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.


March For Babies Moved To Sunday Due To Weather

Hundreds of people will be at Tennessee Riverpark Sunday at noon to take part in the city-wide Chattanooga March for Babies.  The free event will feature many family oriented activities and is expected to be the largest in history. The Chattanooga March for Babies brings together families, companies and volunteers all raising money so that babies are born happy and healthy. ... (click for more)

Fulmer Urges Rotarians To Join Effort To Fight Alzheimer’s, Sign Up For Pat Summitt Invitational

When Alzheimer's disease struck Nanlee Fulmer, her son -- Tennessee football legend Phil Fulmer – decided to fight back.   His goal, he told Chattanooga Rotary members  Thursday , is to help eradicate the disease that attacked his mother.   Toward that end, he urged Rotarians to sign up for the Pat Summit Invitational golf tournament ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke Announces Plan To Provide High-Speed Internet At A Discount Price To Those With Low Incomes

Mayor Andy Berke, in his annual State of the City Address, on Monday announced the creation of the Netbridge Student Discount program. In the partnership with EPB, he said any family of a child eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch in schools can receive 100 megabits per second Internet at a cost of $26.99 per month." Mayor Berke said, "Think about it. Our low income families ... (click for more)

DA Tells Dalton Jury Cell Phone Of Skyy Mims Was Found At Murder Scene

District Attorney Bert Poston told a jury in Dalton on Monday that the cell phone of Skyy Mims was found at the scene of the murder of convenience store clerk DK Chaudhari. He said Ms. Mims carried out the robbery in order to get Lotto tickets that she hoped would bring her money to finance her budding musical career. He said she took 80 "$500 A Week For Life" tickets. The ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)