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Alternative Therapy with Pain Management

Alternative Therapy with Pain Management

Although modern medicine has come a long way in managing pain or chronic pain with alternatives like nerve block injections, which are injections onto or near nerves, medication is an effective but temporary solution. Some of the medications that are injected include local anesthetics, steroids, and opioids. In some cases of severe pain, it is even necessary to destroy a nerve with injections of phenol, pure ethanol, or by using needles that freeze or heat the nerves.

For example, steroid cortisone shots are very effective; however, their effectiveness only lasts up to ten days. Incorporating alternative therapy methods into a pain management regime provides the most optimal results. Some may include:

Massage (deep tissue is most preferred) 

Massage, or manual therapy, is a technique used to apply pressure and manipulate muscles to increase relaxation and relieve pain. It helps to reduce tension, improve circulation, and improve the range of motion. Different techniques are used depending on the area of the body being treated, including kneading and holding pressure on points, deep massage, and trigger-point work. Massage therapists can tailor their treatments to sufferers’ needs, incorporating stretching and aromatherapy.

If you are seeking relief with massage, when looking for the ultimate comfort source to relax your muscles and treat chronic pain naturally, buying a reliable massage chair is one of the best investments for your health. Zarifa USA has been a pioneer in developing high-quality full-body massage chairs. All massage chairs produced by Zarifa USA provide an excellent massage with guaranteed positive results. Best of all, our massage chairs are eligible to use with Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese pain treatment method that focuses on stimulating specific points on the body with fine needles. The needles are strategically inserted at specific points connected with pathways of energy called meridians that flow through the body. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that pain is due to blocked meridians that must be cleared to allow the life force to flow freely throughout the body. There is evidence that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, relieving many conditions.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS is a non-invasive form of therapy that involves sending small electrical pulses to the painful areas of the body to block the brain’s perception of pain and stimulate the body’s natural endorphins. It is typically used to treat chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, which causes widespread chronic pain. The electrical pulses are delivered through electrodes placed on the skin for up to 30 minutes per session. The patient is able to adjust the intensity of the stimulation and the frequency and duration of the sessions.

Fortunately, Zarifa has built the most technologically advanced wearable massagers on the market: The TENS PRO V and TENS PRO VI. These wearable massage machines are equipped with both TENS and EMS technology. This revolutionary dual technology can help you recover and heal without turning to harmful and addictive prescription medications.

The TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) portion transmits a low-voltage electrical current to interrupt and block nerve signals before they reach your brain. The EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) portion provides the type of stimulation you expect from a massager and reduces muscle spasms while increasing blood circulation, breaking up lactic acid, stimulating muscle fiber, and re-educating your muscles.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based approaches to pain management focus on the ability to pay attention to and accept one’s experience of pain without judgment or resistance. Examples of mindfulness-based approaches to pain management include body scans, Yoga, and meditation. Each of these techniques has been proven to reduce pain levels. With regular practice, people who suffer from chronic pain may find that their pain levels decrease, allowing them to find a greater sense of peace.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a non-invasive therapy that teaches people how to monitor and manage their own bodily responses to pain. It is based on the idea that our bodies respond to stress and pain in specific ways and that we can learn to recognize and control these reactions. Through a series of exercises and feedback from a trained therapist, people learn to take greater control of their bodies and their response to pain, reducing pain-related distress, increasing their sense of control over pain, and improving their quality of life.

(Always remember information within this article is meant for entertainment purposes only and is in no way a replacement for professional medical or psychological support. Seek appropriate advice from a healthcare professional should you feel it necessary.)

Possible causes of muscle soreness

What is an example of an alternative therapy?

Traditional alternative medicine is the more mainstream than ever and truly an accepted form of therapy. Some of the earliest examples that have been practiced for centuries worldwide are acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, body touch, and many other practices that are mentioned above and will be discussed below.

