Balm of Gilead was mentioned in the Bible, but we don’t know what was in it. It is supposed to relieve pain, but we don’t know if it is effective; there are no controlled studies. I have been watching the National Geographic series Life Below Zero which profiles people who live off… read more "Balm of Gilead"
In a trial of Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT), 2/3 of patients with chronic low back pain reported significant pain relief with psychotherapy that helped them reconceptualize the pain as nondangerous. Impressive if true, but flaws in research design make the study untrustworthy. I don’t usually get my medical information from Reader’s… read more "Pain Reprocessing Therapy"
On November 16, 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had authorized marketing of EaseVRx, which they described as “a prescription-use immersive virtual reality (VR) system that uses cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral methods to help with pain reduction in patients 18 years of age and… read more "Virtual Reality Therapy"
The DNA Vibe Jazz Band device promises to relieve pain and do other wonderful things. It has nothing to do with DNA, Jazz, or evidence. The ad says “Put it on, Turn it on, feel better. Guaranteed.” “Enjoy more of what you love.” “Reduce Pain, Speed Recovery, Improve Performance.” “Intelligent… read more "DNA Vibe Jazz Band"
Disease vs. Illness The words “disease” and “illness” are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are very different. Diseases are biomedical entities where there is impairment of the normal functioning of the body. Illness refers to the way a patient experiences a sickness. There can be disease without illness and… read more "Illness, Healing, and Other Terms That Can Be Confusing"
[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] ¿La hipnosis es real? ¿La gente realmente entra en trance o es solo una cuestión de imaginación y juego de roles? Algunas personas lo juran. Un sitio web proclama que el poder de tu mente es ilimitado: “El… read more "¿Qué es la hipnosis?"
Rightful is an herbal supplement mixture offering pain relief and much more. Its claims are deceptive and not backed by good science. Not only that, but one of its ingredients is contraindicated. Would you rather choose a pain remedy based on art or science? How are mixtures of herbal remedies… read more "Rightful for Pain: Deceptive Advertising and a Dangerous Ingredient"
[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] Is hypnosis for real? Do people actually go into a trance, or is it just a matter of imagination and role playing? Some people swear by it. One website proclaims that “Your mind power… read more "Hypnosis Revisited"
Salonpas is an over-the-counter topical NSAID used to treat pain. It’s probably safe and might be worth trying for minor pain, but the effect is small and the advertising is more hype than substance. Do you get annoyed when the media keep repeating the same commercials? I do. And recently… read more "Salonpas"
TENS units are used to relieve pain and for other indications. The evidence is not impressive. I was first introduced to TENS by physical therapists during my training. They made it sound like a wonderful way to relieve pain, and I was expecting to hear more about it. As the… read more "TENS for Pain Relief: Does It Work?"