Pain management is a medical approach that sets out to eliminate or control pain. It is one-dimensional and doesn’t typically take into consideration the social, spiritual, and psychological dimensions of pain. At Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the holistic approach (that encompasses a biological, psychological, social, and spiritual approach to pain relief) is called “pain recovery.” Pain recovery goes beyond pills, topical solutions, serums, surgeries, and injections, and includes a variety of healing modalities outside the more traditional approaches. Drugs can have a place in the treatment of pain under medical supervision since these drugs are sometimes necessary to provide temporary relief and promote mobility, and they are occasionally even lifesaving. Using a holistic approach to pain not only addresses the biological or underlying pathology, but also the anxiety, fear, anger, and depression that can come with pain and worsen it. This approach also addresses the social aspects of healing, which include a person’s ability to remain active in friendships, community activities, and family life. Each of the four dimensions require healing in order to address the total pain picture.
Holistic Pain Treatment, or “Pain Recovery,” Includes a Variety of Treatment Modalities
LVRC treats some of the psychological aspects of pain through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), which assert that pain is caused, in part, by what we think about our pain, not just by external conditions. Other psychological pain treatments might include guided imagery or mindfulness techniques. Acupuncture, hydrotherapy, chiropractic and physical therapy, and massage—modalities that can fall into either the pain management or the pain recovery models—are additional aspects of alternative pain treatment embraced by Las Vegas Recovery Center. We make sure social aspects are covered through interactions during treatment and skills that help clients engage socially after leaving us. How a client engages spiritually is a matter of personal preference, but it’s encouraged by LVRC as an ongoing part of pain recovery. Depending on the individual’s specific condition and particular needs, we design a holistic treatment plan that is multidimensional and perfectly suited for each client.
A Big Difference between Pain Management and Holistic Pain Recovery: Active Client Participation
LVRC encourages clients to actively engage in their own holistic pain relief process. Individuals leave our treatment program after designing a treatment plan with their therapists and adjusting it as progress is made. This plan pushes beyond filling prescriptions and taking pills once clients go home. Practicing the techniques they learn in cognitive therapy reinforces the holistic, complementary pain treatment they receive at LVRC. The plan encourages making appointments for return therapist visits as needed to increase the potential for success. Using healthy lifestyle practices they learned during their time with us—practices that include diet, exercise, and rest—will augment recovery. In addition, we encourage our clients to gather support from family and friends for their recovery journey. Chronic pain can be isolating, and those who experience it can feel like outcasts. We suggest that our clients attend church, support groups, family gatherings, community events, and outings with friends, not dwelling on their pain but not rejecting it either. At LVRC, we consider acceptance the best answer to dealing with pain, and living a full, rich life as one recovers is a good example of how to practice it.