Let’s begin with Body Touch, a practice based on the idea that an illness and/or injury in one particular area of the body can affect all body parts. With manual manipulation (like deep tissue massage), the other parts of the body can be brought back to optimum health, which then the body can entirely focus on healing directly at the site of injury or illness. These techniques are often combined with those of the mind. Body therapies include:

  • Chiropractic
  • Osteopathic
  • Massage
  • Body movement therapy
  • Tai chi 
  • Yoga
  • Acupressure
  • Aromatherapy
  • Other alternative methods include:
  • Diet and herbs

From our early days as humans, we have gone from a simple diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains to one that, unfortunately, usually consists of foods loaded with fats, oils, and complex carbs. Excess and deficiency are the roots of many problems in our society today. Both lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and addiction. Several dietary and herbal approaches attempt to balance the body’s nutritional well-being and may include:

  • Dietary supplements/vitamins 
  • Herbal medicines
  • Balanced Nutrition/Diet
  • External energies from objects or other sources 
  • Electromagnetic therapies
  • Reiki
  • Qigong

Mind therapy. Today, standard or conventional medicine recognizes the power of the connection between mind and body. Therapies could include:

  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Hypnosis
  • Senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste have an overall effect on health 
  • Examples of therapies incorporating the senses include:
  • Art, dance, and music
  • Visualization and guided imagery

To better understand, let’s go a little deeper with a couple more examples of alternative therapy from above. 

For example, acupressure, a traditional form of alternative therapy and an ancient Chinese practice developed over 5,000 years ago, uses finger pressure to specific points along the body that correspond with acupoints. The points or “meridians” are believed to be connected to the entire body, and when stimulating them, they will restore balance and usable, clean energy. Acupressure treats various medical problems, including chronic headaches, stress, migraines, digestive issues, muscle tension, and depression.

Yoga is an ancient practice of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises designed to bring one into harmony with the universe. It includes posture and breathing exercises as well as guided imagery and meditation. The practice of Yoga focuses on unifying the body, mind, and spirit and is said to restore balance and harmony, invigorate, and relieve stress and anxiety. There are many different styles of Yoga based on the emphasis on energy and the goal of achieving spiritual awareness.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for healing purposes. Essential oils are derived from plant parts such as flowers, leaves, roots, twigs, and bark and are widely used in traditional cultures to balance emotions and improve physical and mental health. Aromatherapy is believed to have a calming effect on the body and mind and can treat headaches, digestion issues, stress and anxiety, and depression. It is important to use essential oils safely and consult a qualified healthcare professional before using them, as they can have adverse effects when misused. 

Hot and cold therapy is a type of alternative therapy that involves using hot and cold temperatures to relieve pain, promote healing, and improve blood circulation. Heat therapy increases blood flow to the area, improves mobility, and reduces pain, while cold therapy can provide a numbing effect and decrease inflammation. 

Cold therapy is also used to reduce muscle spasms and relieve pain caused by injury; however, caution should be used when utilizing these therapies as the wrong application could cause tissue damage.

Hypnosis and Guided Imagery are a couple more activities that can be used as part of a much larger alternative approach to pain management. Hypnosis is a type of meditation, and hypnotic trance states can be induced, allowing a person access to their subconscious and enabling them to alter their perception of pain. Guided Imagery is a technique that involves visualizing pleasant images or scenes in order to reduce stress and manage physical pain. These two tools can be powerful in managing chronic pain as it helps to distract and provide relief of symptoms.

What is the most popular alternative therapy?

Besides massage, acupuncture is by far one of the better-known and most effective alternative therapies, originating in ancient China and being practiced for more than a thousand years. After all these years of practice and seeing results, acupuncture practitioners suggest that disease and ailments are caused as a result of imbalances in universal energies. 

According to this practice, the body’s energy network has specific acupuncture points linked with various organs and/or body functions. During this process, the needles are inserted into the subcutaneous connective tissue at these specific energy points, which in turn will help balance, slow down, or stimulate specific energies, providing healing to the much-needed areas of concern.

Let’s go a little deeper to explore more examples of alternative therapies already mentioned and how they can work to provide relief to chronic pain sufferers.

For example, acupressure – much like acupuncture- works on the principle of various specific points being body energy centers. Stimulation through deep tissue massage to these points helps to correct imbalances in the flow of life energy, providing healing. The correct amount of pressure is applied to these vital points by using hands, elbows, or specific devices like massage chairs to release the blockages and induce healing.

Ayurveda – an ancient healing practice originating in India with the word deriving from two words; Ayur, meaning life, and Veda, meaning knowledge. This natural technique establishes balance in the body by bringing balance to three fundamental life forces in our bodies, better known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. This practice teaches us to live in harmony with nature while using the body’s self-healing powers while also practicing and utilizing methods such as meditation, breathing, and Yoga, for example.

Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that uses essential oils’ aroma to improve health, vitality, and emotional well-being. In this practice, essential oils can be used as ointments, infusions, or lotions externally as well as internally, wherein they can be mixed with food, fractionated coconut oil, or other natural “diluters” and then can be ingested internally. Always seek a knowledgeable advisor before consuming any oils.

Reiki – originating in Tibet and Japan- is an energy healing process with the definition of Universal Life Energy. Reiki works by the imposition of hands on different parts of the body and its energy centers while giving vital energy to all organs. During these sessions, the practitioner does not use his own power but serves as a channel, directing the universal energy toward the receiver using their hands. This process heals by bringing harmony and physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance to the body of a human being.

Homeopathy – originating in Germany in the 18th century, is one of the most popular and widely accepted types of alternative medicine. Based on the philosophy that both the cure and the ailment come from the same situation, the substance that causes the disease in high doses also gives a medicinal effect when used in low doses. Similar symptoms to that of the ailment are created to cure said ailment while also incorporating herbs and natural medicines into the practice.

Naturopathy – is an alternate healing therapy in which only natural methods are used to assist the human body’s self-healing abilities. These healing therapies include methods such as herbalism, color therapy, ozone therapy, reflexology, massage therapy, and others like these may also be classified under naturopathy.

Dry needling (also known as trigger point dry needling and intramuscular stimulation) - according to Wikipedia, “is a treatment technique used by various healthcare practitioners, including physical therapists, physicians, and chiropractors.

Acupuncturists usually maintain that dry needling is adapted from acupuncture, but others consider dry needling as a variation of trigger point injections.[2] It involves the use of either solid filiform needles[4] or hollow-core hypodermic needles for therapy of muscle pain, including pain related to myofascial pain syndrome. Dry needling is mainly used to treat myofascial trigger points, but it is also used to target connective tissue, neural ailments, and muscular ailments.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_needling)

What are the 5 major types of complementary and alternative medicine?

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are therapies that encompass a wide range of holistic approaches to healing. They are based on the concept that health is a holistic experience, requiring physical, psychological, and spiritual balance. CAM therapies include natural remedies, mind-body practices, and spiritual modalities.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) identifies five significant categories of CAM therapies. They are:

Manipulative and Body-Based Practices: These therapies emphasize physical manipulation and mobilizing of the body. Examples include Massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, and osteopathy.

Mind-Body Practices: These therapies use an intentional combination of movement, breathing, and meditation to cultivate an internal awareness of the mind and body. Examples include Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong.

Natural Products: These therapies use natural plant-based products as medicine. Examples include herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, and vitamin supplements.

Energy Medicine: These therapies use energy or the natural energy fields that surround and travel through the body as a means of healing and wellness. Examples include: 

  • Reiki
  • Therapeutic Touch
  • Alternative medical systems
  • Mind-body interventions
  • Biologically based treatments
  • Manipulative and body-based methods
  • Energy therapies

Which of the following is an example of a complementary and alternative therapy?

Complementary and alternative medicine includes practices such as but not limited to: 

Mind-Body Therapies

Combining mental focus, breathing, and body movements to help relax the body as well as the mind. Some compelling examples could be:

Meditation

Focusing on breathing or repetition of words or phrases to quiet the human mind.

Biofeedback

Using simple machines, the patient learns how to affect certain body functions that are commonly out of cognitive awareness, such as one’s own heart rate.

Hypnosis

A person concentrates on a certain feeling, idea, or suggestion in an effort to achieve a state of relaxed and focused attention, which attempts to aid in healing.

Alternative therapy with pain management

As we can clearly see, many different methods of alternative therapy can be offered for managing pain or chronic pain in addition to the traditional medical methods used. Each of these methods has the potential to provide effective relief but should be discussed with a qualified medical professional to determine what is best for the patient. It is essential to find an alternative therapy approach that is tailored to the individual patient’s needs and preferences. By incorporating alternative therapies into the treatment of pain, a patient can expect to experience a greater sense of relief from their symptoms.

(Always remember information within this article is meant for entertainment purposes only and is in no way a replacement for professional medical or psychological support. Seek appropriate advice from a healthcare professional should you feel it necessary.)

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