Is it Possible to Cure Pain By Yourself?
Last week, I wrote an article about the Three Paradigms of Health Care. Just to clarify, paradigm in this sense means “a typical example or pattern of perceiving or doing something,” such as society’s paradigm of the “ideal” family.
A paradigm doesn’t carry implications of right or wrong; it simply describes how things are currently done or viewed by society. Paradigms materialize from a combination of historical events, new scientific findings and social trends.
So, the paradigm of health care refers to what typical individuals think and expect of health care.
My proposal is that there are three paradigms of health care:
1. Passive healthcare where you receive it from a provider (doctor, therapist), which includes drug prescriptions, surgery, and physical therapy and chiropractic treatment.
2. Doctor-prescribed lifestyle modification directives; i.e. diet restrictions, exercises, work limitations, etc.
3. “Do It Yourself” health care, where the individual researches health information without the help of a doctor and does things to improve his or her health.
My conclusion is that all three are needed to cover all bases.
But, I also insist that the vast majority of people in the world have a sort of mental attachment; almost an addiction to the first paradigm.
There is this ingrained belief that one must have something done to them by a doctor to get healthy. I think it’s mostly due to the barrage of drug advertisements, medical validation by society’s major institutions, and influence from parents.
Not enough emphasis is placed on the idea of nurturing the body and optimizing its natural recuperative abilities through lifestyle modification. As a result, we live in a society that has a reactive stance to health that actually embraces “sick” care, not health care.
We are not as discerning as we should be in what we eat and fail to make time in our schedules to exercise or engage in physical activities like going on a long hike. This makes us vulnerable to disease, illness and pain as it weakens our bodies’ ability to handle its environment. It cracks the door open for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and chronic joint pain to creep into our lives.
Here’s my advice:
If you think you might be giving too much credit or deference to the first paradigm, shift gears in your thinking and investigate the third paradigm, “Do It Yourself” health.
Here are the advantages:
1. When you invest in your own health, i.e. take more responsibility and play an active role in it, you will be healthier. It’s like a person diligently studying for an exam vs. one who doesn’t and tries to wing it on exam day: the guy who is passive will do worse every time. Like the guy who didn’t study, having a passive attitude towards your health leaves you vulnerable and unprepared.
2. For many types of cases, it’s cheaper than going to the doctor or therapist. You can find home treatment solutions to many common ailments online such as back pain, skin rashes, tension headaches and so on. The key is to read only reputable sites (do research on the individual providing the information first to confirm he/she is qualified).
I’m not saying to never visit your doctor; just pointing out that in this day and age, information on anything is highly accessible and should be utilized properly. Now I know there is a lot of crap online as well; the key is to develop an eye for what is legitimate and what is not, and do your due diligence.
So the question I present is, “Is it possible to cure pain by yourself?”
The answer is YES. Now, that is just an answer to the question from a logic standpoint. I’m not saying that it is possible for you specifically; just that it is possible.
The pain I am talking about is chronic musculoskeletal pain, or pain affecting the bones, joints, muscles and related connective tissue (ligaments, tendons, cartilage).
Obviously there is a “point of no return” where these structures are so degenerated or damaged that pain will always be present. This applies to conditions like knee, hip and low back pain involving severe, irreversible degeneration of structures. What’s critical, then, is that you take action BEFORE you reach that point of no return; and there are LOTS of things you can do to arrest or even reverse the progression of degeneration.
The biggest one is dietary changes. If you have some kind of chronic pain, have you considered using dietary intervention to stop the pain?
Dietary intervention is a popular means to achieve weight loss, but you rarely hear about it being used specifically to fight pain.
Eliminating certain food categories can go a long way in reducing pain. This includes processed sugar, grains, preservatives, additives, alcohol and caffeine. Try doing this for just one week, and see how you feel. I think you’ll be amazed.
Conversely, adding certain food categories or increasing their intake can reduce pain. This includes deep green, leafy vegetables; restricting fat intake to healthy fats like egg yolks, olives, coconut, avocados, seeds and nuts; and drinking only water. Do this for just one week, and see how feel. I think you’ll be amazed.
Secondly, there are home therapies you can do to reduce pain. Massage, joint mobilization and certain safe, therapeutic tools and equipment are available. One of my favorites that I use myself (for prevention) and have prescribed to patients suffering from low back pain is the PosturePump. There are many others, which I reveal in my R2M Online Courses for Reversing Chronic Pain.
Lastly, making some tweaks to your routine can go a long way in reducing and reversing pain. This includes restful sleep, grounding, standing more and sitting less, and doing mind-body techniques such as meditation and EFT.
Bottom line, the Third Paradigm of health care, Do It Yourself health care is on the rise. There is still a cautious attitude towards it within the medical field, but probably because the idea of “people doing what doctors are trained to do” doesn’t sit well with many doctors. But don’t let this discourage you. Remember, you have the biggest stake in your health, so it is prudent to be invested in your health. Don’t simply delegate it to doctors; get yourself involved; know what’s going on, what’s available for treatment, and the risks.