What is the Addiction Free Pain Management® System?
The Addiction Free Pain Management® System is a comprehensive method of addressing the four quadrants of suffering: biological (physical), psychological, social, and spiritual. This system was developed by our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Stephen Grinstead. Dr. Grinstead developed the Addiction Free Pain Management® System in his own quest to find chronic pain relief without reliance on opioid medication.
After years of continued research, his system now serves as the core curriculum for our program, addressing suffering within those four quadrants. The Addiction Free Pain Management® PLUS System – offered at our Residential Treatment Program – offers the curriculum and exposure to holistic and nonpharmacological modalities to see what works best to enable therapeutic growth.
Addressing Biological/Physical Symptoms of Pain
Biological: Imagine the most intense pain you have experienced in your life. This could be breaking a bone, suffering a dislocation, or even the pain of child labor. Focus on that memory and try to remember that pain. Now imagine having this pain with you nearly every moment of every day for over six months. This is life living with a chronic pain condition.
Here at A Healing Place – The Estates, we are treating individuals who have hit a therapeutic ceiling in their pain management. Traditional or “western focused” treatments like shots and surgeries do not offer lasting relief. Furthermore, opioid medications may work great at first, but soon come with a host of problematic side effects – including raising your pain sensitivity. It is for this reason for this segment of the chronic pain population that we must look outside the box of western medicine to offer pain relief to our patients. Some of the modalities we use to address the physical suffering of pain include dietary changes, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, and restorative yoga.
Addressing Psychological Symptoms of Pain
In order to effectively manage one’s pain, we have to address how someone interoperates or perceives their pain. An individual’s suffering is shaped by how they perceive their pain. Terms agonizing, dreadful, and debilitating are a few of the words used to describe psychological suffering associated with pain. Furthermore, co-occurring psychological disorders contribute to how someone perceives their pain. This includes depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. These psychological disorders are commonly associated with chronic pain conditions, and if left untreated, can amplify or cause additional pain.
We have a number of holistic and technological modalities to address the psychological symptoms of pain. Mindfulness and meditative practices are intertwined into every component of our program. Whether it is morning meditation or mindful meals, we are creating an environment of mindfulness to help shape the patient’s perception of what they are experiencing.
We also help our patients manage their co-occurring disorders with another set of modalities. Equine therapy, neurofeedback and biofeedback are some of the treatment methods used to address the depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD associated with a chronic pain condition. Each of these are complex modalities in and of themselves, and we have completed interviews with our AHP treatment providers for your convenience. Click either Equine Therapy, Neurofeedback, or Biofeedback to learn more about each treatment method.
Addressing Social Symptoms of Pain
We’ve seen many marriages and partnerships come to a tragic end due to one of the partners living with an undertreated or mistreated chronic pain condition. Sometimes family members and significant others develop their own healthcare problems while trying to help someone they love, cope with chronic pain. Family and significant others often get burned out, or they become frustrated and resentful towards the person living with chronic pain. A support person can become just as hopeless and helpless as their family member who is suffering with chronic pain and may even develop severe depression, anxiety or a sleep problem.
When it comes to healing in the Social area it is important to realize that many people living with chronic pain have been isolated for a long time – sometimes decades. An important part of improving levels of functioning in this area includes helping people connect with family and friends in a new and healthy manner. Our Online Family Program prepares family and friends to better participate in our three day Intensive Family Workshop. Friends and family get parallel information that their loved ones are receiving in our program.
Another important part in the Social Arena is to develop appropriate Relapse Prevention Teammates and accountability partners. We get our patients used to working as a apart of an integrated team and help them develop relapse prevention and continuing care plans that pushes them to reduce isolation and connect with others in a healthy way.
Addressing Spiritual Symptoms of Pain
When someone is living for years with a chronic condition, it has the potential to disconnect someone for their spiritual higher power. Even if someone grew up with a strong connection to a church or organized religion, the persistence of pain and suffering can drive a wedge between spiritual connectedness. Many people entering our program tell us they feel as if their higher power has abandoned them.
One of the treatment objectives at A Healing Place – The Estates is to help people reconnect with their former identified religion. Many people see that spirituality is a component of our program and fear they will be influenced away from their religion of choice. This is not the case. We want people to create a stronger connection with their higher power, whatever that may be.
We have also had patients who connect to their higher power and experience spirituality through art, music, and nature. These mediums can be used as well for people with an identified religion. Regardless of where you are at in your journey to spirituality, we hope to help strengthen the relationship between you and your higher power.
We offer weekly Spiritual Direction led by Shannon Savage-Howie, Certified Spiritual Director and owner of Ransacked Soul. She brings a most needed dimension to our treatment curriculum by creating a sacred space for patients to connect with deep questions, longings, and life experiences that invite meaningful soul searching and connection.