Integrative Approaches to Pain Management

Pain can be debilitating and can negatively affect quality of life. According to the CDC, an estimated 51.6 million Americans (21% of the population) experienced chronic pain in 2021. While most sufferers turn to pharmaceutical solutions, there are holistic approaches that can help alleviate the causes of discomfort and restore well-being. These include nutritional supplementation, along with practices that combine mindfulness, movement, and hands-on integrative approaches that emphasize the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit.

Nutritional Supplementation

A variety of nutritional supplements have been studied for their ability to alleviate pain.

Quercetin dihydrate and Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs): PERQUE Repair Guard™ and PERQUE Pain Guard Forté™ contain a special polyphenol flavonoid/flavonol combination of quercetin dihydrate and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). Quercetin has been found to have analgesic effects by suppressing oxidative stress and improving repair, and is emerging as an alternative option for those who suffer from chronic pain. The combination of quercetin dihydrate and soluble OPC provide maximum benefit, and you can get them in PERQUE® Products.

Vitamin D3: Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and musculoskeletal pain. Supplementing with PERQUE D3 Cell Guard may help reduce pain severity and improve overall well-being in individuals with vitamin D deficiency. Take enough PERQUE D3 Cell Guard to keep blood levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml.

Magnesium is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body, including those related to muscle function and pain perception. Some studies suggest that magnesium supplementation helps alleviate muscle cramps, tension headaches, and menstrual pain. PERQUE Mg Plus Guard™ delivers magnesium in fully soluble, fully ionized alkaline salts, ready to buffer the body against the damaging effects of acidity.* Take with PERQUE Choline Citrate™ to boost absorption and uptake across cell membranes. Check first morning urine pH to know how many doses of magnesium and choline citrate are needed.

Found in fish oil and certain plant sources like flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts, omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce pain associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and chronic inflammatory conditions. Take enough PERQUE EPA/DHA Guard™ softgels to keep your omega 3 index above 8%.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are compounds naturally found in joint cartilage. Research suggests that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help reduce joint pain and improve function in individuals with osteoarthritis. Choose the highly bioavailable PERQUE Joint Guard™ to restore and renew joint tissue quickly.*

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has been found to reduce chronic pain, as well as fibromyalgia pain in patients treated with pregabalin, by improving mitochondrial function, reducing inflammation, and decreasing overactive brain activity. A recently published review study suggested that CoQ10 may be helpful for treating post-viral fatigue syndromes such as long COVID. PERQUE Mito Guard™ 100 Plus provides CoQ10 in the most efficiently energized, micellized form available.* For chronic  conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines and even long COVID the immune system is directly involved. We recommend using the LRA by ELISA/ACT® tests to determine the extent of immune burden and following the associated test plans that can make this  supplementation that much more effective.

In addition to nutritional supplementation, the following mindfulness-based, movement-based, and integrative approaches can also be effective:

Mindfulness-Based Practices

Mindfulness meditation and guided imagery promote present moment awareness and non-judgmental acceptance of physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts. These practices cultivate a deep sense of relaxation, allowing individuals to develop greater resilience to pain and enhance their ability to cope with discomfort. Studies over decades have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of mindfulness practices in reducing pain severity, improving pain-related psychological distress, and enhancing overall quality of life.

To begin, one focuses attention on the breath or a specific object while breathing slowly and letting go of distractions that arise. With practice, individuals can witness their pain without becoming overwhelmed by it. This leads to a reduction in pain perception and emotional distress. Regular mindfulness meditation practice can induce changes in brain structure that result in long-term improvements in pain management.

Guided imagery involves visualizing soothing scenes or sensations to evoke a state of deep relaxation and alleviate pain. As an example, envisioning a peaceful beach scene with gentle waves lapping at the shore can evoke feelings of serenity and calmness, and promote a sense of well-being. A 2015 review found statistically significant improvements in older patients suffering from arthritis and other rheumatic diseases when using guided imagery to help manage pain and other quality of life measures.

Movement-Based Practices

Hatha prana yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, Mentastics, and Pilates can help relieve pain by supporting flexibility, strength, and relaxation while reducing muscle tension and improving posture. These practices encourage gentle, controlled movements that increase blood flow to affected areas, promoting healing, and reducing inflammation repair deficit. By fostering a mind-body connection and enhancing overall physical function, movement-based practices offer a holistic approach to pain management that addresses both the physical and perceptual aspects of discomfort.

Hatha Prana Yoga combines physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation to promote physical strength, flexibility, and mental well-being. Certain yoga poses are specifically designed to relieve tension in areas prone to pain, such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Additionally, yoga’s emphasis on breath awareness and relaxation techniques cultivates a state of inner calmness that can counteract the stress response and alleviate pain symptoms.

Tai Chi Chuan is a mind-body practice that originated in ancient China and involves slow, flowing movements combined with deep breathing and mental focus. Tai Chi can improve balance, flexibility, and muscle strength, while also reducing pain and enhancing overall physical function, particularly in individuals with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Trager® Mentastics: The Trager approach consists of two parts; a passive table work session that uses gentle movements to release physical and mental patterns; and a “mentastics” session that include active movements done by the client on a daily basis. Each can be done on its own. They also work together to help release tension, stress, and muscular neck and shoulder pain. Watch Dr. Jaffe’s conversation with Certified Trager Practitioner and tutor, Roger Tolle.

Feldenkrais Method®: This exercise therapy practice helps practitioners reorganize connections between brain and body to improve awareness of movement patterns and make small changes that help decrease tension and improve comfort. There are two ways to experience the Feldenkrais Method: “Awareness through Movement®” group lessons, or Functional Integration® practitioner-led one-on-one sessions that fall under the umbrella of hands-on movement practices below.

Qigong: Similar to Tai Chi, Qigong is a gentle movement practice that combines slow, flowing movements with breath control and meditation. Qigong exercises promote the flow of vital energy (qi) throughout the body, promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and relieving pain. Research suggests that Qigong can be beneficial for various chronic pain conditions, including arthritis, low back pain, and neuropathy.

Pilates: Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles, improving posture, and enhancing body awareness through controlled movements and breathwork. By targeting the stabilizing muscles around the spine and joints, Pilates can help alleviate pain, prevent injury, and improve overall body alignment and function.

Hands-On Integrative Approaches

Massage Therapy offers a holistic approach to pain relief by targeting muscle tension, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation. Regular massage sessions can reduce pain intensity and improve physical function in individuals with chronic pain conditions.

Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese healing art, involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote balance. Acupuncture effectively reduces pain in conditions such as arthritis, migraines, and back pain, by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Dr. Jaffe sat down with acupuncturist Bill Reddy to discuss Acupuncture for Health last year. We also posted an article on post-acupuncture self-care.

Chiropractic Care focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, utilizing spinal adjustments to correct misalignments and alleviate pain. By restoring proper spinal alignment, chiropractors aim to relieve pressure on the nerves and improve overall function. Listen to Dr. Jaffe’s discussion with chiropractic physician, Brian McGuckin, on the Benefits of Chiropractic Care.

Today, it’s essential to consider holistic and natural approaches that address the root causes of discomfort and promote healing on all levels. By embracing holistic modalities, we can cultivate resilience, restore balance, and experience the transformative power of holistic healing in our lives.


*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.