How Pain Makes Us Healthy
Looking at the healthy side of pain might seem akin to visiting the dark side of the moon– you know it exists but no one wants to go there.
For a while, I thought I must be going crazy, and many others were quick to agree, thinking that I was the only one who saw the healthy side of pain!
Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine approach pain relief from a wider and more holistic perspective than typical medical approaches.
Research is now showing that this more holistic approach helps not only reduce your pain but has additional benefits to your health. In 2010, researchers from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington interviewed 327 people who had participated in five clinical trials of six different complementary and alternative therapies for the treatment of back pain. These five studies found that all of these alternative therapies were helpful in reducing back pain. The interview sought to clarify if there were any other effects of the treatments in addition to relief of back pain and published the results in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The common benefits they found in addition to back pain relief were:
- Increased options and hope
- Increased ability to relax
- Positive changes in emotional states
- Increased body awareness
- Changes in thinking that increased the ability to cope with back pain
- Increased sense of wellbeing
- Improvement in physical conditions unrelated to back pain
- Increased energy
- Increased patient activation
- Dramatic improvements in health and wellbeing
The researchers noted that “Some of these effects were considered to be life-transforming.” But how can people who treat pain through alternate therapies get all these additional health benefits that don’t occur with people who medicate their pain?
The answer lies into how you interpret pain.
You may think that pain is an indication of some local damage or strain and then focus your attention on the site of pain. You then get treatment on the injured area or take some medication to decrease the pain. But treating pain this way has its flaws.
Firstly, you are assuming that the site of the pain is also the cause of the pain. In 25 years of private practice, I have found this to be rarely the case.
Secondly, you are treating pain as something that you need to stop.
The way complementary and alternative medicine practitioners view pain is different… They view pain as feedback from the body from a wider perspective. They seek to treat the person rather than treating the pain. They ask questions like: “ What is inhibiting your body from self-healing so you don’t have that pain?”
As a result, treatment is directed to the whole body, mind and lifestyle issues as opposed to the conventional medical approach of treating the isolated painful body parts.
What if the pain was a lot more than an indication of the site of a local strain or sprain?
These results suggest there are added health benefits from perceiving and treating pain differently. In fact, a healthier interpretation of pain could be considering it as your body’s wake<-up call to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Rather than exploring ways to treat or medicate your pain a more successful approach is to be using your pain to look at what is amiss with your overall health and lifestyle. Address these particular health and lifestyle issues (which can inhibit your body self-healing) and you will start to remedy the underlying causes of your pain and heal your overall life at the same time– the healthy side effect of viewing your pain from a different perspective.
Written by Dr. Paul Lanthois
Dr. Paul Lanthois is a Doctor of Chiropractic with over 23 years experience who has become a leading expert in what is fast becoming the New Standard For Pain Relief.
Having successfully overcome debilitating migraines and a fractured spine in his youth, Dr. Lanthois discovered that many times the most effective pain relief is to not to medicate or even treat the site of the pain, but to use the pain to your advantage.
With Dr. Lanthois’ own Lanthois Chronic Pain Relief Method, you learn to “use it to lose it.” You use your pain as a guide to seeing a bigger picture of your overall health and lifestyle.
He teaches how listening to your pain in this way helps you to translate your pain into positive holistic lifestyle action. This action, in combination with Dr. Lanthois’ revolutionary holistic treatment, not only helps you address the root cause of your pain but also are the keys to unlocking levels of energy and vitality that you thought weren’t possible.
Such has been the success of the Lanthois Method that is the subject of his upcoming book: Your Healthy Pain: Winning the Chronic Pain Game.
In addition to running his chiropractic practice in Queensland, Australia, Dr. Lanthois has also authored the top selling health and lifestyle guide “From Burnout to Balance in Four Weeks“. In addition, as part of the Your Healthy Pain Lifestyle book series, he has authored guides on Stretching, Fitness, Strength Training, Nutrition, Stress and Emotional Management.