Heather V. Auld, MD, on Identifying the Cause of Your Pain
According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, about 70 percent of Americans regularly take prescription drugs. Half of Americans were found to be taking two, and 20 percent five or more. In fact, it’s been said that we live in an age when there is a pill for every ill. But Heather V. Auld, MD, an OB/GYN and integrative medicine specialist with Lee Health and a Diplomate of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®), hopes to change the current trend.
“There’s no pill that’s ever going to take the place of taking care of yourself,” she says. “When it comes to how you feel, you need to consider what you’re eating.”
Inflammation is the root cause of all chronic health problems, she says, and to reduce inflammation we need to adopt a proper diet – more specifically, an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of real food, Dr. Auld says. That means we should avoid processed foods, packaged foods, fast foods, and soda. Instead, we should eat foods like wild-caught fish, flax seeds, and chia seeds, all of which are high in essential omega-3 fatty acids.
While there are many sources of pain besides chronic inflammation – trauma and stress, for example – progressive muscle relaxation is an easy technique we can use to treat our pain. Massage therapy, which helps us to relax, is also beneficial, Dr. Auld says.
For joint pain, injuries, and pain after surgery, we can also consider cupping. Dr. Auld describes cupping as a technique that separates the tissue layers and increases the blood flow and “allows your body to naturally remove inflammatory processes.”
An integrative medicine practitioner, like Dr. Auld and her fellow ABOIM Diplomates, can tell you whether diet changes, massage therapy, cupping, or even acupuncture, would be the best treatment for managing or reducing the specific pain you’re experiencing.
The ABOIM is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), which fully supports the efforts of its Diplomates to raise awareness about the healing benefits of complementary and alternative therapies.
For information about the ABOIM, contact the ABPS today.