A Holistic Approach to Pain Management
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
This month I want to introduce Essential Oils to MedCenterTMJ. You may remember in the May newsletter we asked a patient, Hillary, to write a personal testimony about her experience with essential oils. From my first conversation with Hillary, I have been impressed with the healing power of Essential Oils. As you know, I am very holistic in my approach to pain management; therefore, I do not often write for prescription medications for my patients. Though I am not opposed to the use of prescription medication, I just feel that there are other viable alternatives for pain control.
For several years now I have been a major advocate of Traumeel (now called T-Relief) and many of you have benefited from the use of Traumeel. Traumeel was preceded on the market by a compounded cream which was composed of four prescription medications blended together. A carrier would make the medication penetrate through the epidermis and dermis (skin) into the deeper tissues to the muscles and nerves. This prescription medication, which is still on the market, contained an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant, a local anesthetic, and a pain medication along with the carrier. In order to compound these creams the cost of the prescription was more than many people were willing to pay. Now that we have an “all-natural” over-the-counter medication, the cost per tube is markedly reduced and, since a little bit goes a long way in regards to the application size, a tube can last as much as three or four months using it 3 to 4 times a day on the TMJ, in the neck and shoulders as prescribed.
Essential oils have taken non-prescription pain medication to another level. To share a personal experience, in March, I had a shoulder injury which left me with a torn rotator cuff and damaged biceps muscle. On April 16th, I had surgery to repair the tear and the biceps muscle. My rehab for this surgery has been a slow and painful experience. I have utilized Essential Oils as well as T-Relief and another cream called Gardener’s Dream (which you can find on Amazon) in order to control the pain and inflammation. There are combinations of Essential Oils that truly benefit the pain response. Because of the pain I was experiencing from the surgery and rehab, I was unable to sleep. I have found that the combination of Lavender and Stress Away applied to the back of the neck, at night, before bedtime, really helps me sleep and wake up in the morning more refreshed.
Because of my personal experience over the past three months, I feel confident that you will benefit from these Essential Oils. I am not, in any way, marketing a particular brand. There are several companies that currently produce and sell Essential Oils. The company that I am most familiar with is Young Living. The way that I plan to introduce these oils is to provide sample vials for purchase. These samples should last for up to one month, if applied correctly. If you find benefit from the use of these oils, you can go online to Young Living and order the oils to be shipped directly to your home. Or you can utilize any other source you choose.
As always, I am constantly seeking to find better ways of treating and helping patients with Orofacial pain and TMD. It is our goal at here at MedCenterTMJ to continue to research the market so that we will remain at the forefront of leadership in the field of TMD and Orofacial pain. You are our most valuable asset and we will strive to make your experience at MedCenter TMJ the very best.
Ronald C. Auvenshine, DDS, PhD
Dr. Pettit’s Tips for Healthy Living
Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD
As a part of the MedCenter TMJ Newsletter, we like to include a tip for healthy living. Our overall health will greatly influence our TMJ health. Every step we take in the right direction for our health can improve our quality of life. The month of August can be a very hectic one. Our prescription to you this month is to find time to relax! I’ve had multiple recent conversations with patients who are dealing with many family, occupational, social, and health stresses. These stressors activate our innate emergency system built into our autonomic nervous system. Stress hormones release from our adrenal glands and adrenaline runs high in our blood. When activated for long periods of time, the immune system becomes compromised and we become susceptible to injury, depression, and pain. Those of us with TMJ disorders are even more susceptible to these issues. What are effective ways to help combat the stress of life?
There are many ways to reduce stress, including healthy eating, physical exercise, meditation, massage, and even essential oils. Too frequently, we turn to very aggressive workout routines thinking the more we exert ourselves, the better we will feel. Physical activity is very good in moderation, but if our system has been chronically fatigued and under stress for a prolonged time, excessive physical exertion will only compound the problem. Excessive workout routines can actually cause more stress, draining what little reserves may remain. We need to be wise in our choice of method for reducing stress and encouraging peaceful relaxation.
For some of us, we are missing the important rejuvenating time required to recharge our body. Are we suggesting a vacation? Not if it is a busy, checklist, site-seeing type of vacation. What you may need is just time, set apart, to distance yourself from the stress of everyday life. For most of us with type A personalities, this seems an impossible feat. We have too much on our plate to step away from it. We have too many people depending on us. We have deadlines to meet. We can’t afford to miss a step. Most projects have to be done ourselves, or they will not be done right. We are too busy to waste time doing nothing! How can we overcome this barrier?
