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.


Sportsbarn Hosts Triathlon Benefitting Local Families Trough First Things First

Area athletes are invited to test their physical strength at the 18th Annual Sportsbarn Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, Aug. 10.  The event starts at the Chickamauga Dam where competitors will swim, ride, run or even paddleboard to downtown Chattanooga.     Each year, more than 700 participants and spectators turn out for the sprint triathlon presented by the Sportsbarn. ... (click for more)

Health Department Issues Poliio Vaccination Guidance

The Tennessee Department of Health, in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is issuing polio vaccination guidance for individuals planning travel to and from 10 countries where wild poliovirus, or WPV, is currently known to be a threat. Those countries include:  Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Israel, Somalia ... (click for more)

EPB Says It Did Not Overbill The City; Says City Got $685,877 Break

EPB officials said Tuesday that an exhaustive audit of its street light contract with the city showed that it did not overbill the city. Instead, it said it found that the city was underbilled $685,877. EPB said it only goes back one year on errors so the amount owed by the city would be $178,314. Officials said that would be discussed with the city. Stan Sewell, the city's ... (click for more)

Citizens To Comment Next Tuesday On Sound Control Ordinance That Allows Higher Sound Around Downtown Clubs

Citizens will be allowed to comment next Tuesday on a new Sound Control Ordinance that allows higher sound from nightclubs in a downtown Controlled Sound Boundary. Track 29 behind the Chattanooga Choo Choo, that has drawn the wrath of some nearby Southside residents, is within the boundary, which goes along the river on the north and west, to around Erlanger Hospital on the ... (click for more)

I'm Number One In A Round About Way

Roundabouts have been popping up all over Chattanooga over the past few years and for the most part have been successful.  Unfortunately there are some who just don’t get it as I have found out the hard way.    My latest instance was last week when a young woman on her cell phone almost t-boned me as she flew into the roundabout without yielding.  A near miss ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)