Integrative Health Blog

The Reign of Pain is Mainly in the Brain

Posted by on Tue, Oct 01, 2019

In 2018 the CDC released a report estimating that 50 million Americans have chronic pain, and that 40% of those have “high-impact chronic pain,” defined as pain that is severe enough to frequently limit life or work activities.  Add to that the emotional version of pain – mood and sleep disorders – which often complicates the physical version of pain, and now we are talking about 50% of Americans. 

Why are so many people in mind and body pain, living lives that can't seem to find long-term, sustainable solutions?

Inflammation is certainly one of the factors, caused by Lyme Disease and chronic infections, gastrointestinal or microbiome disorders and food allergies. At the very least, integrative & functional medicine provides some relief in regards to inflammation, and a whole host of nutrients, from essential fatty acids to various anti-inflammatory herbals can get results for a lot of people.

The Real Source of Pain

However, what I would like to address here is a source of pain which is usually not addressed, the brain, which aligns with the title;  the reign of pain is mainly in the brain (borrowing the quip from one of the songs in the play My Fair Lady). 

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Tags: pain, Dr. Gant

The Easiest Thing You Can Do for Your Health

Posted by on Tue, Sep 17, 2019

move for health DC chiropractor

Human beings tend to overcomplicate a lot of things. 

Many of us are guilty of thinking that anything worth achieving requires a lot of time and effort.   For example, if we want to lose weight, we must go on a complicated diet program designed by some famous doctor or health guru on the best sellers list.  Or, if we want to gain muscle, we have to work out every day for hours.  On the other hand, we think if it's easy it’s probably too good to be true or it won’t help, yet many of us want "easy" in this complicated, busy world.  The bottom line is, whether easy or hard, the basics of a healthy life need to be adhered to.  What are the basics?

  • Healthy eating habits: Eat fruits, vegetables, proteins, minimize sugars

  • Rest/Sleep: Get 8 hours of sleep per night, take naps and vacations

  • Low stress levels: Minimize stress by setting boundaries at work, meditate and be grateful

  • Hydration: Drink enough water (64 oz./day minimum) to sustain life in your body's tissue

  • Personal: Do things that make you feel fulfilled, incorporate things that are your passion and inspire you

  • Work: Do something that provides for the necessities in life, but also makes you feel like you are helping others or contributing to a greater good

But, there is one more important thing you must do for health and that is-

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Tags: holistic health, pain, chiropractic

Go Back to the Basics

Posted by on Thu, Mar 05, 2015

As a physical medicine doctor of 15 years I have seen a lot of patients that have presented with  various levels of pain and musculoskeletal problems.  Some as simple as low back pain as the result of shoveling snow, to as complicated as having Lyme disease/low thyroid/ chronic inflammation/ shoulder pain all layered on each other, never knowing what is the real cause of their physical pain. 

Somehow, in any of these cases, there needs to be a point where the basics of physical health are incorporated into daily living. Along with proper treatment, this will set the foundation for healing and get a patient back to a better state of health from when they first came in.

In sports, when a team is doing poorly many times the coach will take the team back to  drills they learned as a kid to reinforce the basics of the sport.  This allows the team to return to "the basics" of being successful and winning games.  The same thing has to happen when restoring the physical body to the way it is supposed to move and feel. 

What are basics for health?

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Tags: pain, chiropractic

Try Orthopedic Massage to "Address the Pain You Can't Explain"

Posted by on Mon, Mar 02, 2015

Some people choose to handle musculoskeletal pain on a managerial level. While frequent visits to the doctor’s office, medications, and sometimes intermittent periods of rest may help, this need to constantly address the pain can easily reduce one's quality of life. We view ourselves as individuals, and believe in some strange way that our physical experiences around pain are exclusive to us. Our pain is a result of how we use our body, and is an indicator that we are out of harmony.

Get the right type of massage

Alternatively, massage and body work can support the reduction of pain, or reduce the propensity of chronic pain which can occur over time. With over 600 modalities of massage and body work available to the public, it is best to know what type of massage will effectively handle those common aches and pains we collectively experience. Orthopedic massage (OM) is a progressive manual therapy that applies a non-impact, low force, soft tissue manipulation that is appropriate to address that pain you can’t explain. Orthopedic massage focuses on the body as one dynamic organism, and the practitioner connects with the source, rather than the cause of the pain.

Where is the pain coming from?

A practitioner who is trained in orthopedic massage will first perform an orthopedic assessment. During the assessment, the skilled practitioner can determine which tissue is effected, and if the pain is localized or referred. This information will better guide the orthopedic massage  practitioner in creating a treatment plan that may focus on specific muscle tissue, and/or surrounding structures.

Some common pain conditions that Orthopedic Massage addresses:

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Tags: pain, massage

Understanding TMJ to Optimize Treatment

Posted by on Wed, Feb 11, 2015

Do you suffer from problems with your jaw or have pain when you chew or yawn?

Do you hear a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth?

Do you grind or clench your teeth?

People generally do not understand what TMJ Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction is about other than they have pain or poor jaw movement. The cause of TMJ may be difficult to determine. TMJ is comprised of 2 components: Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction (TMD) and Myofascial Pain (MFP).

The concept of TMJ should be understood because the two different components of TMJ must be treated differently.

TMD, Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction, occurs when the jaw joint  (left, right or both) is not functioning well.   The second component, MFP, Myofascial Pain,  exists when the muscles of the jaw are painful or not functioning correctly.

                      TMJ =  TMD  +  MFP

The two components may exist together or exist separately.

It is important to understand how the jaw functions normally to conceptualize how to treat Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction.                    

In a healthy TMJ the lower jaw (mandibular) moves within the bone of the head (temporal bone) to open and close.  The muscles of the jaw provide the force for the mandible to move within the temporal bone.

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Tags: neck pain, pain, holistic dentistry, TMJ, jaw pain

Where Does Pain Come From?

Posted by on Mon, Jun 24, 2013

Pain is one of the biggest motivators to go get healthcare. Most people think they can deal with sharp pain, muscles that ache, a body that gets achy and tired at the end of a day. But when it gets to a point that you can’t handle it anymore, you call the doctor.  Our job is to discover what is causing your pain.  Sometimes we get lucky and  it is just a sore muscle that goes away after a treatment, but what if it is more complicated?  There are no easy cases for doctors; patients present with individual problems that get solved uniquely based on how they present. 

The Sources of Pain

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Tags: acupuncture, pain, chiropractic

How Acupuncture Helps With Pain

Posted by on Wed, May 08, 2013

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

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Tags: arthritis, joint pain, chinese medicine, acupuncture, pain

Acupuncture and Classical Chinese Medicine Can Help with Pain

Posted by on Mon, Oct 01, 2012

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

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Tags: chinese medicine, acupuncture, pain

Tired of Pain?

Posted by on Tue, May 01, 2012

Nicholas Buscemi MSOM, LAc

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Tags: back pain, cupping, chronic pain, chinese medicine, acupuncture, pain, muscle pain

Remedy for the Weekend Warrior

Posted by on Sat, Apr 07, 2012

Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

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Tags: integrative health, pain, muscle pain