Chronic Pain Solutions
With all of the TV commercials hawking pain relievers ranging from headache powder to digestive aids, one might think that health problems are a result of some kind of medication deficiency.
Actually, if you have any of these symptoms, it is really just an indicator of some kind of internal problem. An old auto or sports injury can create frequent headache pain, back aches or even hand numbness. A long-term or even inherited internal deficiency or weakness can cause a sensitivity to various foods and environmental factors. Over the counter medications can help mask the pain, but the underlying cause could go undiagnosed due to a lack of understanding, and if left untreated, will worsen with time.
For some, a structural weakness caused by an old injury can be the cause of a chronic pain condition. Even twenty years later, an old sports injury or “fender-bender” can be the root cause of chronic pain. This is due to the insidious effects of hidden scar tissue that can form on nerves and soft tissue at the site of an injury.
When the body is injured, the soft tissue involved is traumatized. This trauma can vary in severity from a minor sprain or strain to a major tear. When there has been a trauma, the residual scar tissue can cause adhesions in the tissue. This can impede your range of movement, causing stiffness and pain. Common treatment for this type of problem can be oral pain medications or muscle relaxers or injected pain medications. The problem with these is that there can be adverse side effects and many only give short term relief. Actually getting to the original cause of the problem is the best way to treat, and using the treatments that have little or no potential side effects should always be considered first.
Oriental Medicine uses various techniques including acupuncture and tui-na (a special Oriental massage technique) to actually break up the scar tissue and rehabilitate the whole body. The real uniqueness of this approach is the combination of the various modalities. First, acupuncture is used to reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, relax the muscles and relieve pain by activating the body’s natural pain killer, endorphins. Now you are ready for tui-na. Since the muscles are relaxed, the deep, focused tui-na work is able to get to those spots deep inside. The result is a break-up of tension, muscle knots and old scar tissue. As the body’s structure stabilizes, stiffness is relieved, nerve inflammation is reduced and the pain is treated at the root cause. In addition, deep stretching like yoga can be used to maintain good flexibility and prevent further problems in the future.
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.