Holistic Approaches for Easing Pain and Preventing Opioid Addiction


Have you ever met the child willing to smile through pain, let alone the horrific pain of cancer, chemotherapy, and multiple injections with long, nasty needles? Such children happen to be plentiful in the Kids Kicking Cancer organization. Watch this video of several little ones defeating the need for pain killers, including addictive opiates. Now catch your breath. Consider the life lesson: Despite the emotional and physical cost of cancerous pain, these self-confident children and the creator of the KKC program teach the wider world a wonderful lesson: Focusing on your purpose, peace and power enables a person to develop the ability to overcome difficulties with sheer determination. That sense of willpower can be developed lifelong.

Pain-Free Attitude

Other effective painkillers that don’t involve drugs are plentiful. They also enhance self- respect.​ Here’s a link to learn about a Mayo Clinic program that helps chronic pain patients to ditch opioids. Consider the impressive book sales of Healing Back Pain; The Mind-Body Connection by Dr. John Sarno.  The life lesson revealed between its pages is that people can resolve troublesome emotional issues by choice, thus ending emotionally-induced physical agony in their backs or other body parts. Each person can simply look in a mirror to declare “Pain does not rule my life.” That moment is the culmination of several life lessons presented in the book. The dynamic is a bit too complicated to be summarized in this article. However, Sarno’s Healing Back Pain book presents the pain-free solution in one reading.

The wealth of drug-free options for ending or managing pain is increasingly important as America’s opioid crisis ruins lives. Opioids are often given to surgery patients, and prescribed for people with chronic pain. Dr. James Campbell, a professor emeritus of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, specializes in pain management. He has declared that opioids “… tend to lose their effectiveness over time, and one pill today can become three later.” The problem is compounded by over the counter pain medications. They are abused, too. The fact is that pain killers deaden emotional pain, the real reason that some addicts seek out long-term and large doses of pain killers in the first place. Let’s look at the problem and how to end or prevent it.

Pain-Preventing Food

Addicted people tend to damage lives all around them. Legal and moral crimes are committed by the hour, due to opioid addiction. But other people are not caught up in the vortex of misery. They rely on food to prevent problems.

Specific foods fight depression and physical pain. Happy people indulge in them. Dr. Neal Barnard of The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has written several books on the topic. PCRM is an organization devoted to enhancing quality of life for people on many levels, one of which is about dealing with chronic pain. The organization gives out recipes for people with disabling Rheumatoid Arthritis, among other physical problems. The foods in those recipes lower pain, free the sufferer’s joints to move more freely and release patients from their painful prisons on couches, in beds or wheelchairs. So do other recipes and grocery lists for defeating pain and/or depression. No opioids are necessary to achieve those positive results. Naturopaths, dieticians and many doctors are ready to explain that improved nutrition reality to their clients and patients.

Taking Action

Some people find yoga to be a pain-reducer. Other people are delighted to realize that hobbies, helping other people in some fashion, and/or meditation, even prayer, ease or end pain on a physical and emotional level. The idea is to concentrate on meaningful causes, not on complications. Rising above one’s limitations is a spiritual and emotional key to preventing dependence on anything other than optimism.

Physical and occupational therapy focus on improving range of motion and muscle strength. They are also powerful pain reducers. Cramping, restricted connective tissue motion and the inflammation that causes movement problems are thus abated or resolved with proper exercise. No medication is required for treatment, or ever after, once the patient gains improved dexterity and balance.

The next time that you wonder what to do about something troubling or physically painful, seek the personal power to rise above the problem in a way that meets your non-narcotic needs.

Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.