Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s July 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here!
article by Jamie Besel
If you suffer from pain, you probably think you have two options: pop pills or tough it out. But pain sufferers are increasingly turning to natural pain relief alternatives to feel better. According to an article published in Prevention magazine, pain is now among the most common reasons Americans turn to alternative and complementary medicine in the first place.
Listen for relief
The term “alternative therapy” generally is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that is used in place of conventional medicine. According to the research, such therapies have the potential to minimize, or alleviate, pain in some cases. Such therapies can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine, in which case it is called complementary medicine. Examples of alternative therapy include acupuncture, aromatherapy, relaxation, massage, dietary approaches, and many others. One of those is a therapy developed on the concept of sound.
Things to consider: Make sure to discuss all treatment modalities, alternative and conventional, with your healthcare provider.
A relatively new modality for pain relief, Medsonix Therapy System (M.T.S.) uses a patented low frequency sound pressure wave, delivered at specific low frequencies to enhance blood circulation in the body. The delivery of acoustic wave vibrations “bathes” the individual, simultaneously treating all areas of inflammation and pain.
According to Jeanne M. Walker, manager of Medsonix of Montana, LLC, “Research has determined that Medsonix treatments are a safe and drug free procedure, therefore no addictive qualities. The three catalysts for pain relief are increased circulation, decreased inflammation, and decreased pain,” explains Walker.
What makes Medsonix so appealing is its noninvasiveness. An examination and prescription is not needed, so individuals may pick and choose when and how often they’d like to receive therapy. “Each session lasts 30 minutes, during which people often sit, read, and relax,” explains Walker. For maximum effectiveness, Walker suggests therapy begin with a four-session commitment, each lasting 30 minutes, and spaced over a period of 30 days.
Sessions require you to sit in one of the chairs provided, as you listen to the gentle humming sound emitted from the transducer, filled with 50 gallons of water which emits the vibrations, and located in the middle of the room. Walker encourages participants to relax, read, or just sit throughout the session.
While battling neuropathy pain related to his cancer diagnosis, Earl Beck was curious to learn more about Medsonix therapy. “Since using it [Medsonix] the feeling in my feet is almost completely back, it’s helped decrease my neuropathy, and I’ve noticed increased energy.” Now a firm believer in the benefits of Medsonix, Beck, who receives a session at least twice a week, describes the sensation during a session as “tingling in the areas of pain.”
Walker, who personally utilizes Medsonix therapy, says she “notices an increase in energy and a reduction in stress. Stress is something we often overlook.” She first learned about Medsonix from her father, who became a firm believer in the pain-relief option a little over 10 years ago.
Walker explains, “My dad met the inventor, Alphonse Cassone, tried the machine, and saw the benefits. He wanted to provide Medsonix locally, so others could benefit as well.” When Walker’s father passed away, she promised to fulfill his wish and vision to help others with Medsonix.
Medsonix of Montana officially opened its doors in January 2017. Located in a convenient location in downtown Billings, Walker is looking forward to getting the word out about the benefits and possibilities of the therapy option. She wants to remind those interested in therapy that it is not meant as a cure, and is not supposed to take the place of current treatment modalities, rather it is offered as a complement.
On the lookout for alternative methods for pain relief?
Here are a few options to consider:
*Medsonix Therapy System
What the experts say: Medsonix uses low frequency sound pressure waves which treats all areas of inflammation and pain in the body simultaneously, explains Jeanne M. Walker, manager of Medsonix of Montana, LLC.
What it’s good for: “The root of most illness is inflammation, which leads to pain,” says Walker. Medsonix can be used for pain relief from many conditions including (but not limited to) arthritis, lupus, back and joint pain, poor circulation, diabetic neuropathy, and migraines.
What the experts say: Gayle Royer, BCTMB, LMT, NMT, Owner/Director of Education, Mossmain College of Massage in Billings, says “Massage Therapy positively affects every single organ system we have, and it is a major player in pain management for maladies of many kinds. The current school of thought is telling us that Massage Therapy works because it both interrupts the flow of pain signals from the body (gate theory), and it promotes relaxation, which reduces the perception of pain.”
What it’s good for: Massage therapy is effective for maladies of many kinds. “Nearly everyone can receive some kind of touch therapy,” says Royer.
*Active Release Therapy (ART)
What the experts say: ART is a patented, soft tissue system/movement based massage technique. Michelle Corder, LMT and ART therapist in Billings, says “When muscles are overworked or tired, you lose range of motion and nerves can become pinched, causing pain. ART releases muscles, and the nerves, allowing joints to go back in.”
What it’s good for: ART can help treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.
What the experts say: Cryotherapy is localized or whole-body exposure to subzero temperatures. “The process fools your body into hypothermia, which constricts the blood circulating through the vital organs only for 2-3 minutes,” says Cindy Graf, Owner/Operator of N2 Cryotherapy in Billings. “This takes out toxins and puts oxygen in the blood stream, flushing inflammation that causes pain.”
What it’s good for: Cryotherapy is used for many forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS, Lupus, and many other autoimmune diseases; can help eczema, acne, and psoriasis; speeds recovery of athletic-related injuries.
*Regenerative Injection Therapy
What the experts say: “Regenerative Injection Therapy is the overall category for a group of injections which help to repair cartilage, collagen, tendons and ligaments,” explains Rachel Day, ND with Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic. “Prolotherapy and Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) fall under this category.” PRP involves the injection of a concentrated solution containing platelets and plasma into the area of pain, allowing the body to bring healing cells to the area, therefore pain relief. Prolotherapy is a solution of dextrose, lidocaine, and normal saline; when injected into an area of pain, healing cells are drawn to the area.
What it’s good for: According to Dr. Day, people of all ages can utilize this therapy, although those on blood thinners or allergies to anesthetics may not qualify.