Debra Chew: Thinking Outside The Prescription Bottle For Pain Relief

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - by Debra Chew

Most people do not like pain. That’s a pretty safe thing to say.  Whether it is physical, mental, or emotional pain….individuals, groups and organizations have been working for thousands of years to find relief for all types.  Unfortunately, some of the solutions that have been discovered, and are recommended and used come with unfavorable risks or long-term side effects.

Whether intentional or not, many individuals are finding themselves addicted to the very prescribed medicines they look to for pain relief.  And, that addiction often sends them on to illegal drugs. Nearly four out of five people who recently started using heroin used prescription painkillers first, according to a 2013 study from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.  And, a Feb. 25 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer segment on Veterans reported “In 2012, Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) found VA doctors wrote more than 6.5 million prescriptions for hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine. That's more than the total number of patients they saw and a 270 percent increase from 2001.”   

It seems that our quest for a “quick fix” for pain has resulted in risky side effects with damaging addictions.  As the toll of these unintended consequences rises, health professionals and patients are desperate for solutions.  Some physicians now recommend meditation or relaxation therapy, others suggest aromatherapy, yoga, mind-body therapies or even therapeutic touch in place of conventional medicine to treat pain. And, while many patients are finding temporary relief as a result of these therapies, permanent solutions to chronic – and in some cases extreme - pain remain allusive. And, the numbers of addicted continue to skyrocket.    

One approach to healing acute or chronic pain that is sometimes found among the “alternative” therapies but not yet well known is to reframe how we view – and, thus, experience – the problem. In this approach, the patient can use a spiritual lens to relook at the pain. I’ve found it helps to deepen my understanding of God as an all loving Parent and as more powerful than the body and any pain messages it sends me.  This isn’t unique to me.  More and more physicians are considering the role mental pictures and understanding of the Divine plays in our health.  After a NDE (near-death-experience), Dr. Eben Alexander said “Communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, yet at the same time, it is the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times.  Omniscient, omnipotent, personal—and loving us without conditions.”  Dr. Alexander also wrote, “We have a very powerful loving God.”

I believe it is in that concept of God as Love, and in communicating directly with the Divine, that we can find healing for pain of all kinds.  My prayers help change my thoughts and this has a calming effect that is enough to begin to relieve pain. Continued prayer brings permanent relief. 

Several years ago I suffered a tubal pregnancy.  The pain afterwards was horrendous. I was offered morphine but decided to use prayer instead.  I read passages of comfort from the Bible, like “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” Rev. 21:4.  This particular scripture was helpful for both the physical as well as the emotional pain I felt after losing this baby.  When my parents arrived the following day, they found me quiet and calm and pretty much pain-free – and there were no side effects or risks. 

Am I recommending you stop taking pain relief medicine today?  No.  But I am suggesting that you, too, can use your spiritual lens to think outside the prescription bottle to control – and end - pain.    

---

Debra Chew is a self-syndicated columnist and writes about the connection between thought, spirituality and health.  She has been published in the chattanoogan.com, Memphis Commercial Appeal, and in the UK.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and also the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science for Tennessee.  You can contact her at tennessee@compub.org.


Morning Pointe Residents Celebrate National Zookeeper Week

Residents at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford brought baked goods to the Chattanooga Zoo staff in honor of National Zookeeper Week. As part of the Life Enrichment Program, the assisted living community engages in special outreach projects to thank local businesses and organizations for offering quality activities and services to the residents. Every month, ... (click for more)

CHI Memorial's Mobile Health Coach Visits Rhea County Aug. 30

CHI Memorial’s mobile health coach will provide mammography screenings at the Rhea County Health Department on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 9 a.m. – noon. All women should have one screening mammogram between the ages of 35-40. After age 40, a screening mammogram is recommended every year.  Any woman who meets these age guidelines and has not had a mammogram in the past 12 months ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Problems With The Proposed Apartments In Lookout Valley

I am deeply troubled at the way in which this proposal has been handled. The blatant disregard for the residents of Kelly's Ferry Road and the wishes of the Lookout Valley Area Plan (which was adopted by the city in 2003) by Chip Henderson and Tommy Austin amazes me. Yes, there was a meeting of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood association in August, but it wasn't on its normal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Already, 248 Mass Shootings

There is not a word – not one – that I can use to respond to Dr. Loretta P. Prater, whose letter in Chattanoogan.com just condemned the idea that proposed volunteers in the Chattanooga Police Department be armed. Dr. Pater signed her letter, “Mother of Homicide Victim Leslie Vaughn Prater” and I’ve no doubt there is nothing in this world that will assuage the lifelong horror she ... (click for more)