Holistic Pain Relief
You know Holistic Health has arrived when “a redneck from Tennessee” becomes a spokesperson. Holistic Health benefits everyone, not just soccer moms and millennials. It is time to stop looking at “alternative drugs” to replace opioids as first line response to pain management. A better approach is holistic pain relief. We must treat the whole person and do so with more complementary therapies like acupuncture and yoga as well as non-clinical determinants of health like diet. The VA has successfully implemented holistic pain relief in centers across the US. Sometimes the approach even frees members from opioids. That would certainly be one way to end the current opioid crisis!
Trying to cure the opioid crisis without a magic pill. Without a pill at all. One alternative for chronic pain has the government spending millions on Utah research.
SALT LAKE CITY — Russ Faust knows pain and rattles off the reasons why.
“Seven broken bones in that foot, four knee surgeries, two back surgeries,” he said. “The last one, they fused some of it. Both rotator cuffs and thumb joint replacement.”
Faust said he’s tried lots of options for pain relief, including opioids.
“I’ve been on opiates, per se, forever,” he said.
The pills work, Faust said, but he doesn’t like the side effects.
“The pain pills kinda made me feel fuzzy — my wife said grumpy — and I just did not like them so I was actually looking for a way to try and get off of ‘em,” he said.
A doctor at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System steered the veteran toward the VA’s Integrative Health Program — a holistic program that includes acupuncture, hypnosis, qigong and mindfulness — and he ended up in a yoga and meditation class.
At first, Faust wasn’t impressed.
“I’m a redneck from Tennessee and thought this class was a bunch of hocus-pocus,” he said.
He kept returning to the class and after about a month, he said he started to feel better. Faust said he feels so much better now that he no longer needs the pills.
“Your brain goes to a different place and goes away from the pain,” he said.
It’s because of stories like Faust’s that the federal government is paying more attention to mindfulness as a way to ease chronic pain and avoid opioids, which lead to tens of thousands of overdose deaths a year.
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