You may have heard of Deepak Chopra, MD. He is an American physician who was born and trained in India. His beliefs about medical practice are somewhat different than traditional Western Medicine because he combines spiritual and medical worlds in his approach, rooted in the idea that there is a mind-body connection.
He has written over 80 books, 22 of which have been NY Times best sellers.
Recently, Dr. Chopra wrote a piece for SF Gate regarding the application of his philosophies towards chronic pain. He states that in this day and age, the complaint of pain is the most common reason people seek medical help. Traditionally, that medical help consists of orders for diagnostic testing to help pinpoint the cause of the pain, and medication for pain relief.
In the modern era, we have come to a moral/ethical dilemma about when/when not to use opiates in the management of pain. Dr. Chopra's mind-body approach is very appropriate here. The pain signal is initiated by a physical problem, but as pain persists subjectivity is a factor. This subjectivity plays a large role in the pain experience, and can be very different from one individual to another. Personality, spirituality, and love/relationships play large roles in how an individual experiences pain. Like fingerprints, no two people are alike!
The mind is a very powerful thing; the biochemistry of the brain is very complex. They contribute to the subjective aspect of the pain experience. Finding ways to modulate this might be the key to safer, healthier pain management treatments for all patients.
For more information about Dr. Chopra and his writings you can visit his website by clicking here.