Up to 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from chronic pain, and reaching quick relief from prescriptions and pain kills has contributed to the devastating opioid crisis in our country. But did you know some pain management can be drug-free? Thus, the need for integrative care and holistic remedies for chronic pain. But it’s not all crystals and essential oils.
Ask your doctor about integrative care and how you might be able to work with them and other practitioners to achieve wellness in every aspect of your life so that your body can better heal and protect itself. Your doctor should have suggestions for safe, healthy practices to get you started. In the meantime, this article will explain the need for integrative care and how it can help alleviate chronic pain.
The Need For Integrative Care
Integrative care is a form of healthcare that practitioners are adopting and practicing. It brings together Western scientific medicine with a broader understanding of the nature of illness and takes all factors of health, wellness, and disease into consideration when determining treatment plans.
Integrative care is a patient-centered approach to healthcare that can be used to treat chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, depression/anxiety, cancer, and stress. The forms of treatment will depend on your needs and your doctor’s recommendations, but examples of integrative care treatments include:
- Mind-body therapies
- Nutritional guidance
- Resilience training
- Massage therapy
- Herbal/nutritional medicine
Integrative care can be administered by your family doctor, a nurse practitioner, and many physicians that are trained in integrative medicine. You might consider contacting an integrative care center to help find qualified physicians and practitioners. Next, we’ll go over some natural pain relief remedies that might be included in an integrative care plan.
Meditation and Yoga
Even though chronic pain is difficult to understand, doctors know that while something may work for one person, it might not be right for another. That said, one natural way to alleviate chronic pain that you might hear recommended is meditation and yoga, or light stretching.
Mediation can often be intimidating to those who aren’t familiar with just how easy it is. Remember that there is no script. While you can find many resources for how to do it or recordings that will walk you through it with music or chants, there really is no wrong way to meditate. As long as you’re relaxing, focusing on your breath, and letting your thoughts dissipate for a period of time, you’re likely to experience the common side effects of pain relief, lowered anxiety and depression. After developing a regular practice, you might even find the benefits reaching into all aspects of your life providing a better mental quality.
Exercise will likely be another recommendation you will hear over and over again. But chronic pain can make regular exercise difficult, if not dangerous. Start out by trying some light yoga stretches. Free videos online is an easy way to get started.
Nutrition and Supplements
Nutrition guidance will be right at the top of the list when looking to alleviate chronic pain with natural and holistic remedies. A healthy diet that’s abundant in fresh produce, whole grains, and lean, healthy proteins is the base of a nutritional diet. But you might also find some supplements and certain ingredients help aid chronic pain relief.
Supplements like kratom are believed to help relieve chronic pain in those suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia. Continuing research on the uses, benefits, and potential risks of kratom are still needed. Ask your doctor if it could be beneficial to you.
Some healthcare practitioners have also used the keto diet to help their patients manage their conditions and chronic pain. In a keto diet, collagen is an important supplement used in the increasingly popular bulletproof coffee. Collagen is known for its benefits to healthy skin and nails but the benefits go far beyond cosmetic. Collagen is said to aid in weight loss, which can help alleviate pain for those whose weight is a contributing factor. Some athletes also showed lessened joint pain after taking a collagen supplement for 24 weeks.
When making major diet changes or adding supplements to your diet, especially if you have an existing health condition or if you suffer from chronic pain, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor and a certified dietician.
Healthy habits are important, especially as we phase into the later years of our lives. We want to live long and happy, and integrative health, exercise, meditation, and good nutrition can help us achieve the quality of life we want.