Letter from the Publisher, June 2017
Pain is a chronic condition shared by 100 million Americans; it’s the leading reason people go to doctors in the U.S., costing the nation upwards of $635 billion a year—more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
PAIN has an element of blank; / It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were / A day when it was not.
It has no future but itself, / Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive / New periods of pain.
WebMD explains how vast and amorphous the condition can be, saying, “Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating…the signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for months or even years.” Sometimes the cause is known, or eventually discovered; sometimes the source remains a mystery.
In this month’s issue, we are starting a conversation on the pain problem and celebrating the pockets of hope that are emerging. It begins by looking at opioids and the public health crisis that has resulted. Local writer Jack Firneno provides an “of the moment” look at how local officials and residents in Bensalem and elsewhere in BuxMont are taking on the issue and helping to rebuild communities most impacted.
The complementary health community has much to offer toward building a culture of pain relief beyond opioids. Alongside prescribed, conventional medical treatments, a wide spectrum of relief alternatives exists to enhance overall outcomes of pain management. Self-care, exercise and nutrition, acupuncture, yoga, yoga therapy and meditation, Healing Touch and reiki, massage, biofeed-back, chiropractic care, cognitive and behavioral therapies (including counseling and hypnosis) and CBD therapeutics represent just some of the holistic, non-invasive approaches that are demonstrating their efficacy as powerful pain management tools.
Patients can receive these treatments under the care of excellent, integrative, naturopathic and functional medicine specialists and the independent medical and wellness practitioners with whom they partner.
It’s our vision that the BuxMont community come together with purpose in the years ahead to help address the pain crisis, and to provide resources and compassion to those in need of support.
We are grateful for your readership and for supporting our efforts to take on this challenging and important topic.
Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher