Pain is an epidemic that affects 85% of Americans. Most just live with it.
If you’ve heard me speak about what I do and how I help clients, there’s a very high likelihood you’ve heard me discuss the topic of chronic pain. Many of my clients deal with chronic pain issues and come to me for relief. Through a holistic and natural approach, I focus on treating the underlying condition to break the cycle of pain while avoiding damaging pain medications.
While some cases of chronic pain can be traced to a specific injury or trauma, such as a sports injury, a car accident, or even a surgical incision, other cases have no apparent cause – no prior injury and no traumatic tissue damage. In both instances, chronic pain symptoms can be debilitating and go on to create more severe issues if not treated properly. Based on all available information and factors, I develop a personalized therapy program for the client that may include Nueromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy and deep tissue massage in order to effectively eliminate chronic pain symptoms and associated complications.
Regardless of the original cause, many cases of chronic pain are commonly related to these physical conditions:
- Lower back pain
- Neck/shoulder pain
- Joint Pain
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nerve damage (Neuropathy)
Chronic pain can also have a profound negative effect on a person’s day to day mental state if left untreated. Those attempting to cope with persistent or long-term pain can become irritable, short-tempered, impatient, and depressed. Everyday problems like a child crying or bad traffic can become daunting for those dealing with things from this sensory-overloaded state. As if that’s not enough, this cumulative situation can have the added adverse effect of making the original pain symptoms seem more profound.
Recent studies have even shown evidence that, over the long-term, chronic pain can actually affect brain chemistry. Cells in the spinal cord and brain of a person suffering from chronic pain, deteriorate more quickly than normal, limiting ability to focus and increasing depression-like symptoms. Sleep may also become difficult, because the section of the brain that regulates sense data also regulates the sleep cycle.
The graphic below is based on a study by Harris Interactive and shows that my clients aren’t alone. In fact the study shows that almost everyone deals with chronic pain issues in some form or another and, usually in more than one place. The numbers illustrate how prevalent the problem is and who’s dealing with it.
I found these figures to be very telling and enlightening. Some key takeaways to pay attention to:
- 70% Use Pain Medication – This is a shocking statistic that clearly shows a lack of holistic focus and emphasizes why over medication and drug abuse is so prevalent in pain management. Almost all but the most extreme cases of chronic pain may be dealt with through holistic means.
- 15% Use A Holistic Approach – The converse of the above statistic. This number should be MUCH, much higher.
- 21% Use Massage Therapy – Many turn to basic massage therapy to alleviate chronic pain symptoms. Even more effective are the use of Nueromuscular Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Reiki and Intergrative Mind-Body Therapy.
- 64% Combine 2 Or More Treatments – The problem is that if you’re not working with someone who understands body physiology, you could be doing more harm than good. A combination of pain meds and hot/cold treatment may actually be keeping you in pain instead of relieving those chronic symptoms.
No matter what the cause or how the symptoms manifest themselves, chronic pain is something that should be dealt with holistically if possible, focusing on the cause vs. treatment, through a personalized program based on your own body physiology.
Have a balanced Day! ~Maria
About The Author
Maria is the Executive Director and Founder of the Cancer Support and Education Program, and has been owner of Sagewood Wellness Center for 20 years. She is a Certified Neuromuscular Therapist and specializes in the treatment of chronic, severe, or minor pain, as well as injury rehabilitation and prevention. She is Board Certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Before changing course after her first cancer diagnosis at age 27, Maria had earned a Master of Science in Counseling. She subsequently served as Senior Therapist for two hospital-based in-patient chemical dependency programs, as Chief Therapist of an in-patient eating disorders program, and as Program Director for private and hospital-based outpatient chemical dependency programs. She also has a background in training and development, having developed, implemented and managed training and development programs for a major health maintenance organization. Maria’s interest in the field of holistic health and wellness stem from her own healing journey through five cancer diagnoses. She has a strong personal desire to use these experiences as a way to help others heal and experience greater health, joy and balance in their lives. Her passion and life’s calling is to help others not just survive, but thrive in the face of challenges.