In order to have a successful getaway, first and foremost, you must give yourself permission. If you do not give yourself permission, you will never truly rest. There will be too many things to worry about and occupy your mind. You have to plan ahead and set apart a certain amount of time. Maybe you will only be able to commit a weekend. Inform others you are taking time away to recharge. You will not be available to take phone calls. You will not be available to wait on others. You are escaping away from your usual surroundings (perhaps into the country, the beach, or a quaint little town) and spending all day relaxing. Sit in a hot tub. Bring several books to read. Bring your favorite past-time. Make necessary arrangements and make it happen. You will find that dedicated time, when properly executed, will provide a much-needed recharge. Your body needs to calm its pace. The stress hormones need a chance to re-equilibrate. Our mind, body and spirit need a chance to rest. Remember, you have to give yourself permission to do this, or your mind and heart won’t be in it. Commit to give yourself some time, hopefully soon, that you can arrange for such a recharging vacation.
Nathan J. Pettit, DMD, MSD
Make Summer Memories During National Family Fun Month
When we were kids and August rolled around it meant one thing – summer was winding down. The glorious days of basking in the sun, running around outside and freeing our minds for daydreaming were close to an end. For busy parents and grandparents it can be easy to overlook that splendor of summer relaxation and keep trudging along like the season never changed.
Maybe that’s why August was named National Family Fun Month. Kids can help adults learn to loosen up and not let summer pass them by while they’re working away in an office.
There’s no better way to enjoy a summer outing with the family than a picnic. Picnics are a great way to get everyone together, unplug the electronics and spend time with one another without all the distractions that are at home. When you’re out in nature with the people you care about it puts your long to-do list in perspective. Studies have also shown that being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature is one of the most effective ways to relax and boost your cognitive performance.
Tips for Selecting a Picnic Spot
- Make sure there are bathroom facilities nearby.
- Find a spot with some sort of shade so you don’t have to pack umbrellas or tents.
- Don’t worry about tables – bring a blanket and picnic the old school way.
- Look for picnic areas that offer age appropriate entertainment like a playground or splash fountain for the little ones.
- Let the kids help pick the spot so you know they’ll have fun.
It’s also National Golf Month in August. If you’re looking for a relaxing pastime or fun way to get active while enjoying the company of your kids, golf is a great option.
Introducing Essential Oils at MedCenter TMJ
For thousands of years, Essential Oils have been used for numerous reasons. Ancient writings have described the use of scented barks, spices, and aromatic wines and vinegars that were used in rituals, embalming practices, and medicine. Today, we have a distillation process that allows us to draw out the aromatic and volatile liquid from flowers, trees, roots, shrubs, and seeds to become what we know as Essential Oils. These oils have been used medicinally to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses, as well as stimulate tissue and nerve regeneration. Essential Oils are not only a positive alternative medicine, but provide beautiful fragrances to help in relaxation, balance moods, and dispel negative emotions.
It is Dr. Auvenshine’s hope that you are able to use Essential Oils in conjunction with palliative care to maximize the conservative treatment of TMD and Orofacial pain. The Essential Oils that Dr. Auvenshine is recommending for use are known for their pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties as well as sleeping and relaxation. Though Essential Oils can be used in many different ways, Dr. Auvenshine is simply recommending that these oils be placed directly on the location of pain/tension or used with hot/cold compresses and can also be used in combination with each other. At MedCenterTMJ we are dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible care and sincerely hope that you are able to find relief with the use of these Essential Oils. Please do not hesitate to ask any of our staff members for more information about our Essential Oils!
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
The Perfect Sweet Treat for Your Picnic
We’re taking a new, TMJ-friendly spin on a yummy Pineapple Ginger Lemonade Popsicle recipe from Young Living. Instead of creating traditional popsicles that can be difficult to bite into, our twist on the recipe is like an Italian ice that’s in a cup.
- 12 oz. fresh, chopped pineapple
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup water (filtered)
- ¼ cup honey
- ½” piece fresh ginger – finely grated and peeled
- 2 drops of ginger essential oil
- 4 drops of lemon essential oil
- 8 plastic cups to put the mixture into
- 8 pieces of saran wrap
- Combine the pineapple, lemon juice, water, honey and ginger in a blender.
- Blend on the high setting until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the ginger and lemon essential oils and stir.
- Pour the mixture into the cups and cover with saran wrap.
- Place cups in the freezer until firm.
In just five minutes you’ve made a delicious, healthy treat that the whole family will enjoy!