Chronic pain is one of the most reported problems of war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Opioids are commonly prescribed but an alarming rate of hospitalizations and even death have been recorded due to its use and misuse. With the help of naturopathic medicine, find out why the natural approach to managing pain is better for veterans, so read on.
In an article posted in Huffington Post, US Congress has taken the first step to include licensed Naturopathic Practitioners as part of the healthcare professionals employed within the Veterans Administration agency:
AMVETS, one of the country’s largest veterans service organizations, has teamed up with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) to promote natural, non-pharmacological approaches to treating veterans suffering from chronic pain. In a Dear Colleague letter in the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers have called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take steps to employ licensed naturopathic physicians, who are trained in natural, non-invasive methods of healing.
Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), concerned about the dangers of overmedicating veterans, especially with prescribed opioid drugs, has penned a letter that many colleagues have signed including Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Walter Jones (R-NC) as the letter’s initial signators. Pocan writes:
After incidents across the country of veterans overdosing on or abusing opioids associated with chronic pain, it is clear we need a new approach to veterans’ pain management… Our veterans deserve access to all possible forms of care when making their health care decisions, including the services provided by naturopathic doctors (NDs).
Casey Jourdan, an Iraqi War veteran, is one of the many people who has benefited from alternative medicine to manage pain. Billings Gazette published an article on how Jourdan found pain relief without pills through rehab and therapy, with the help of naturopathy.
“On April 13, 2004, she [Jourdan] was wounded in a roadside bombing. It left her with permanent joint and nerve damage in her left shoulder, elbow and wrist…
She went to Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic as an alternative to pills, which she avoided, to find relief for her chronic shoulder pain. Chiropractic care and massage therapy decreased the pain and rehab helped her get back in the gym, to get more active.
“I went through weeks of chiropractic care and massage therapy as part of dealing with my chronic shoulder pain, and it made a big difference for me,” Jourdan said. “It really got my pain into a much more manageable area.”
You can read the full article here.
Here is a good description provided by The American College of Healthcare Sciences about the benefits of Aromatherapy and its role in pain management:
“Natural, plant-based essential oils have been shown to be highly effective in treating pain. One 2007 study examined the therapeutic effects of lavender essential oil on postoperative pain in patients recovering from laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, and “results suggest[ed] that lavender aromatherapy can be used to reduce the demand for opioids in the immediate postoperative period.”
Given that the proper and safe use of essential oils has minimal to no adverse effects when used over time, aromatherapy is an ideal alternative to opioids. Not to mention, essential oils smell way better.
Another reason aromatherapy is an ideal option for veterans and returning military? It’s been shown to help soothe the symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
You can read more alternative treatments here.
Veterans are some of our real-life heroes. They deserve nothing but the best possible treatment they can get without causing further complications that may arise from excessive drug use, misuse, or dependency. And as a way of saying, “Thank you for your service.”, share this to veterans you know!
Here at Dr. Amauri Wellness Centre, we offer various alternative pain treatment modalities such as acupuncture, naturopathic manipulation, cold laser, and shockwave therapy. Get in touch with our licensed and registered Naturopath Toronto Doctor for a complimentary 15-minute consultation in-person.