Massage therapists use touch to ease tension and relieve the aches and pains that come from stress, injury, and physical exertion as well as chronic conditions including fibromyalgia. You want to find a practitioner who is licensed in your state and has been certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work. There are many styes of body work - from widely offered massage varieties, like Swedish and Shiatsu, to more specialized practices, like Reiki - and you may need to experiment with the different modalities until you find the treatment that works for you. Get a referral from the American Massage Therapy Association.
Acupuncturists use superthin needles to stimulate energetic pathways that heal and balance the body's systems according to traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of conditions, from insomnia to migraine headaches, and the body of scientific research on it's effectiveness has grown dramatically in the past 10 years. Many people report a reduction in pain after a series of treatments, and acupuncture is gaining traction in the medical community, particularly among those who practice holistic medicine. Find an acupuncturist through the American Association of Acupuncturists & Oriental Medicine.
These pain experts typically step in to help you heal from an injury after your MD's work is done, but they also commonly work with those who experience chronic pain. They put patients on a path to well-being by prescribing specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the body - for example, get a jogger with runner's knee lacing up her sneakers in time for a 5K. Often, coached sessions come first and are followed by a program to do on your own at home. Foam rollers, fitness balls, and resistance bands are some of the tools you might see in a physical therapist's office. Find a qualified practitioner through the American Physical Therapy Association.
Your pharmacists isn't just there to hand out prescriptions. These highly trained professionals can dispense expert advice too. Talk to you pharmacist about your paint, and he or she may be able to recommend an over-the-counter option that works well. And if you are picking up a prescriptions, your pharmacist can alert you to any hazardous interactions.
Nutritionists can help you lose weight, and many people underestimate the degree to which excess pounds can put painful stress on the joints and spine. Seek out a registered dietician - they are some of the savviest people around with it comes to food. For example, an RD can help you get to the bottom of any food sensitivities you may have that can cause mysterious headaches or stomachaches. They can also set you up on an anti-inflammatory diet that can help ease pain as well as aid in prevention of diseases like diabetes. Turn to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for more information.
Yoga classes have brought relief to many back pain and tension headache sufferers. This mind-body practice combines awareness and breathing with a series of poses that loosen up muscles and joints. It also increases range of motion and aligns the spine, which can ease aches for those who have chronic back complaints. Styles of yoga range from seated to athletic, so there's a class for everyone regardless of fitness level. Once you have found a yoga class, tell your instructor about any injuries or chronic pain issues, and don't do anything that hurts or strains your body.
Meditation experts can help you learn to quiet your mind and sink into a state of stress-free relaxation, but you don't need to see one in person to learn the skills and get relief. Books, guided meditation recordings, and even online tutorials can help you become a Zen master. Meditation is a particularly great option because the benefits are many and the risks are none. And unlike some other alternative treatments, scientific studies have some that meditation can diminish pain.
Hypnotists are not like what you've seen in the movies, where they saw a watch before your eyes and make you cluck like a chicken. A trained hypnotherapists can, however, help patients deal with issues both physical and psychological. The therapist simply talks to you in a soothing tone as he or she guides you into a highly relaxed state. To find a hypnotist, visit the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.
Mental Health experts are important for anyone suffering from any kind of chronic pain - whether the source is cancer, migraine headaches, lower back issues, or anything in between - because those who live with pain on an ongoing basis are more likely to get depressed. Once that happens, the depression itself can bring on addition discomfort, kicking off a vicious cycle. Psychologists can help stop that downward spiral in its tracks by providing the emotional support pain sufferers need. Find a psychologist at the American Psychological Association.
Chiropractors have a bad reputation in some circles, probably because of a myth that their treatments can be painful or dangerous, but these pros have had extensive health care training and can offer safe and effective relief. A visit to one can be helpful for many people, especially those suffering with back, neck, and head pain. Chiropractors treat patients primarily through a series of precise spinal manipulations and adjustments that bring relief by restoring the body's natural alignment. Get a referral from the American Chiropractic Association.
*Information contained in this page is provided by Prevention.com's "10 Pros with Surprising Pain Solutions" article.