MASSAGE FOR HEALTH & WELLNESS
by Sidney McDonald
P A I N
Everyone reading this article has experienced pain. But just what is p a i n?
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or perceived tissue damage. In medical diagnosis, pain is regarded as a symptom of an underlying condition. Pain motivates us to be aware of dangerous, damaging situations, and to protect injured and damaged parts while healing. It helps teach us what not to do in the future. Pain is the major reason most of us go to see a doctor.
Pain is a major symptom in a multitude of illnesses and conditions. It can interfere and destroy quality of life. It makes people miserable. It can be tiring and debilitating. It can be of short or long duration…mild or intense….come and go….and it can sneak up on us. It can be a causative factor in depression.
Pain is a very, very subjective matter, but it can be classified in various ways. Let’s check out a couple ways to categorize pain. . . . acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute pain typically happens suddenly and doesn’t last long. Not more than a couple weeks. It is often caused by damage to tissue, such as skin, bone, flesh, organs, etc. Interestingly, it is often accompanied by anxiety and or emotional distress.
Chronic pain generally is pain that lasts more than a couple weeks and generally is more difficult to diagnose and treat successfully.
Both can be debilitating. Interestingly, both can affect and be affected by a person’s state of mind. This article will discuss chronic pain. Chronic pain is insidious and very prevalent in American society. It has led to the current opiate crisis. Addiction aside, pain can be viewed as part of the body’s messaging system. It is a diagnostic tool built into our bodies. It serves to let the brain be aware that there is a problem with some function and where that problem is. The brain uses pain to help the body react accordingly to the cause of the pain signal.
Western medicine is only recently beginning to understand the pervasive underlying factors behind chronic pain. The psychological and social aspects of chronic pain costs society millions of dollars in economic productivity and medical expenses daily. It has lowered the quality of life of millions daily. Much of this is obviously due to over-indulgence, over medication, addiction and missed-diagnosis. Holistic modalities can be very effective in dealing with chronic pain. Holistic medicine aims to locate the root cause of the presenting pain issues, and then to reduce, manage or eliminate this cause.
Using holistic medicine to help manage pain symptoms can be effective and much more convenient in many different scenarios. Holistic modalities in general have no negative side effects or issues, thus making it safe to experiment to see how they may benefit your particular issues. There are a variety of hands on holistic modalities available to help manage pain symptoms. Massage therapies / Acupressure (Shiatsu) and Acupuncture / Hot-cold therapies / Reiki / Meditation, to name just a few.
Our perception of pain is now being intensely researched and studied. Hopefully, research will lead to decreasing opiate addictions, but in the meantime it is important not to get on the addiction merry-go-round of pain meds in the first place. Too much addiction stems from routine post operation pain medication. Between hospitals and insurance companies rushing patients back out the door, along with modern society’s apparent inability to manage intense temporary pain, post-op can be the first step onto the merry-go-round of pain meds.
Unfortunately, doctors and big pharma are only too happy to write refills rather than pursue other alternatives. It is my opinion that prescribing doctors, big pharma and insurance companies are responsible for the majority of the current opiate crisis. Federal and state oversight commissions and departments have been lax or non-existent in managing pain med manufacture, distribution and use by doctors, hospitals, health agencies, insurance companies, as well as end users.
Pain is the messaging system designed into our bodies to monitor and protect us internally against internal and external damage. Acute pain can be sudden and is generally of brief duration, lasting no longer than a few days. It can be intense, but is not permanent. Chronic pain has become an issue in our society. It is a longer term (2 weeks or more) and can be mild, intermittent, recurring, intense, debilitating, hard to diagnosis exactly, and can devastate quality of life, as well as family life. Chronic pain costs society millions per day and devastates many families.
As an holistic practitioner, I suggest that anyone presenting with chronic pain and its issues which has not or is not being managed satisfactorily should consult an holistic modality. There’s no drawbacks and nothing to lose . . .there is, however, much relief and better pain management to possibly be had. Holistic modalities are non-pharmacologic and can be conveniently found in most communities.
Go ahead and try one………..
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