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This Month's Local Features
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Letter From the Publisher, Maureen Hart Cary
This month’s theme is about chronic pain. On the one hand, I am conflicted with talking about it since my personality is one that thinks if you deny it, it doesn’t exist. On the other hand, chronic pain is very real and many people struggle with ways to manage it. . A staggering 25 percent are suffering from chronic pain while many are dealing with severe levels of it. I hope you are not one of them, but if you are, I think you might really appreciate our thoughts and possible solutions here.
According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pain is defined as any persistent pain lasting more than 12 weeks. It may start with an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. There could also be no clear cause at all. Of course, one thing seems to lead to another, and unfortunately other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite and mood changes often accompany chronic pain. Over time, pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength and stamina; it becomes more difficult to carry out responsibilities, which can lead to disability and despair.
All this pain and associated symptoms has brought us the opioid epidemic. With 76.2 million suffering from pain, it isn’t surprising that with slick advertising, ease of availability and low costs, so many have turned to prescription drugs. From there, it’s an easy path to dependency and addiction. I expect we all know someone that has fallen victim to this downward spiral; it does not discriminate. With over 200 million annual prescriptions for opioids it’s a global problem that is impacting our families, work and economies.
The good news is that there are many effective, natural treatments. Our feature article, “Break Free of Chronic Pain”, offers a multitude of options. We also have local articles on how chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnosis and medical marijuana can all help. One of the many things I love about working with this magazine is that I get to hear stories of people that had suffered for years with chronic pain and its ravaging effects on the body, who then discover one day a particular holistic treatment resonated with them and voila; they are not only healed, but hooked on learning more about how to lead a naturally healthy lifestyle for ongoing well-being. Now that’s the kind of addiction I can get on board with!
No one has to endure chronic pain. We are blessed to live in a time where so many options and experts are available to help. Which one will be your “golden ticket” to a pain-free life? Talk to people in the Natural Awakenings community as they appear across these pages and see if you can’t find some relief, naturally.
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