It’s an alternative therapy that is used to promote relaxation and induce an alternate state of consciousness. It involves learning how to use your mind and thoughts to manage emotional distress, unpleasant physical symptoms like pain, and also habits or behaviours. It has been shown to be especially effective in repetitive strain injuries and cancer pain.Any intervention or treatment used in place of conventional medicine is termed as “Alternate therapy/medicine”. Alternative therapy, which encompasses a variety of disciplines, including acupuncture, yoga, bio-feedback, massage, mind-body techniques, is becoming increasingly common in managing pain.Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, which involves inserting fine needles into the body, has been shown to be very effective in conditions like fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. WHO currently lists more than 30 conditions that can be managed by Acupuncture. Therapeutic touch and Reiki healing are considered to activate the self-healing processes of an individual. In addition to pain these techniques have also been proved to reduce anxiety and improve stress management.
These include mindful meditation, transcendental meditation et cetera, and have become common outside of their spiritual contexts. These techniques help to reduce pain and manage stress by clearing your mind and focussing on your body’s perception of pain and other signals.
Biofeedback is a pain management technique that teaches a patient to control normally involuntary body functions like blood pressure or heart rate. Electromyography (or EMG) measures muscle tension and is the type of feedback that has been identified to be helpful in pain, especially chronic headaches.
Although widespread, it’s still considered as an alternative therapy. Chiropractic therapy involves studying the relationship between different body structures and altering their alignment, particularly the spine, in order to alleviate pain. It is most commonly used to manage disc and nerve related pains. Massage involves manipulation of body’s soft tissues to influence muscles, circulation and lymphatic systems. Various kinds of massage techniques including deep tissue, sports massage, ayurvedic massage and hot stone massage are now being used to relax the body while relieving muscle inflammation and pain.With an increase in the popularity of alternative therapies it is important to ensure that one seeks proper medical advice before turning to any such therapy.