By Nipun A Jacob September 2011 Alternative therapies not just alleviate pain but also go to the root of its genesis. A holistic approach• Live an authentic life. Recognise that you are divine. • Love yourself without judgment. • Learn to express yourself, especially in front of the people you love the most. • We all want to be loved. No one wants to be blamed. It is a fundamental truth that works in all relationships. • Enjoy every moment. Participate in unbridled laughter. • Enjoy blissful sex with a loving companion. • Learn to breathe deeply and deal with stress because all these activities create an endorphin surge in the body. • Cry fully, because tears are extremely helpful to purify your body, and vent out anger in ways that enhance relationships and are deeply empowering. The part can never be well unless the whole is well. ~ Plato Very often we pop in painkillers or apply balms that reduce the pain in the body for a while. Without really dwelling on its cause, we are back to our routine with a false sense of having been cured. Pain is a relative term which varies from one person to another and is a symptom rather than a disease. It is nature’s way of drawing attention to the affected part that is inflamed and needs attention, help, care or healing. There are three broad categories of pain: acute pain, chronic pain and recurrent pain. Acute pain is where the onset is rapid, has a limited duration but needs immediate attention. When treated it subsides quickly and does not recur if the cause is removed. It results from inflammation or injury. For example, spasmodic pain in the abdomen, pain or cramps in muscles due to a tear or overuse, body pain during fever, inflammatory pain in the ear or throat. Chronic pain is a long-standing pain. Often, it is a result of degenerative changes in the body caused by ageing, where constant wear and tear and improper care leads to pain, like in arthritis. Recurrent or cyclic pain is pain that repeats itself at regular intervals. The intensity of recurrent pain is often severe and it can severely incapacitate the patient. A typical example of recurrent pain is the pain of kidney stones, migraine and headaches. Pain can also be classified with respect to intensity – mild, moderate or severe. Pain can be physical, dental, post-surgical or psychogenic. Pain can also be local or referred. Local pain is when the symptoms are felt around the tissue that needs help, and referred pain is when the pain is felt in an area away from the primary site that is affected. Dr Ravinder K Tuli, senior consultant and the founder of Society for Holistic Advancement of Medicine, calls pain, ‘life-saving’. He says, “Pain is a very useful signal since it draws an immediate attention to the ailing part.” He adds, “Early detection of the disease by an authentic practitioner is most important. Depending on the condition of the patient, simple lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, yoga, acupuncture, counselling, hypnotherapy and panchakarma can cure any kind of pain.” Physiotherapy There are many alternative therapies that have astounding results in tackling pain at its root. Physiotherapy offers relief in severe pain with simple exercises and proper attention. “Since physiotherapy is a conservative way of treatment, it helps to root out the problem if done religiously. It comes with listed precautions and home management exercises. Give rest to the affected part and avoid the positions that causes or aggravates the pain,” says Dr Ashish Bawa, a well-known physiotherapist in Delhi. “Depending on the condition of the patient, simple lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, yoga, acupuncture, counselling, hypnotherapy and panchakarma can cure any kind of pain.” Dr Ravindra Tuli The diagnosis of pain is primarily on the basis of the patient’s complaint. The location of pain, its intensity, the mode of onset, duration of stay, things that aggravate or give relief, associated symptoms like fever, vomiting, sweating, all of these, elicited by proper history-taking, point towards a diagnosis. The presentation of pain can be mistaken; for example chest pain may be cardiac, epigastric (acidity) or even cervicogenic (originating from neck). In case of muscular or joint pain, no exercise should be done in the acute phase of pain. “Depending upon the intensity of the pain – mild, moderate and severe, we suggest hot and cold fermentation that helps to increase vascularity (blood supply) wax bath or exercises for stiff joints,” says Dr Neha J Sydney, a physiotherapist in Aligarh. Compression gives external support which can be given in the form of crepe bandages or braces. Elevation helps in postural drainage which can be attained by putting the affected limb in gravity-eliminating