The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

Unconventional Methods for Pain Relief and Stress Reduction

Molecular Thoughts

Conventional treatment options for pain include ice/heat, medications, steroid injections, surgery, electrical stimulators, and any of the manual therapies– physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, etc.

Today I’ll discuss some of the unconventional ways you can achieve pain relief that you might want to consider.

Recommended Home Therapy Products Covered in Today’s Newsletter:

Flotation Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST)

flotation-tank

This procedure involves removing all sensory input from the brain to induce a state of calm. The two most frequently used REST methods are chamber REST, which involves the participant lying on a bed in a dark, soundproof room; and flotation REST, which involves floating in salt water in a light- and sound-proof tank.

In the early 1980s, a group of psychologists at the Medical College of Ohio did a series of experiments that measured the physiological responses to REST. Blood pressure and levels of stress-related hormones dropped – effects that persisted long after the cessation of the last flotation experience. In 2005, a meta-analysis (review of several hundred studies) further confirmed that flotation was more effective at reducing stress than other popular methods such as relaxation exercises, biofeedback or relaxing on the couch.

These results prompted researchers to investigate whether flotation could help patients with stress-related disorders. The treatment was used as a primary intervention for hypertension, headaches, insomnia and rheumatoid arthritis; all of these studies showed positive effects in small sample sizes.

Those suffering from intractable chronic pain particularly benefited from weekly REST sessions: their level of perceived pain dropped, their sleep improved and they reported feeling happier and less anxious. An ongoing project is investigating the use of flotation for fibromyalgia pain management with positive preliminary results.

For more information, check out the book Flotation: A Guide for Sensory Deprivation, Relaxation, & Isolation Tanks.  If you live in a major metropolitan area, Google “flotation tank therapy” to find a center near you.  A typical session can run anywhere from $50-$100+.

Sound and Imagery/ Biofeedback

Pain has to be “interpreted” by your brain before you can experience it. And, the way your brain interprets pain signals will influence how painful your pain will be.

Researchers say that one area of your brain is involved with processing the sensation, and the other is in a higher level of the brain that influences “cognition” of those sensory signals; i.e. how you should respond to it, mentally. Most pain drugs focus on blocking or modulating the pain signal; whereas sound and imagery devices focus on the cognitive processing of pain.

The devices below can be used to alter the cognitive center of your brain so that stress is reduced and response to pain is “down regulated,” thus reducing or even eliminating the sensation.

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Light and Sound Meditation Device

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This device uses a rainbow of colors synchronized to clear, crisp digital sound patterns to modulate states of consciousness. The Procyon includes 50 unique, pre-programmed light and sound sequences, each designed to create a specific emotional state.

More Information

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GSR 2 Home Biofeedback Device

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This device precisely monitors your stress levels by translating tiny tension-related changes in skin pores into a rising or falling tone. By resting two fingers on the sensing plates, the device “teaches” you how to lower the tone and therefore your stress level.

More Information

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Biofeedback Relaxation & Blood Pressure Reducer Device

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RESPeRATE is a portable computerized device that guides you through sessions of therapeutic breathing, powerful enough to lower blood pressure.   It is the only non-drug therapy cleared by the FDA for the treatment of high blood pressure and the reduction of stress. It is the first medical device that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure.

Use it for just 15 minutes a few times a week and it will significantly lower your blood pressure, often for the duration of the day . It is available without a prescription and used by more than 250,000 men and women worldwide to lower high blood pressure naturally.

More Information

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments, without using needles. It is based on the belief that emotional distress, often subconscious in nature, can disrupt the energy flow in these meridians which according to Eastern medicine can cause disease and pain to manifest. EFT uses a series of taps combined with verbal affirmations to reduce these disruptions and allow the body to balance itself and heal.

Watch the video below where Julie Schiffman, EFT practitioner demonstrates the technique:

More Information

Infrared Saunas

Visible light is a small part of the “electromagnetic spectrum,” a chart of wave energy from shortest wavelength (gamma rays) to the longest (extremely low frequency radio waves used by submarines).

Infra-red is energy that is just beyond the visible red on the electromagnetic spectrum, so you can’t see it (although some animals can). Studies show that infrared light interacts with cellular components which causes cells to change their oxidative state (electrical charge). This triggers cells to increase energy, or ATP production.

For injured cells (sprains, strains, cartilage or ligament damage, etc) this energy is used to rebuild proteins, bring in more oxygen and remove wastes, thus increasing injured cells’ rate of repair.

So if you suffer from chronic pain– hip, knee, low back etc., using an infrared sauna is a great way to alleviate your pain. Sit in an infrared sauna 1-2x a week for 20 minutes and experience reduced stress, less fatigue and more energy.  Make sure to rehydrate, as you will sweat. Sweating is another health benefit of infrared saunas as toxins are released from your tissues through sweat.

The two models of infrared saunas I recommend are below:

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Personal Infrared Sauna

sauna

How does having rejuvenating sauna therapy in your living room while you watch your favorite TV show sound?

It’s possible with this lightweight, portable sauna.  The pre-attached, easy fit solid beech wood dowel frame support system and the quick-set portable chair means setup is quick and easy.  No tools needed.  It’s completely portable and easily folds up for storage or traveling.  A great way to relax, stay fit and keep yourself healthy wherever you are.

More Information

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Two Person Far Infrared Sauna

ir sauna

For a more luxurious experience, this two-person sauna is the answer.   It is a great investment in your health:  use it to recover from musculoskeletal injuries, reduce pain in bones and joints, detoxify and even help you sleep better.  It contains seven carbon fiber far infra red heaters and is comprised of Canadian Hemlock wood, with no chemicals added.  An integrated sound system is included for ultimate relaxation.

More Information

BOTTOM LINE:  If you are experiencing pain of any kind, or you feel stressed out try one or all of these unconventional approaches. You may be pleasantly surprised of its effectiveness. Pain is a complex thing and is still not completely understood, but we do know it can be modulated by sensory stimulation and mind-body techniques.

The following products have my highest recommendation for pain relief and stress reduction. They are generally safe to use, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor. ~Dr. Perez

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For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit

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The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.

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