Few Western physicians have been educated in alternative methods of health delivery, particularly with alternative methods for pain management.
- Herbal therapy. Some herbs can be beneficial for patients. Herbal medications have been shown to be useful in some instances while clearly not beneficial in others. If you decide to use herbal medications, be sure to inform your physician to ensure that there are no contraindications with other medications you may be taking.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used in China for thousands of years. Some folks respond well to acupuncture, and others do not. There is evidence that it can be helpful for back, neck, and arthritis pain.
- Hypnosis. Hypnosis is a range of techniques that can alter people’s awareness of themselves and their surroundings. It was first used over 100 years ago to help patients with pain. Scientific studies of hypnosis continue, but the data is not conclusive.
- Meditation. Again, recognizing that the mind and body are integrated and that one cannot separate one from the other, meditation is a technique that has been, again, used through history to calm the mind as well as being able to decrease blood pressure and relax muscles.
It by no means has any religious connotation and should not be avoided because of this myth.
Work closely with your pain management physician to explore all treatment options that may be right for you.