position. Reflexology A famous reflexologist in Mumbai, Pinakin Shah says, “Pain is the body’s way of telling us that it requires immediate attention and rest. Fatigue, muscle tension, overwork, toxins, hormonal imbalance, gout or arthritis can all cause pain.” He adds, “Reflexology is considered the best wholistic therapy. It is based on the principle that pressure on certain points of the hands and feet can improve blood circulation and relieve pain. Regular reflexology treatments every week can speed up the healing process and relieve pain. Many of our clients claim that during treatment, they feel electrical impulses from the feet that go directly to the organ being treated.” Reiki “Reiki is a very powerful, positive healing energy that helps in pain relief by aligning the chakras of the body. It is believed that toxins and blockages in the energy channels create imbalance leading to pain and disease. Reiki removes these blockages and fills you with healing energy. Even during distance healing, one feels warmth on the part being treated as if there is a hot water bag on it. After treatment, most people feel sleepy and wake up pain-free,” says Ankita Shah, massage therapist and reiki master at Pristine Senses Academy, Mumbai. Dr N K Sharma, reiki teacher and the founder chairman of Reiki Healing Foundation, too says, “A reiki practitioner communicates with the energy field of the patient and throws out the negative energy from the auric level thereby bringing comfort to the patient at the physical level. Millions of people have benefitted and experienced a remarkable relief within 10-15 minutes. Reiki is not bound by time or space. That’s the beauty of this alternative therapy.” Massage “Massage is also excellent for relieving physical pain that arises from muscle fatigue or tension. It is best relieved through a Swedish or Balinese massage by a trained therapist. It not only relaxes the body but also the mind. The warm properties of aroma oils used in Balinese massage help in healing and are especially useful for sportspersons. We have found people sighing in relief during the massage and feeling fresh and rejuvenated after,” adds Ankita. According to Dr Sandeep Bhasin in New Delhi, pain has three components – physical, mental and spiritual. He says, “We use ozone therapy for back ache, frozen shoulder and pain in tennis elbow. For the pain that gets stored in tissue memory after an old injury from accidents, we try to release the tissue memory through deep tissue therapy.” He adds, “We also ask people to meditate and explain that every disease is the outcome of our creation. At a higher level, we had already chosen diseases before our birth. We need to understand that diseases are not punishment. Sufferers often blame God for all the burden of pain. We help people change the mindset,” Dr Bhasin adds. Theta healing Theta Healer instructor and clinical hypnotherapist, Dr Sanjiv Ranjan, says that modalities like hypnosis and theta healing work with the repressed emotional energy of the past. Recent research and practice over many years has revealed that pain of any kind, anywhere in the body, of any intensity or gravity, is basically due to repressed emotional energy and cellular memories of trauma. An emotion is energy in motion. It is meant to flow, especially powerful emotions like anger and grief. A tremendous catharsis takes place within and healing begins. He says, “Our beliefs reflect our internal environment. Our body is a reflection of our subconscious mind. Beliefs can easily be changed. They are simply relics from the past. ‘Through theta healing, we first access deeply dysfunctional programmes that are creating the pain, and then pull them out. We then witness the downloading of empowering, life-enhancing paradigms from the Creator’s light moving into the DNA of every cell in the body. The phenomenon is breathtaking in its beauty. One watches how miracles are natural to life. How deep and penetrating healing is when we are helped and guided by the source energy.” He adds. “Pain is immensely debilitating and greatly interferes with the quality of life. You have to understand and accept the full range of your emotions in order to heal pain. You have to be comfortable expressing yourself, especially in front of the people you love the most. And while expressing yourself to your loved ones take responsibility for your feelings rather than blaming them. He suggests that you say, “This is how I feel or this is who I am and may be it has nothing to do with you, but please try and understand what I feel and try and love me through this.’ ‘You will be surprised at how much love and energy you will draw to handle pain into your life with this simple honest statement,” he affirms.
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