A Naturopathic approach to pain management and pain resolution utilizes safe and effective natural treatments with minimal side effects. Both acute and chronic pain can be debilitating, often interfering with sleep and activities of daily life. Over the counter and prescription medication for pain management can be effective but often leads to adverse effects such as: gastritis, liver injury, nausea, constipation and dependency. I’m fortunate to have several tools to address pain effectively and with minimal side effects.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture increases circulation, releases analgesic compounds called endorphins and can short circuit pain signals. Often with just one treatments patients feel relief. With a complete acupuncture protocol patients can expect long lasting pain relief without the need for medication. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and sharp making it a virtually painless procedure, which most patients actually find relaxing. There are no potential interactions with other medications making it a great stand-alone or add-on therapy. Besides the possibility of a small bruise, there are virtually no adverse effects.
Cupping: Cupping is an ancient technique that uses suction to increase circulation and loosen muscle and other tissue fibres. In Chinese medicine, it is said that pain is the result of stagnation of blood and Qi. Cupping works to free up stagnation in the body. Cupping is a great needle free physical therapy that works very well for tight muscles and connective tissue.
Moxibustion: Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy that has been utilized in Chinese medicine for centuries. It involves the burning of a herb called mugwort over specific areas of the body to induce circulation and endorphins release. I often like to pre-treat a patient with Moxa before acupuncture. It is a really great way to bring blood flow to hypoxic tissue so that it will respond to other therapies much more effectively.
Laser: Laser therapy has been shown to cause a release of Nitric Oxide from blood vessels in the treatment zone. Nitric Oxide works to dilate the blood vessels allowing an increase in circulation. Increases in circulation allow for quicker healing of damaged tissue and flushing out of inflammatory compounds. Laser therapy is a great component of an injury recovery protocol.
Diet and Nutraceuticals: Establishing strong fundamentals for health and recovery (Diet, Sleep, Gut Health, and Exercise) are pivotal in reducing the experience of pain and allowing for a quick recovery/resolution of symptoms. New patients will always receive a detailed protocol that includes relevant supplements, diet guides, exercise tips, and if necessary, requisitions for investigative tests. A holistic approach offers the best chance for a speedy recovery.
Cannabinoid Therapy: Once a social taboo, cannabis has become part of our culture. Cannabis’s recreational use often overshadows the profound potential of it as a safe and effective medicine for a variety of symptoms including pain. Cannabis is a complex plant with hundreds of potentially therapeutic compounds. When it comes to pain it is always useful to seek expert guidance on what products, ratios, methods of administration, and dosages work best. Cannabis is one of the safest medications used for pain management; however, there are some important contraindications and interactions that patients need to understand before starting to use a cannabis product. I have been educating patients and practitioners on safe and effective methods of using cannabinoids for several years.
Intravenous Therapy: Chronic periods of mental and physical stress can deplete the body of vital nutrients and co-factors. IV therapy is a great tool that quickly and safely replenishes these vitamins and minerals. IV therapy has proved to be a tremendous tool in the treatment of chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia, central pain and sensitization syndrome.
There are a variety of safe and effective complementary and alternative solutions for pain. I encourage those of you suffering from pain or trapped in pharmaceutical management to give some of these alternatives a try. For more information feel free to contact me.
Dr. Shawn Meirovici N.D. is proud to be offering Naturopathic treatment for Pain in Toronto and North York.