O’Fallon chiropractor talks about his business and move

September 29, 2008

Dr. Anthony Peck has treated patients for about 18 years. The last nine have been spent at his Back and Neck Pain Center, in O’Fallon. He has recently moved his practice down the street, to 810 W. Highway 50. Peck recently talked to business reporter Will Buss about his business and move:

Q: Why did you move to a new office?

A: "At the other place, the parking was starting to become inadequate as the practice grew. We have other businesses there that shared parking with us. That was one of the reasons we moved, because we needed more parking. The new location has its own parking and its own building. We don’t share it with any other businesses within the same structure. It will have plenty of parking now. Now, we’ve got a lot better visibility and it’s easier to find from the highway. We’re next to a major landmark, the First Bank building. The big building has a big sign out front. Most people know where it sits. … Our new building has more room, that plus it’s kind of got a hometown feel to it and it’s a comfortable business."

Q: What lead you into chiropractic care?

A: "I had a mom and dad in the medical profession for 25, 30 years and two brothers who are doctors. It’s kind of in my blood, I guess you could say. I was a pre-med major who was drawn into it. It’s a unique ability to treat the human ailment without drugs or surgery. It’s something that’s different that appealed to me for its unique natural approach to health care. The other thing is it’s people helping people. It’s great when you are able to help someone who has tried many different approaches and really didn’t get the relief they were looking for, and you’re able to help them treat that and give you more passion."

Q: What makes your practice different from others?

A: "That’s a good question. There’s a lot of chiropractors out there. They offer similar techniques. We are one of the only ones and the first in St. Clair County that started auriculotherapy."

Q: What is auriculotherapy?

A: "It’s a form of acupuncture. It’s not a new technique, and we have had great success treating smokers with it. We also use it for weight loss. It has worked very well to treat back pain, neck pain and sciatica. That’s one of the things we offer. We are also a hands-on, old-school. We’re hands-on and don’t use any instruments to adjust people. We do manual manipulation by hand. That sets us apart from other chiropractors. Lots of people want to come in and get adjusted traditionally, like most chiropractors. Many chiropractors with time have started using instruments for adjustments. Many love to or hate it, none in between. We’re old-school."

Q: What is your approach?

A: "What sets us apart from other chiropractors is we’re pretty much a pain management style of practice. Some of the other chiropractors take a wellness approach. We offer that, too, but we treat pain. You’ve got neck and back pain, spinal issues, that’s pretty much what we treat. That’s why we named it what we did. Back pain is one of the more common things we treat."

Q: What else is new at the new office?

A: "We are offering a free consultation examination right now through all of next month, in October, for anyone wanting to see what we can do to help them out with any problems. We’ll have a grand opening there sometime later. Right now, we are in transition. We have most things moved in. You know how it is when you move."

Contact reporter Will Buss at [email protected] or 345-7822, ext. 24. \

Source: bnd.com

Suffered From Back Pain Woman Sues Her Insurance Company

September 15, 2008

Debra Voss is in constant pain because of a back problem. She believes she needs an operation. Fortunately, she has health insurance. Unfortunately, the health insurance company won’t pay for the operation.

«I don’t know what to do,» she said.

Voss is 41. She is divorced. She has three children, the youngest of whom is 10. She attended secretarial school after graduating from Bishop DuBourg High School. She has spent most of her working life in the advertising business, most recently as an executive assistant.

The problem with her back began on the Saturday before Christmas.

«My leg started hurting,» – she said. «I’d been on my feet all day, and I thought maybe I had twisted my ankle. Then the pain went into my back. But I wasn’t really worried. The agency I worked for is off between Christmas and New Year’s, so I figured I’d just take it easy and I’d be all right.»

But the pain did not subside. She went to a chiropractor. That did not help. She went to her doctor, who prescribed painkillers and physical therapy. She also ordered an MRI. The MRI revealed degenerative disc disease. At least that is one reading of it. She went to a neurosurgeon. He referred her to a pain specialist who gave her a series of injections. That didn’t help. She had a discogram in which needles were used to probe her discs. That didn’t work. The neurosurgeon then suggested an operation, a lumbar spinal fusion.

This happened over a period of several months. Voss was still working, but she said the situation was becoming unbearable. She was in pain and also groggy from the medication. She said she was nervous about surgery, but she felt she had to do something. She visited another neurosurgeon for a second opinion. She said he agreed that surgery was her best option.

The surgery was scheduled for June at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. She decided to take a leave from work to recuperate. The day before the surgery was scheduled, she got a call from her neurosurgeon’s office. The insurance company had refused to authorize surgery.

The insurance company is Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It explained the decision to deny surgery in a letter to Voss. “The clinical information provided does not support the medical necessity of Lumbar Spinal Fusion as this procedure is considered not medically necessary as a treatment of low back pain and/or leg pain due to degeneration of lumbar discs unless there is evidence of spondylolisthesis (lack of proper spine alignment) on preoperative X-rays.”

Voss went through the appeal process at Anthem. Her appeals were denied. She has also filed a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance.

Her neurosurgeon is Dr. Charles Wetherington. I asked him if other insurance companies approve lumbar spinal fusion when there is no evidence of spondylolisthesis.

«Most do. Some are getting kind of difficult, but generally, if you talk to somebody, they’ll be reasonable,» – he said. In this instance, he spoke with Anthem’s medical director, Dr. Wayne Meyer, but without success.

«We adhere to certain guidelines,» – Meyer said. «They’re clear on this, and they have nothing to do with cost.»

He said the evidence does not show that lumbar spinal fusion is successful or appropriate for most people with lower back pain. «I was in surgical practice myself until two and a half years ago,» – he said. «I still believe in evidence-based medicine.»

