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Navigating the Seas of Pain Relief: The Valley of the Sun features many resources and options to treat pain naturally.

Pain is a fact of life; it’s an evolutionary trait. Without it, the caveman might not have pulled his hand from the fire. Pain prohibits us from walking on a broken leg until the body heals. These facts are self-evident; but the pain coming from inside our body may not be so straightforward. It is speaking to us in a loud voice that cannot be ignored, though the language is sometimes unclear and all we can do is try to silence it. Here we present a panoply of resources available in the Phoenix area.




Stem Cell Therapy is the New Approach to Chronic Pain

Stem cell therapy studies have shown a 91 percent success rate in decreasing pain and regenerating damaged tissue. PubMed offers more than 6,000 research articles and studies on stem cell therapy showing promising results.

Stem cells do not cure nor treat any disease, but do allow the body to heal damaged tissue at a faster rate for up to 12 months. This type of therapy has the potential to regenerate any cell in the musculoskeletal system, such as in muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone.

Currently, there are four types of stem cell therapies used in regenerative medicine: amniotic, a biological allograft (same species) derived from the placenta of a screened donor, processed in a laboratory and cryogenically frozen; adipose, from the patient’s own fat; bone marrow, taken from the hip area; and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), drawn from patients own blood.

They can be injected into injured areas or given intravenously to circulate through the body for a systemic regenerative effect as they wake up dormant stem cells throughout the body. It is a low-risk procedure with no rejection as they are undifferentiated, non-DNA containing cells. The procedure lasts approximately 45 minutes with no sedation, downtime or scarring.

For appointments, call naturopathic physician Carmen Mora, medical director of Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, in Phoenix, at 602-973-1774. For more information, visit



Directional Non-Force Technique Chiropractic

Wholistic chiropractic means treating both the spine and the body as a series of integrated parts that are interdependent. It includes consideration of the alignment and health of muscles, ligaments and intervertebral discs, as well as vertebral and extremity alignment. It searches for the cause of repeated subluxation (misalignment); typically a repetitive movement, job, recreation or habit, thus treating the whole person.

Directional Non-Force Technique chiropractic is a 90-year-old method developed by Dr. Richard Van Rumpt, DC and his successor, Christopher John, DC. The method involves a precise analysis and correction of subluxations causing nerve interference considering alignment from front to back (posterior), side (lateral), tilted, or back to front (anterior) and front to back (posterior). The bones, ligaments, muscles and discs are aligned utilizing the thumbs to adjust with a few ounces of force.

The reactive leg reflex is the indicator utilized to determine which segments are out of alignment. This is not a short leg, but is a leg which dynamically shortens in response to a physical challenge to the malpositioned segment causing nerve interference.

For appointments, call Dr. Harlan Sparer at 480-245-7894. For more information, visit



Athletes Depend on the Latest K-Laser

The class IV K-Laser, the highest class of therapeutic laser available, is a cutting-edge modality that is used by professional baseball and football teams to speed up healing and return their million-dollar athletes to competition much more rapidly than standard treatments from the past. K-Laser therapy has no known side effects.

K-Laser therapy produces a soothing, deep-penetrating energy which reduces pain and inflammation, stiffness, muscle spasm and swelling. Each painless treatment draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged nerves or joint, speeding up healing of the damaged area. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.

Most lasers used by practitioners to treat neuropathy, joint degeneration and muscle injuries are class III lasers, which have been deemed obsolete by professional team trainers due to their much lower power and healing capabilities.

For appointments, call Dr. Kent Pederson at 480-609-1080. For more information, visit



Stretch i-D Eliminates One-Size-Fits-All Approach

For people suffering with chronic pain in the neck, lower back, hips or the many degenerative conditions of the spine, Stretch i-D is a manual form of hands-on therapy that combines corrective stretching, neuromuscular therapy and trigger-point massage techniques for releasing, restoring, and reeducating muscles damaged by repetitive motion stress, contact sports, surgery, poor posture and sitting for long periods.

The success of Stretch i-D begins with standing structural assessments using postural calibration tools developed by the CHEK Institute and the muscle imbalance research of Dr. Vladimir Janda’s upper and lower cross syndromes. These two pre-therapy protocols quickly identify muscles that are tight and need stretching, and muscles that have become weak and need to be strengthened.

When measured correctly, the musculoskeletal system can be mapped out, revealing all its compensations that cause pain, and expose the wear and tear (degeneration) during movement.

For a free, 30-minute consultation, call David Castro, owner of Studio Health, at 480-466-6398. For more information, visit



Meditation as a Holistic Pain Management Approach

Chronic pain affects us not only physically, but mentally, too, taking a toll on our day-to-day life. While chronic pain is commonly treated with prescription drugs, studies show that meditation is a holistic approach to pain management that increases overall happiness and well-being. Compared to prescription drugs that only treat the condition causing the chronic pain, meditation unlocks the power of neuroscience to not only reduce pain, but treat the mental and emotional side effects caused by it, including stress, depression and anxiety.

Studies also show that meditators can access the brain regions that regulate pain; regular meditation decreases activity in the brain’s primary pain processing center, the somatosensory cortex, while increasing activity in the other three regions of the brain that control the perception, regulation and emotional response of pain, actively changing how we feel and react to pain.

Meditation leverages the adaptable nature, or neuroplasticity, of the human brain. Nerve cells in the brain have the ability to change their function and structure based on both external and internal factors. These changes can ultimately shape the way a person thinks and feels. When meditating, we are positively altering how our brain thinks and feels about pain, diminishing the anxiety surrounding pain to leave us happier, healthier and more in control of managing chronic pain.

For more information, contact Current Meditation at 602-522-2000. To book a class, visit



An Old Remedy Returns to Society

The most common forms of chronic pain include arthritic pain, low back pain and neuropathic pain. Typically, they are treated with prescription opioids, which carry a high risk of physical dependence. Medical marijuana provides a natural alternative: it has a lower risk of dependence, has been shown to be therapeutically effective in the treatment of pain, nausea, seizures and tumor growth, and cannabidiol (CBD) products in particular are used to treat Crohn’s, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, yet it too has an enormous therapeutic value. The lack of psychoactivity makes it ideal for treating children and the elderly. Research has found that CBD has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-tumor, antidepressant and neuro-protective qualities.

While the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is the most well-known, CBD and THC work best in concert to potentiate each other’s therapeutic qualities. While CBD lessens the psychoactive effects of THC, it also enhances its painkilling properties.

There are many ways to use medical marijuana: smoking, vaporizing, edibles, tinctures, oils and topical applications. Methods and dosages may vary depending on individual preference and metabolism.

For more information, contact the physicians at Alternative Medical Centers, in Phoenix, at 480-338-3816 or [email protected].



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