As I mentioned in my previous article, the treatment of pain especially of chronic pain requires a holistic approach. In this and the following article, I want to focus on the spectrum of lesser known and/or lesser accepted alternative pain treatments.
Many facts have to be considered and there is no one single method that can help everyone. Chronic pain treatment always has to be “Ordnungs-Therapie ” a German term for a therapy system that regulates functions and energies that are out of order – this means balancing the intertwined system of body, mind, soul, and spirit.
Very often the careful use of medical drugs is unavoidable. In conjunction with alternative methods, it is proven repeatedly that the quantity of drugs can be reduced while also improving the quality of life.
Physiotherapy and ultrasound are well known and widely accepted methods for treatment of pain.
Psychotherapeutic interventions are also very helpful.
Amongst all alternative medical practices Acupuncture is best known and already widely accepted. Millions of people in our western world are using it successfully for pain relief. According to the Chinese Medicine our vital energy (chi/qi) flows through channels known as meridians. Acupuncture points are mostly located along these meridians. By insertion of very thin needles into the points, the imbalanced energetic system can be restored.
Biofeedback is a technique in which people are trained to control certain internal bodily processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature. These activities can be measured with electrodes and displayed on a monitor. The monitor provides feedback about the internal workings of the body. The person can use this information to gain control over these “involuntary” activities. Biofeedback is an effective therapy for conditions that are primarily brought on or made worse by stress and tension. The person learns how to relax the tense parts of the body. It is especially useful in chronic pain conditions, tension, migraine headaches, high blood pressure and urinary incontinence.
Homeopathy is a system of medical practices based on the principle that “ Like cures Like”, also known as “the law of similars”. This means diseases can be cured by substances that create symptoms in a healthy person similar to those of the sick person. Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy (1796) believed that illness is first of all disturbances of the vital forces and can only be treated by a medicine that is able to harmonize the unbalanced energetic field. He considered physical symptoms as the individual’s “language” of the body.
For pain treatments, it is important to find out the modalities of the pain (cause, location, time, sensation, what makes it worse or better, weather or temperature conditions etc). In chronic conditions it is most important to explore the underlying cause of the pain (old physical or emotional traumas, accidents, life circumstances, toxins from hidden infections, food intolerances etc.) The homeopath will choose only one remedy or a remedy combination that matches most of the patient’s symptoms by following the principal “like cures like”)
Pain can be a result of excess energy stuck in an area or meridian or a deficiency in energy. By placing tuning forks with different frequencies on specific acupuncture points and gateways the sound waves can travel deeply into the body along energy pathways. Sound travels 4-5 x faster through water than air….the body is 80-90% water. The body is a great conductor for this subtle but potent force to deeply affect human physiology and reach places not easily accessed by traditional medicine. Applying the vibrating tuning forks stimulates and balances the body’s physical and subtle energy fields to provide access to a deep inner balance by sonically resetting negative cellular patterns. This work is deeply transformational; it can relieve chronic and debilitating illnesses for which western medicine and other complementary medicines often have no answers.
Deep Tissue Massage – Reflexology – Lymphatic Drainage – Trigger and Tender point Therapies
Even though regular massages are very common, the miraculous effect of these specific therapies in pain treatments are not well known and are certainly underestimated. Through specific techniques it is possible to increase circulation, to soften hard tissue or scars, to remove swelling and congestion and to loosen tension and rearrange nerve pathways. Very often long lasting chronic pain conditions can be alleviated.
This is a quite new form of pain treatment, so far mainly used in sport medicine. Soft elastic tapes are applied along certain muscles, tendons and ligaments. Taping works like a second skin: through movements of the body it stimulates the lymphatic fluid underneath the skin and triggers a chemical-physical healing reaction. The tapes are water resistant and can be on the skin for several days.
Subtle Energy Healing Therapies (i.e. Reiki and others)
“Healing Touch” is an “energy therapy” that uses gentle hand techniques thought to help re-pattern the patient’s energy field and accelerate healing of the body, mind, and spirit.
“Healing Touch” is based on the belief that human beings are fields of energy that are in constant interaction with others and the environment. The goal of “Healing Touch” is to use the energetic interaction between the practitioner and the patient to restore harmony to the patient’s energy system.
In a “Healing Touch” session, the practitioner begins with a centering process to calm the mind, access a sense of compassion, and become fully present with the patient. The practitioner then focuses intention on the patient’s highest good and places his or her hands lightly on the patient’s body or makes sweeping hands motions above the body.
Healing Touch practitioners believe that this process balances and realigns energy flow that has been disrupted by stress, pain, or illness. The process eliminates blockages in the energy field so that the patient is in an optimal state for healing to occur.
Healing Touch complements other healing techniques that a patient may already be using, including conventional medical practice in hospitals, clinics and in-home care, or other body-mind oriented therapies such as massage, guided imagery, music therapy, acupressure, biofeedback, and psychotherapy.
Magnet Therapy, Electro Stimulation Therapy, Hypnosis, Laser, Neural and Prolo Therapies are further possibilities to treat pain conditions and they will be discussed in the following issues. All of the above described methods, though very different in their performances, are based on the belief that whatever illness or pain we have to deal with shows that the body’s own (energetic) healing and regulating system is out of balance and it must be addressed.
All methods introduced in these articles are available in the Lakeside area.
Barbara Rotthaler, German licensed Naturopath and Health Practitioner
01 (376) 766 1987