Guide to Healing Chronic Pain: A Holistic Approach
by Karen Kan, MD
Karen Kan, a holistic physician and medical acupuncturist based in Lake Placid, New York, used natural, drug-free methods to heal herself from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. She shares her knowledge in this interesting book on healing chronic pain. Topics include the many forms of pain, basic causes (trauma, toxins, food sensitivities, etc.), acupuncture, the role of the mind, grounding, EMF stress, food sensitivities and digestive disorders.
While nutrition is not the main focus of this book, the nutritional advice Kan provides is basically good, stressing
healthy fats, red meat and avoidance of both refined and improperly prepared whole grains. She admits to having no experience of raw milk, which is a shame because raw milk provides so many components that strengthen the bones and the joints. Dairy fats (butter and cream) are important factors for helping the body heal and recover from pain.
Most impressive is Kan’s discussion of coffee and its contribution to pain, especially back pain. Caffeine stresses
the adrenal glands, which can weaken the corresponding muscle groups on the same neurological circuit. Caffeine can weaken the psoas muscle, also called the hip flexor. In addition, by revving up our fight or flight response, caffeine drains our healing Qi energy stores. If caffeine does not stimulate you, it’s a sign that your stress-handling system is already exhausted and is now in the danger zone. “I find that once I get my patients off caffeine for a month or more,” says Kan, “they regain the ability to produce the proper neurochemicals in response to caffeine. In other words, they start feeling jittery again (adrenaline rush) whenever they consume caffeine.” Interestingly, caffeine is the most common cross-reactor
This book, combined with a nourishing traditional diet, should be of great help to anyone dealing with chronic pain. Thumbs up.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2013.