Pain. It can be consuming, frustrating, debilitating, distracting, yet always subjective to the individual experiencing it. Chronic pain is of epidemic proportions and is a major cause of disability. Until recently, pain was treated like a fifth vital sign. Blood pressure, pulse, respiration, temperature, and…pain?
Problems arise in treating pain when there is no objective measure measurement. There is no thermometer to gauge how you are personally sensing that disc herniation, rib fracture, headache or inflammatory bowel disease. Therein lies the undercurrent of how and why medical methods of treating chronic pain have both changed over the years and led to an opioid crisis.
This is only complicated by the pharmaceutical industry who keeps pushing opioids and simultaneously disguising the addictive nature of them. For example, in February 2018, the associated press cited that Purdue Pharmaceutical will stop “actively marketing” Oxycontin to physicians. In March 2018, The Washington Post noted that the city of Alexandria, Virginia is suing sellers of prescription painkillers stating that “drug addiction has killed scores of residents and overwhelmed city services”.
The opioid crisis has forced pain management professionals to consider alternative methods to manage or co-manage serial mind and body implications of chronic pain. The McShin Foundation in Richmond, Virginia is one shining example of organizations seeking to find collaborative and effective ways to manage pain and recovery from opioid addiction. Their programs view addiction, recovery and non-narcotic pain treatment with an equation involving a multitude of mind and body therapies.
Floatation therapy is emerging as a valid, effective and adjunctive means for managing chronic pain in lieu of medication. Due to the profound effects that floatation therapy has on decreasing inflammation, stress and anxiety, while increasing quality of sleep and musculoskeletal recovery, it is positively enabling for those suffering the mind and body effects of chronic pain.
As a result of positive outcomes in a series of recent studies at The Float Zone in Richmond, VA, a case study was conducted with a recovering opioid user as to the effects of floatation therapy and chronic pain. The objective of this case study was to provide a concrete example of the positive effects of floatation therapy upon specific physical and emotional aspects related to an individual recovering from opiate addiction and who has been in recovery for 18 months.