This is an interesting reminder of the abject failure of our War on Drugs … opioids everywhere. But this article discusses the fast growing alternatives to pain pills, holistic medicine, with treatments like message and meditation, acupuncture hypnotism, and more.
There has been an interesting and awful consequence of this, and I am now helping some physicians who were doing just this – practicing holistic medicine. I won’t name names here, or even the state in which they were practicing, but here is what happened: they were so successful that word spread in their community, and before long they were “stealing” patients from other doctors and hospitals – the “powers that be” in their area of the state. Upset by the loss of revenue, these doctors and corporations had connections with the federal prosecutor in their district, and they got him to charge several doctors with trumped up charges, crimes! Several went to prison …. innocent doctors!
Well, Dr. L, one of the targeted doctors, found me, told me the story, and I now have both sleeves rolled up to help Dr. L get a Pardon and to address issues for some of the other doctors, and get them out of prison. The whole tale is a tragedy of “follow the money”, and when I get further into it, you’d better believe I shall try to get that federal prosecutor disbarred, and arrested if possible!
Excerpts from the Article:
After more than 700,000 overdose deaths in 20 years, Americans are sadly familiar with our nation’s opioid epidemic.
In looking to the source of the problem, experts have blamed aggressive marketing by manufacturers and over-prescribing by doctors. But according to Dr. Alexis LaPietra, chief of pain management and addiction medicine at St. Joseph’s Health in Paterson, there is another cause: forgetfulness. As a country, she says, we’ve been here before. “During the Civil War, we weren’t doing a good job of treating pain, but there was a lot of morphine, so everyone got a lot of it,” she says. “It started with soldiers, then housewives, and then the man with a headache got it. Doctors forgot the catastrophe that comes from liberal opioid prescribing.”
While opioids — narcotics such morphine and oxycodone — play an important role in treating acute, uncontrolled pain, LaPietra says, “They should be the last line of intervention in pain management. We should entertain everything else first.”
The search for a better way to treat chronic pain has led many people to turn to holistic medicine for relief. Defined by the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine as “the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person,” holistic pain management involves treating the body and mind together.
Holistic practitioners believe that while patients are free to see their regular doctors, integrating physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and other procedures achieves best results in a majority of cases. It’s a conclusion patients are coming to, as well; according to the National Institutes of Health, a third of Americans seek help for their health in a place that’s outside their doctor’s office, and the trend seems to be on the rise.
To diagnose and treat pain, Evan Chait, owner of Kinetic PT in Ramsey, Park Ridge and Paramus, believes in an all-of-the-above approach. A physical therapist, acupuncturist, nutritionist and herbalists, he asks clients a series of questions and puts them through simple tests looking for clues to find the source of their pain. In one, he has patients stand with their feet together and eyes closed. “The side they move to is the deficient side,” he says. “If one part of the body is out of position, the whole body is.” he says.
He also looks for poor positioning of the jaw, pelvis, shoulders and other parts of the body. “You can have pain, but the source isn’t necessarily what you think,” he says. “You might have an injury to your left shoulder, and over time, the nerve becomes sensitized, the pain grows and it travels up to your neck and down to your elbow.”
What clients put into their bodies is also important. “Arthritis doesn’t have to be painful, but if you inflame it by eating gluten, it can be,” he says.
And because one problem area often creates another, an inflamed gut might lead to a misalignment of the diaphragm.
Stress has long been recognized as a source of physical ailments including headaches, chest pains and upset stomachs. “Our bodies undergo several powerful internal changes when we are under stress,” says Dr. Sally Nazari, a psychotherapist and holistic health practitioner based in Closter. “Adrenaline pours into our bloodstream, preparing us to fight off the potential danger of the stressor, and muscles throughout the body tense in anticipation of the challenge… We generate more muscle tension than we need in most situations.”
The way to reverse this process, she says, is by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system — the “rest and digest” system that slows the heart rate and relaxes muscles. “We tend to notice our tension only when the pain level increases to the point where we can no longer ignore it,” says Nazari. “Relaxation is an essential skill.” To beef up that skill, she guides clients in mindfulness meditation, which trains them to empty thoughts and breathe deeply, and progressive muscle relaxation, which calls for consciously tightening and relaxing muscle groups. Other practices that slow the body down and encourage relaxation include guided imagery (focusing on a calming image) and yoga (combining breathing techniques and meditation with movement).
Caryn Bregman, a physical therapist who owns Renaissance Physical Therapy Arts + Wellness in Montclair, helps clients get moving again after injuries and long-term pain using ice for inflammation, massage, re-positioning and take-home exercises. But she keeps her eyes open for red flags signaling that more is needed, she says.
If clients say that their pain wakes them up in the middle of the night, if they experience sustained weight loss or they’ve just had an acute sports injury, she’ll send them to a doctor for an MRI. In most cases, though, she says, it isn’t necessary.
What’s needed, she says, is “more education for patients so they’re attuned to what’s happening in their bodies, and they don’t get dependent on pain medication. Painkillers are more like band aids.”