Alternative Medicine And Therapies For Pain

Published Oct 19, 2018 • By Louise Bollecker

Alternative Medicine And Therapies For Pain

To control chronic pain, our members use alternative therapies and medicine in addition to his or her medical treatments.

Discover the results of our survey on this subject and share your own recommendations and tips!

Meditation Alternative Therapy for Chronic Pain

45% of respondents use meditation

Meditation allows one to better observe their pain and combat it more effectively. Recognized as an effective way to fight against anxiety and depression, meditation also helps to control pain. Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Christian Hoenner and Phanie Ridel advocate focusing on a part of the body that does not hurt to understand the functioning of the area, and then to compare it with a painful area. They also suggest counting the phases of pain flares and then counting backwards when the pain subsides. This slows down the frequency and intensity of the pain, after repeated efforts of concentration.

37% of respondents use pet therapy

Pet therapy (aka Animal-Assisted Therapy) is another alternative therapy used in the health sector. Without replacing the medications, it is practiced in small groups of up to three people under the responsibility of a professional, in the presence of those coping with health problems The principle is to awaken, through the presence of animals educated in this sense, reactions that maintain or improve the cognitive, physical, psychosocial or emotional potential of those coping with health problems. This practice helps to increase self-esteem, calm psychological and emotional distress, reduce stress, and overcome negative emotions.

11% of respondents use art therapy

If, according to the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, "art will save the world", it seems to be the same for some of our members! For 11% of our respondents, art therapy is the means chosen to fight against chronic pain. The principle is simple: use the creativity of patients for therapeutic purposes, without aesthetic judgment. Mainly used in psychotherapy, for mental illnesses or behavioral disorders, art therapy allows one to express himself or herself in ways other than words and to let his or her emotions rise to the surface. Painting and drawing are the main methods of art therapy; however, theater and dance also work.

4% of respondents favor acupuncture

According to the definition given by UNESCO, "traditional acupuncture forms a therapeutic art that elaborates its diagnostic and therapeutic reasoning on a Taoist energy vision of Man and the Universe". Without going into the details of Taoism, patients can benefit from this practice based on the control of energies. There are other related methods to the traditional accupunture: needles acting on meridians and corresponding organs, such as moxa (heat stimulation), cupping, massage, and advice on healthy living and diet. This treatment is particularly found beneficial for locomotor problems, tendonitis, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and migraines.

2% of respondents attend hypnosis sessions

Therapeutic hypnosis is the attainment of a state of modified consciousness where we perceive things differently, in the same way as when we escape by watching a film or when we feel "in the clouds". The pain can be reduced during a hypnosis session by stimulating scarce resources of the brain and by activating its powers of self-healing. Those undergoing hypnosis also manage to distance the cause of his or her suffering, especially when it is psychological, to be better apt at being able to solve it.

1% of respondents prefer sophrology

Designed to harmonize the body and mind, sophrology is a synthesis of oriental techniques (dynamic yoga, Buddhist meditation, and Zen ...) and Western relaxation (Schultz autogenous training, Vittoz method, Jacobson's progressive relaxation ... ). Existing in a state between awakening and sleep, one will be able to mobilize unsuspected resources. Respiratory, mental and relaxation exercises will help one to feel the body in a positive way and better manage his or her pain.


And how about yourself? What alternative therapies have you tried? Which do you recommend?

Are you looking to try any of these above-mentioned therapies?


Survey conducted on the Carenity site from October 12 to 18, 2018.


avatar Louise Bollecker

Author: Louise Bollecker, Community Manager France

Community Manager of Carenity in France, Louise is also editor-in-chief of the Health Magazine to provide articles, videos and testimonials that focus on patients' experiences and making their voices heard. With a... >> Learn more


on 1/22/19

Hi y'all!

I have had acupuncture for migraines. It worked for me! A-mazingly...

I do have nausea for 2-3 hours lingering after, but the pain...gone!

I also meditate, use relaxation Techniques and have a beautiful loving kitten that keeps me smiling and laughing!

I have had Aqua therapy before. It does keep you moving. It too is relaxing. With electrical stimulation and moist heat packs following water exercises, it all was helpful. Just doesn't last long. You have to go every other day religiously.

I have a pool at home and do aquasizes when I can. Like i said, it helps, but only for a short time. I enjoy doing them, so that helps too.

Make drinking water your friend y'all. (Unless restricted by your Doctor) I used to hate water! Now... I can't get enough. It is so good for so many things. I have to filter my water through the house and through the fridge due to my autoimmune issues. I don't drink sodas at all anymore. First line of defense in helping pain, or most physical conditions in my opinion.

Best of luck!

Much love & God bless!

on 1/22/19

My pain comes from herniated disk,bulging disk, Osteoarthritis, S shaped moderate scoliosis and chronic Radiopathy.  The muscles in my back constantly tighten up due to instability in back. This is why Dry needing was attempted to try and get muscle to relax so that I can try and strengthen my muscles. Unfortunately I have not yet started Hydro therapy as Dr office and therapy location seem to not have referral info together. Currently on Medicine (which I hate taken but also dont want to be in Pain) Currently taken Tramadol, Gabapentin and anti-inflammatory.  So ready to get into therapy to see if it helps. 

on 2/15/19

@BeachLife18‍ did the Dry Needling work? I have done it and it works really good for me; actually have a session tomorrow with a new practitioner since I moved. I found it really depends on the practitioner. 

It seems off to me that the goal is to get the muscle to relax when there is instability because the muscles are tight because they are protecting the instability, so I think you would want the muscles to be tight? That is what I was taught from my physical therapist and she explained to me that many practitioners, especially chiropractors, try to loosen things up and contribute pain to that without looking at the actual body and reasoning - they just start cracking and stretching. She said when there is an imbalance - like laxity - in your situation, your body corresponds accordingly and tightens up where it needs to and that it is a protective mechanism. Without addressing the true issue, she says you should not disturb the protective mechanism and in some situations the true issue cannot be resolved without surgical interventions. But she said other parts of the body could be attributing to that and that needs to be looked at.

Also, what is hydro therapy? How does it work for chronic pain?

What do you attribute your chronic pain too?

on 3/11/19


I only did a few sessions of the Dry Needling through a Physical Therapy office. It did not help during that time. Muscles being tight would be good to support instability in the spine. I have been told on several occasions that tight muscles can also cause pain. That muscles/knots in the back can contain toxins that aggravate the muscles and cause pain which is why they did the dry needling to release the toxins in the body that cause knots/ tight muscles. I also seem more confused when it comes to this.   

on 3/12/19

I am currently researching Chinese Herbs for relief of Sciatic pain that I have been suffering from chronically since last July at some level ranging from tolerable to disabling. I will try to keep you posted as I have placed an order for what seems to be a very hopeful combination. I also just want to say that with all the concern for the use of opiates to treat pain, Chinese Medicine is starting to be viewed with much less skepticism by Western medical professionals. It may be a return to nature is forthcoming. 

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