Dr. Norman Shealy is one of the world’s leading experts in pain management. He was the first physician to specialize in the resolution of chronic pain. A pioneer in developing safe and effective treatments such as Biogenics, he founded, in 1971, the first comprehensive pain and stress management facility in the country, The Shealy Institute, respected world-wide for its innovative and successful rehabilitation approaches. Over the years, Dr. Shealy’s intensive pain and stress management research has resulted in numerous pioneering treatments.
Curejoy had the privilege to interview Dr. Shealy and understand how alternative therapies are changing the perspective on managing and relieving pain. Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Pain has been grossly misunderstood and manifests in various forms. What according to you are the types of pain and which of these need urgent medical treatment?
Any acute significant pain. This is especially important when there are any major associated symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, confusion, weakness. Severe abdominal, chest or head pain should lead to immediate medical help.
Q: Do you think modern medical approach is skewed and focused towards symptomatically treating pain? Is over-medication creating resistance to pain?
In acute pain it is appropriate to use narcotics as needed. In pain which persists for weeks after primary treatment is completed, narcotics create far more problems than they help. Narcotic addiction and abuse are major causes of death and disability. Narcotics lead to depression and hopelessness.
Q: How did your study of alternate therapies influence the constitution of your pain treatment?
Acupuncture, Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation, Transcutaneous Acupuncture and self-hypnosis will safely alleviate a majority of pain problems. There are also a variety of body therapies, such as massage, heat, color and light which can help.
Q: Would you explain the interrelationship between the four main fields of stress; the chemical, physical, electromagnetic, and emotional; and its influence on the human body?
Chemical stress is any reaction from allergy to frank toxicity and can come from otherwise ordinary chemicals such as foods or odors. Of course the ultimate is severe poisoning such as with arsenic or many petrochemicals.
Physical stress can be excess heat or cold, pressure or even major injuries which cut through skin and even bones, or deprivation of water, calories, essential nutrients or oxygen.
Electromagnetic stress can range from subtle excesses of electromagnetic energy, such as fluorescent lights, major electrical machines or even electrocution. At a simpler level, ultraviolet excess can cause severe skin burn.
Emotional stress is the result of fear.
Q: Are your treatments based on natural “alternative” holistic remedies? Do you advocate lifestyle changes for long term profound effects?
At least 99% of my therapies are entirely safe alternatives. Of course, the most essential lifestyle changes are basic:
- No smoking
- Body Mass Index of 18 to 24
- Minimum of 5 and up to seven servings daily of fruits/vegetables
- Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week
Q: It was a pleasure talking to you Dr. Shealy. What wisdom would you like readers to cling on to lead a pain free life?
Except for life-threatening problems, a huge majority of pain problems can best be managed without drugs or surgery! Although pain has been my major focus for well over 40 years, depression is even more common than physical pain!!! Antidepressant drugs are notoriously ineffective and create more problems than they help!