With the rampant opioid abuse epidemic facing the country and resulting legislative restrictions on powerful pain medications, more people are seeking holistic alternatives for pain management than ever. These alternatives are especially important to people in recovery for opioid abuse who are living with pain conditions. No one should have to suffer through chronic pain in order to maintain sobriety; relapse because of such conditions are tragic and occur far too often. Being educated and open to holistic alternatives for pain management can protect you from that pitfall.
Long-term use of opioid medications has a number of adverse effects, one of which is the potential for addiction. Misuse and abuse of opioids causes serious changes in the brain’s biochemistry, affecting one’s natural production of important hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. Long-term use has also been linked to hypersensitivity to pain, suppression of the immune system, gastrointestinal problems, and muscular disturbances.
For people who are in recovery or seeking to avoid using opioid medications for other reasons, these three holistic alternatives may help with pain management.
Acupuncture as an holistic alternative to opioid pain medications may seem like a modern discovery, but this ancient Chinese practice dates back to around 100 B.C. Using precision and a steady hand, acupuncture influences the nerves to alleviate pain and tension. Done properly, acupuncture is safe and painless; it does not damage the nerves or cause adverse side effects. Some minor soreness may occur immediately after the session but will fade.
Contrary to acupuncture biofeedback is a perfect marriage between modern technology and holistic alternative medicine. Biofeedback is a guided meditation practice which utilizes medical technology to help you consciously relax the muscles, control your breathing, and otherwise relieve pain caused by tension. This method also incorporates mindfulness and guided imagery therapy to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Massages are for more than treating yourself to a bit of self-care! Athletes and people with physical limitations have turned to massage as a holistic means of pain relief for years. By manipulating the muscles and limbs through precise application of pressure, massage works by relieving tension, increasing blood flow, and assist with mobility issues. Massage is for more than muscular pain: it can help with gastrointestinal problems and nerve conditions as well.