’t find a solution to what was causing their pain. We would start to work with these clients, helping them become more aware of where their pain was, their postural holding patterns and the emotional ties it has, so that they were able to undo the patterns themselves,” said Garcia.  “We were getting feedback that they had never heard about the kind of work we were doing and that they never knew it was possible to do the work themselves.”

I don’t know about you but I can definitely relate to having “every test under the sun” and seeing “all kinds of specialists” only to come up with nothing very concrete.  Sometimes this is one of the most frustrating things about chronic pain.  We’re programmed to think that everything has a cause, especially within the paradigm of western medicine, but sometimes pain is just pain.

This multifaceted holistic approach sound very promising.  I think the most important work being done here is allowing the patient to take charge of their pain.

“You have to treat the whole person. It’s about the full picture–mind, body and spirit.  A lot of times you are dealing with emotional pain, which physical pain can result from. And physical injury can cause depression and anxiety. The things we hold in our bodies, like stress, can cause a tremendous amount of pain.”

I think every community should have a program like this.  Has anyone ever heard of one of these or tried something similar?