A Great New Tool to Share With Every MD

By Editorial Staff

A Great New Tool to Share With Every MD

By Editorial Staff

A one-page "pocket guide" titled "Moving Beyond Medications" could be a critical first step in educating medical doctors (particularly those who would like to pull away from the grips of Big Pharma) about the value of massage therapy and other nondrug therapies that have been shown to be effective at relieving pain.

The guide, developed by four of the leading organizations dedicated to promoting integrative health – the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health (ACIMH), the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH), the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) – recommends that doctors educate patients on "evidence-informed non-pharmacological and self-care approaches to managing pain and promoting wellness," including, but not limited to massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, psychological approaches, mind-body therapies, yoga, tai chi and other movement therapies.

Click here to view / download the pocket guide, which recommends patient education on nondrug pain-relief options as part of a five-step process (step 1: assess the patient’s pain and well being; step 2: set goals jointly with the patient; step 3: educate the patient about integrative pain management options; step 4: develop a treatment plan with the patient and address potential challenges; step 5: follow up –troubleshoot and modify treatment plan as needed).

It is recommended that the guide be disseminated by individuals and organizations to all health care providers, particularly those unfamiliar with the benefits of integrative medicine and/or those who commonly prescribe as a primary pain-relief strategy. In fact, it may serve as an initial outreach tool for massage therapists to initiate referral relationships with MDs and increase patient access to nonpharmaceutical pain-relief services such as those you provide.