Alternative therapy is basically described as any medical treatment or intervention that is used to give pain-relief to the patient in adjunct to conventional medicine. Although there are various alternative forms of therapies that claim to manage pain but the most effective and safe forms are:
Mind-body therapies mainly focus to improve the mind’s ability to affect the symptoms and functions of the body. It includes the following techniques:
- Relaxation-techniques such as HEARTFULNESS meditations
- Guided imagery
- Biofeedback like Electromyographic biofeedback gives alters the ways in which muscle tension contributes to pain and help in controlling it.
- Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy makes use of refocusing techniques to transform pain e.g. glove anesthesia.
- Visualization involves closing of eyes to imagine a visual of pain and giving it a shape or color. Then this image is replaced with a pleasant image.
Acupuncture is one of the most recommended therapies that work by increasing the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals responsible for blocking pain. So the more is it in body, the less will be the pain. Acupuncture actually creates a feeling of fullness in the muscle. These muscles send a message to the nervous system for the release of endorphins. Nervous system releases endorphins and pain is reduced or completely eliminated. This method can even reduce the pains like a headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, low back-pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis etc.
It is the most common treatment recommended for head, back and neck pain. Even in severe cases of pain, great improvements are noticed with this therapy.
Massage is one of the most convenient ways to manage chronic pain conditions. It not only reduces stress but also relieves tension by enhancing blood circulation to the area. Massage can reduce the presence of substances that may generate and sustain pain.
A raw vegetarian diet due to presence of anti-inflammatory agents can ease the pain by limiting inflammation. In addition to this, a low-fat vegetarian diet can decrease the pain intensity and duration.
Nutritional supplements containing glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, fish oils etc. may give benefit to selected patients.
Advantages of Alternative Pain Management therapies
- Effectively control pain
- Reduces the stress or pressure in the body
- Strengthen the body muscles
- Alleviate discomfort related to chronic pain
- Create a pleasant mind and healthy body
Dr Manish Vaish - Neurosurgeon
Neurosurgeon NCR, Delhi
Dr. Yashpal Bundela MS Mch
Dr.Girish Rajpal MS Mch FINR
Dr. Shiwani Jain MD FNB
PDFC (Neuro-anaesthesia and Critical care)
Dr Hrishikesh Chakrabartty
Dr.Praveen Kumar MS Mch
Dr. Manish Marda MD DM