An Alternative Way to Alleviate Chronic Pain

Young therapist arranging crystals on female client for reiki th

Q. My mother, Grace, suffers from chronic back pain and arthritis. Sometimes, she is so stiff that she cannot move without wincing in pain, and has to stay in bed all day. She has tried everything, including visiting doctors and specialists and taking prescription painkillers. She has even considered complementary and alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and chiropractic help. She recently heard from a friend about Reiki, and was intrigued. I read in your bio that you are a Reiki Master. Can you tell us more about Reiki as an alternative for healing, and about your non-profit, ROSE?

A. Chronic pain, or pain lasting more than three to six months, affects 100 million adult Americans, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. This equates to more than 40% of the adult population and, according to USA Today, it costs the nation upwards of $635 billion a year — more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined.
Chronic pain is not just acute pain that doesn’t go away. The National Institute of Health describes it as pain signals that “keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.” There may have been an initial mishap, such as a sprained back or a serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, or cancer. Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage, and many chronic pain conditions affect older adults.

For generations, the default method for treating unrelenting pain has been prescription and over-the-counter painkillers. However, sustained use of painkillers can lead to its own problems, including stomach ulcers, liver failure, and addiction (which affects 1.9 million Americans). Luckily, pain management is one area in which drug-free treatments are showing promising results. A recent survey found that 75% of integrative-medicine centers across the country were successful at relieving chronic pain with therapies that don’t come in the form of a pill.

Alternative Therapies to Reduce Chronic Pain

Alternative therapies and treatments, including acupuncture, nutritional supplements, massage, chiropractic therapies, certain herbal therapies, and Reiki, have the potential to alleviate chronic pain in many people.

As a Reiki Master and as the founder of ROSE (Reiki Outreach Services for Elders), I have seen for myself the wonderful healing power of Reiki. Reiki is one of many types of energy-based healing practices. It is based on the fact that a universal energy flows all around us, and can be channeled and focused by Reiki practitioners into Reiki recipients, where the energy acts as a catalyst to help jumpstart the recipient’s own internal healing mechanisms.
Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method of energy healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to help relieve negative side effects and promote faster recovery.

When used with the elderly, Reiki can have a two-fold benefit. Most infirm elderly suffer from multiple chronic ailments at once rather than just one, including: respiratory ailments such as emphysema, pneumonia or asthma; Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia; heart disease; kidney disease; osteoporosis and osteoarthritis; and of course cancer. Receiving Reiki not only provides calm and relaxation to the elderly, but can also provide emotional nourishment that elderly often need – all through the simple act of healing touch.

Alternative therapies such as Reiki bring the body and mind to a better place. It may not take your back pain away tomorrow, but it can give you excellent coping strategies and increased awareness of what modifies the pain. Remember, as you are finding ways to help with your body, the greatest way to gain peace of mind comes with planning for your future and for your loved ones.

What is ROSE?

ROSE (Reiki Outreach Services for Elders) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping elders with the healing power of Reiki. ROSE serves as a bridge between volunteer Reiki practitioners and elders in senior-serving communities. Personally, reiki improved my life in extraordinary ways, curing me of several major illnesses that traditional Western medicine said were incurable.  Please read my Personal Statement on the ROSE website for more details.  Please also consider attending the Farr Law Firm Holiday Open House in Support of ROSE on December 10. Please click here to RSVP.

Reiki does not benefit everyone in the way it benefited me, but I believe that everyone – including Elders — should have the chance to experience the gentle healing powers of Reiki. In addition, I believe everyone should be prepared for the future and for the catastrophic costs of long-term care. If you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call us to make an appointment for an initial consultation:

Fairfax Elder Law: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Elder Law: 540-479-1435
Rockville Elder Law: 301-519-8041
DC Elder Law: 202-587-2797

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.