Pain Management Through Enzyme Therapy and Acupuncture
by: Dr. Tina Marcantel
The American Pain Foundation (APF) has called pain a national healthcare crisis. More
than 50 million Americans are suffering from chronic pain and another 25 million
are dealing with acute pain.
Chronic pain can include back pain, arthritis, muscle strain, carpel tunnel syndrome,
pain from chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis,
osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.
Acute pain can be caused by injury from
sports (such as sprained ankles) or trauma from accidents.
More and more research has shown that inflammation is usually a component of pain.
The signs of inflammation are swelling, pain, warmth, and redness in the affected area.
(On a related note, many of my diabetic patients come to me with
diagnoses of bursitis, plantar fasciitis, and arthritis. High blood sugars can
add to the inflammatory process, producing pain.)
I have experienced an increased success rate in pain management (both chronic and
acute) by using a combination of acupuncture and systemic proteolytic enzyme
In Chinese medicine, pain is considered to be caused by blocked energy channels. When
channels are blocked, the energy cannot flow and pain is the result. Acupuncture
stimulates the natural flow of energy by unblocking these channels to decrease
pain and restore balance in the body.
The use of systemic enzyme therapy with both acute and chronic pain has also proved to
be successful in my practice. The use of specific enzymes can break down proteins in the
body that can cause scar tissue and inflammation. These enzymes are made of a combination of plant-derived proteolytic enzymes that are effective in reducing swelling
and inflammation, thus reducing pain.
Pain management through systemic enzyme therapy is a healthier alternative to drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen
and prescribed medications. Because enzymes are natural substances that are used to
promote chemical reactions in the body, the body processes them naturally. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen are known to have ill effects on the
liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines.
A crucial component to the effectiveness of enzyme therapy is the timing of the medication. Because the desired effect of the enzyme is systemic and not digestive, the
enzyme must not be taken with food. The medication must be taken one hour before or
after eating to obtain its full systemic effectiveness to reduce inflammation and pain.
A note of caution: blood thinners such as coumadin are contraindicated with the use of
systemic enzyme therapy. That is why it is always important to keep your health care
providers informed of all medications and dietary supplements you are taking.
Systemic enzyme therapy can be obtained only from a licensed medical practitioner and
the patient should be monitored and assessed regularly for changes in appropriate dosage.
Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic physician in Mesa, Arizona. Before entering medical school at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, she was a registered nurse. Dr. Marcantel has over twenty-five years of experience in the health care field, and her experience includes diabetes management, women's health, nutritional counseling, and mental health. She practices holistic, integrative patient care. For more information, please visit her site at DrMarcantel.com
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