Chronic pain is more than the discomfort of a stiff neck, though it is a stiff-necked enemy of health and wellness, because it affects tens of millions of Americans, from young and otherwise vibrant men and women to seniors unable to walk or drive as a result of this condition.
The acute physical pain is one thing, aggravated by multiple surgeries and the accumulation of scar tissue, and worsened by the use of (and increasing addiction to) prescription drugs and opiates.
The emotional pain is just as debilitating, reducing cheerful individuals to anxious and depressed prisoners of their own bodies who are unable to work, exercise, travel or enjoy the quality of life they deserve.
The good news is this: Through a combination of pill- and prescription-free alternatives, and with a diet rich in whole foods (including ginger, cherries, yogurt, mint, cranberry juice, salmon, herring and sardines, and peppers, among other things), patients with chronic pain – more than 76 million such people, or one in four Americans – can reclaim their health in a safe and wholesome manner.
I write these words as both a scientist, a biochemist, and as an advocate for embracing the benefits of sound nutrition and the latest resources that can alleviate pain.
Thus, I applaud the efforts of JUSCO Medical (www.juscomed.com), which has an FDA-approved TENS Unit and a suite of related products; the first applies noninvasive nerve stimulation to reduce pain, while other items such as a specialized back brace and a customized accessory for neck and muscle stiffness, are the very holistic solutions people need and want to use. (There is also a page where visitors can enter their insurance ID number, to check if JUSCO accepts their insurance.)
Please note: I am not an employee of or a consultant to JUSCO. I am, however, someone who believes we owe it to ourselves to perform our own due diligence – to be independent, in mind and body – so we can improve our health without the false choice of pills and surgery versus uninterrupted pain and misery.
This rule extends to every facet (or faucet, pun intended) of the foods and water we consume, since JUSCO also has a portable Ph 9 Alkaline Generator, because we can ill afford to be passive recipients of a chemical existence where we accept every processed meal containing additives, dyes and preservatives and we swallow every red, pink or blue pill without an ounce of protest.
We should not cast medical doctors aside – I am a scientist, and would never demean an entire class of professionals, of which my son is a member – but we must not succumb to the notion that the answer to every health problem is a scalpel and the sign of every patient's recovery is a set of stitches.
Rather, it is the union of medical technology and practical nutrition that will lessen our dependency on procedures and foods that, respectively, make us weaker and sicker.
We have an obligation, a moral duty, to shop with a conscience; to select the foods that will enrich our palate and strengthen our health, and use the latest generation of resources to aid our healing and enable our will to keep moving.
Together, this plan is a return to personal wellness and a path to individual triumph.
Holistic by design and healthy by nature, this proposal is a wholesome way – fueled, in part, by whole foods – to live as we freely as we want to be, without fear or the fear of dependency.
We can win the battle against pain.
Michael Shaw is an MIT-trained biochemist and former protégée of the late Willard Libby, the 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Based in the Greater Washington (DC) Area, Michael is a frequent writer and speaker about a variety of public health issues.