Amber SOS | Alternative Treatment for Chronic Pain | CAM Remedies

March 09th, 2018
CAM Therapies

Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain

While we are in the amber business, and amber is a well known alternative treatment to ease many chronic pain conditions, I would like to give you some information regarding some other alternative treatments for chronic pain you may like to consider in your quest for relief from your particular condition. 

What is Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain that persists and lingers over a period of time.  It may not respond well to traditional treatment options and many people are reluctant to submit to chemical mediations for a long period. So you may want to try complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). CAM is a term used for practices and therapies that aren't considered part of conventional medicine right now. Complementary and alternative treatments can either complement (used in conjunction with) or be an alternative to traditional "Western" medicine—hence the CAM name.  Many patients do find pain relief when using alternative treatments. Like any other treatments, though, they may not work for everyone in the same way, so you may need to try several therapies as you figure out what works best for your pain and life.  So I set out below a few options you might consider. 

1.  Acupuncture/Acupressure

Developed in China, acupuncture uses very fine needles—and no medication—to treat your pain. Practitioners believe that you have an energy force called your Chi (it can also be spelled Qi, but both forms are pronounced "chee"). When this force is blocked, you can develop physical illness, such as back pain. Therefore, you need to free up your body's Chi channels, which practitioners call your meridians. Acupuncture works to restore a healthy, energetic flow of Chi.

Acupuncture needles are almost as thin as strands of hair. Based on your symptoms and exact diagnosis, a practitioner will insert the needles; you'll most likely have multiple needles inserted during one session. The practitioner will target precise points in your body's meridians, and the needles will be left in for 20-40 minutes. It's been suggested that acupuncture needles cause your body to release certain neurochemicals, such as endorphins or serotonin, and they help in the healing process.

Acupressure works like acupuncture in that it focuses on those meridians. However, instead of needles, the practitioner uses his/her thumbs, fingers, and elbows.

According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, acupuncture is very effective in treating neck pain.  And in early 2008, Spine Universe ran a survey on treatment options for neck pain patients. Patients reported that they were more satisfied with acupuncture than with traditional spinal injections.  A German study also recently found that acupuncture was more effective than traditional non-surgical treatment options (physical therapy, medication, and exercise) for low back pain. The study's findings were published in the September 24, 2007, edition of Archives of Internal Medicine 2.

2.  Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a method of personal education which involves self awareness and releasing muscular tension. This excessive tension slowly accumulates over many years of stressful living and often starts in childhood and can give rise later in life to common ailments such as arthritis, neck and back pain, migraine, hypertension, sciatica, insomnia and even depression. With the right education, however, many people could be helped to understand the causes of their problems and be taught how they can help themselves, so that their aches and pains would diminish or are avoided altogether. The Alexander Technique can help us to become more aware of balance, posture and co-ordination while performing everyday actions. You can learn how to relax the muscles that have become tense as well as learn new ways of moving while performing everyday tasks which cause far less strain on the body.

3.  Herbal Remedies / Supplements
Before trying any herbal remedies, do your research and talk to your doctor. There may be side effects that you're unaware of—an herbal remedy could interfere with a prescribed medicine you're taking, for example.

Since there are so many types of chronic pain, it's difficult to list all possible herbal remedies or supplements that may help reduce your particular kind of pain. Your best option is to talk to someone very familiar with the various herbal remedies and how they work. Your local Health Shop is a good starting point.  Do you reasearch. 

But again: before you start taking an herbal remedy or a supplement, talk to your doctor.

5.  Massage and Exercise
Massage is a good way to relax your body, which can be tense from dealing with a strain of chronic pain. It can also help relieve muscle inflammation and pain.  A single problem can have a knock on effect in other parts of the body and even if the first issue cannot be relieved, the other symptoms can.  Seek advice from a registered physiotherapy professional before embarking on an exercise regime.  But gentle walking is good for most problems, for both body and mind. 

6.  Mind-Body Therapies
Our minds are powerful things, and mind-body therapies can help you learn how to use your mind to control your perception of pain and other symptoms. Mind-body therapies include:

  • meditation
  • relaxation techniques
  • hypnosis

Mind-body therapies can teach you how to pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. Biofeedback is a good example of this. Through relaxation training and other techniques, you learn how to control your body's physiological reactions that can exacerbate your chronic pain. You can learn to lower your body temperature, slow your heart rate, and calm tense muscles, among other things.

7.  Yoga

A fabulous gentle movement system to encourage more connection to and awareness of your body to increase energy and vitality. It has it's historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy.  It seems Yoga is suitable for everyone, from celebrities like Julia Roberts to 90 year olds! In practicing yoga, you can bring tranquility to the mind and increase the the strength of your body. 

8.  Diet

In treating chronic pain, it would be remiss not to examine your diet.  Is there something you are eating or drinking that is aggravating your symptoms?  Would it be a good idea to boost any particular nutrient or reduce a nutrient group?  Ask you doctor to give you specific advice in this area.  Maybe you should consult a professional dietitian or nutritionist for more knowledge and help in this ares. 

All of the above alternative therapies, used in conjunction with wearing your amber beads, and carried out with the approval of your medical professional, might help bring about some relief an healing to your chronic pain condition.  To learn more about how wearing amber can help, please get in touch.  We have over 10 years experience in helping ease the ongoing pain of many difficulties.  Amber is particularly well suited to help with Musculoskeletal difficulties.  It can also have a calming effect and so can aid anxiety and sleep difficulties. 

All the above information above is for information and opinion only and is not to be substituted for the advice of a qualified medical professional.  Thanks for reading. 

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