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Multidisciplinary Pain Treatment for the Levels of Body, Soul and Spirit [Mon Oct 14 at AITM Conference, San Diego, CA]

Presented by Adam Blanning MD and Elizabeth Sustick RN, as part of the Annual Conference of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine

Alleviating pain stands as a central therapeutic task. Practitioners are often caught with the dilemma of needing to adequately treat pain but wishing to avoid prolonged use of addictive or habituating medications. This is compounded by the fact that patients treated for acute injury may become dependent on narcotic medications for a much broader range of physiologic, emotional, or biographical pain—narcotics are not very specific medications. We need to look beyond the pain scale. Offering patients effective, non-addictive treatment options for a diverse range of medical conditions helps reduce long term dependence on medication. This is aided by learning to see pain on physical, functional, sensory and spiritual levels, and then relating those insights to integrative medical treatments. This session will introduce a fourfold framework commonly used in anthroposophic medicine and nursing, which has been successfully integrated into both inpatient and outpatient settings. After an initial overview and case discussion the session will offer participants the chance to experience, hands on, the way these treatments are included into anthroposophic nursing care.

At the end of this session participants will be able to:

  1. Distinguish four patterns of pain, based on underlying process of tissue injury, congestion/colic, nerve damage/anxiety, or grief/depression
  2. Describe how external applications (compresses, massage, rhythmical embrocation) can provide effective, differentiated therapies for these four pain patterns
  3. Discuss the practical application of these therapies, as they relate to the observed nursing demonstrations and hands on experience with the different therapies