Integrative Approaches to Pain Management

What is Integrative Medicine?

“Integrative health” incorporates the use of alternative  approaches as a complement to mainstream health care. Definitions of “integrative” medicine can vary, but all involve bringing conventional and alternative approaches together in a coordinated way. More and more people are taking this approach but as the marriage of the two is still relatively new the terminology is still in flux, the research is still developing so, when considering it, keep an open mind and exercise care.

Alternative health care practices, otherwise known as non-mainstream approaches, often seem new but many are in fact far from it.

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Searching for a Diagnosis

041Pain often follows an injury, an injury that we can clearly identify, from the most benign, like a stubbed toe, to most severe, think of just about any claimed war injury and our mind, with all our exposure to today’s permissive preoccupation with graphic images, jumps to the most horrific of possibilities.

But sometimes the message of pain, that the mind senses and sends us the alarm for, is not so clearly indicated. There is no apparent injury. And yet, there is pain, even in some cases, severe pain. How is this possible?

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Medical Marijuana

Marijuana and Pain


Pain, we know, is the body’s way of sounding alarm; it announces that all is not well with our bodies, whether from causes of disease or accident. It is the most common reason that people seek medical care. Pain is a big problem.

And not just for patients. For physicians and all manner of healthcare professionals, pain is a complex, persistent and vexing challenge. It can have any number of causes, many of which are poorly understood, and it does not always respond well to treatment. The medications for pain often prove to be problematic themselves as different types of pain, and individuals, respond in any manner of ways to any given medication. Then there are the side effects, which can be significant.

The search for new and better pain relievers is an on-going quest.

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Living well with pain

Living Well’s Article


Living Well with chronic pain is an article which, briefly, outlines 8 steps or processes to take to better live in pain: They discuss: coping skills, exercise, medication, alternative treatments, relaxation tips, seeking help and support and the value of research . It is very minimal …

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Sacred Partnerships

There is nothing like speaking to another who lives with chronic pain. There is an immediate sense of understanding and shared experience that you cannot find with others, no matter how empathic and compassionate they may be.

I always feel better, certainly in respect to a sense of community, as opposed to the more frequent sense of singularity and in many other ways, after speaking with someone who shares the chronic pain journey.

It is especially revelatory when one comes across individual’s who are finding a positive path to manage their pain.


The following is a poignant writing on living and traveling when faced with great challenge, a common experience by Dr. Paul Fleishman, a writer and psychiatrist. He has written The Healing Spirit and Cultivating Inner Peace. He won the Oskar Pfister Award by the American Psychiatric Association for his “important contributions to the humanistic and spiritual side of psychiatric issues”.

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