Acute pain is pain that is felt for a relatively short period of time before it passes. Chronic pain is long-lasting pain that resists treatment. In either case, pain is something we all want to avoid if possible and manage as best we can if it cannot be entirely eliminated. Pain management is any therapy, treatment or practice that helps an individual deal positively with pain without becoming depressed or resorting to or becoming reliant upon dangerous and addictive drugs. Natural therapy practitioners deal with pain sufferers every day and many of the methods they employ are used to complement more conventional methods of treatment.
Natural pain remedies roughly fall into three categories: physical, mental and spiritual. Though these categories often overlap and can be subject to interpretation, they can be useful in helping to understand how to approach pain management and find a method or methods that work for you.
Physical Pain Management Techniques
Just a few of the physical pain management techniques used by natural therapists include:
What all of these and other physical approaches to pain management have in common is that they are hands-on techniques that focus on the physical body. However, many of the techniques also include psychological and even spiritual components. Hawaiian massage, for example, has a deeply spiritual component based on the teachings of the ancient Hawaiian Hunas (healers). Shiatsu is based on the subtle flow of energy through the body and has its roots in ancient Taoism.
Psychological Pain Management Techniques
Psychological pain management techniques may or may not include bodywork or spirituality, but primarily address either the psychological aspects of pain or psychological techniques designed to help pain sufferers cope with their pain. Some of these techniques include:
- Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
By their nature, psychological techniques work better for some individuals than for others. Some people respond well to hypnotherapy, for instance, while others seem to get nothing out of it. Biofeedback requires a certain amount of practice and works more quickly for some clients than for others. One's rapport with a counsellor or practitioner, too, can affect the outcome of treatment. However, some of these and other psychological pain management techniques have worked brilliantly for some people when all else failed.
Spiritual Pain Management Techniques
Spiritual pain management techniques have been with us since the Dreamtime and have been practised by indigenous cultures throughout the world. While controversial, these techniques are being rediscovered in modern Western cultures. Some techniques practised in Australia that fall under this category may include:
- Kundalini yoga and other forms of yoga that focus on the chakras or energetic body.
- Theta healing
- Spiritual healing techniques that focus on the human aura, clairvoyance and other intangible healing powers.
Some people have turned to spiritual pain management techniques out of desperation and although sceptical, have found they worked for them. Approach these techniques with an open mind and you may be amazed by the results.
Which Pain Management Technique Should I Use?
This is a question only you can answer. The best solution is probably to start with a physical diagnosis. Perhaps the source of pain can be found and a conventional treatment can alleviate it. If that fails or is only partially successful, then explore other options. Choose something that resonates with you, call a practitioner in your area and arrange an initial consultation. You may also want to find a pain management support group in your area and find out how others manage their pain.