I asked about a study that Wetherington referred to from Sweden. «That’s only one study and as I understand it, there are flaws in that study,» – said Meyer.

Meyer also spoke about the appeal process. He said two neurosurgeons from outside the organization reviewed the case and upheld the decision to deny the surgery.

Voss, meanwhile, is beside herself. She has been on unpaid leave from her job since June. «I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t work. I’m never comfortable or without pain,» – she said. She said she has nearly exhausted her savings. «I think I might be able to make it though October, but then I don’t know what I’ll do.»

Wetherington said that he performs about 10 of these surgeries a month and he estimated that about a third of them don’t have the conditions that Anthem requires.

Source: stltoday.com

Tips For Pregnancy Back Pain

September 15, 2008

I’m now at almost 27 weeks pregnant and 23 pounds gained. I’m not as concerned, though, ever since I learned on Friday that Logan is developing at a quicker rate than most. I’ve had major non-stop hunger lately, but there’s obviously a reason!

I can also tell I’ve moved on to another phase of pregnancy because today I’m feeling nauseated again ๐Ÿ™ And, I experienced my first heartburn yesterday. I was lying on the couch and all of a sudden the area below my breast bone started burning. It kept getting worse and worse and that’s when it hit me–uh, that must be why they call it heartburn. It was weird, ‘cuz I thought people got it after they eat, but this was before supper. It actually went away once I ate.

Unfortunately, my stomach is going numb even when I lay down now, so I have two things (that and back pain) when I’m trying to relax. Otherwise, though, those are the only ailments I have these days.

I keep thinking back to my appt. on Friday and how it was another exciting moment in this pregnancy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I forgot to mention that my doctor was feeling my abdomen and said, «oh here is he, hanging out» and that’s how she knew where to put the doppler to hear the heartbeat (on my left side). When I feel my stomach it’s just a hard wall so it’s amazing that she could feel exactly where he was!

On Saturday, my mom & stepdad came over and we bought our car seat/stroller ๐Ÿ™‚ We absolutely love it and can’t wait to pick it up (it’s being ordered from Lincoln, so it’ll take another week before we bring it home). It doesn’t sound like they make anything better than the Chicco travel system! ๐Ÿ™‚

Atmosphere Chicco Travel SystemOn Sunday, we put up the moon & stars wallpaper border in our nursery which is so adorable!

Yesterday I just vegged out, as my energy is still low these days, and am doing the same today. So, I’ll continue where I left off on Friday with pregnancy symptoms of the second & third trimesters. Aside from the skin changes, a common one (as you know) is back pain. The American Pregnancy Association says the following:

You are not alone if you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy. The prevalence varies with reports, showing between 50 to 70 percent of all pregnant women having back pain.

Back pain during pregnancy is related to a number of factors. Here is a list of potential causes of back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:

Increase of hormones – hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process of your baby; this shift in joints and loosening of ligaments may affect the support your back normally experiences.

Center of gravity – your center of gravity will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, which causes your posture to change.

Additional weight – your developing pregnancy and baby create additional weight that your back must support.

Posture or position – poor posture, excessive standing, and bending over can trigger or escalate the pain you experience in your back.

Stress – stress usually finds the weak spot in the body, and because of the changes in your pelvic area, you may experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.

Back pain may not be prevented completely, but there are things that you can do to reduce the severity or frequency. Here are a few steps you can take to help reduce the back pain you are experiencing:

  • Use exercises approved by your health care provider that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen.
  • Squat to pick up something versus bending over.
  • Avoid high heels and other shoes that do not provide adequate support.
  • Avoid sleeping on your back.
  • Wear a support belt under your lower abdomen.
  • Make sure your back is aligned using a chiropractor.
  • Get plenty of rest. Elevating your feet is also good for your back.
  • Here are some other common interventions:
  • Ice or heat.
  • Braces or support devices.
  • Sleep on your left side and use a support pillow under your knees.
  • Medications used to treat inflammation.
  • Use a licensed health care professional such as a chiropractor or massage therapist.

Just like when I gave the rundown on morning sickness a few months ago, unfortunately I, personally, haven’t found relief in these options. But I think that is because my back pain is in a different area than most. I really haven’t experienced lower back pain, i.e. the pelvic region. Mine has all been in the upper back, and so sleeping on my side actually makes it worse because the natural thing to do is round your shoulders forward. (I have a body pillow but, once again, that seems to give more support to my lower back.) I also haven’t tried the «belt» because that goes around the lower back. Nor do I feel the couple of times I go out each week in my high-boots affect my upper back. Most of the time I am relaxing and getting proper rest. . .I believe my pain is all related to weight gain (especially in my chest area). Therefore, exercises seem the most likely to help in my case, as well as getting a prenatal massage. I am lucky to have an aunt who is a masseuse, although she lives in Kansas City so I can’t really use her during this time! However, she was able to add the following:

«. . .relaxation techniques, breathing. . .healthy fluids. Be sure you get a masseuse who is experienced in prenatal massage even if you have to drive a ways. An electric heat pad is not the best thing to put on your back for more than a few minutes at a time. It must be set at a moderate/medium temp–never a high setting. Far-infrared heat is the best. . .Consult your doc for referrals. No lifting. . .You may stretch all you can but relaxing those back muscles, sitting, standing, leaning, bending are most important at this time. Let someone help you with the heavier tasks, instead of bending at the back, stoop, kneel or bend 1 knee to reach things lower in cabinets / oven , etc.»

All of this talk about back pain is making my back ache now, lol.

Source: momwriterme.blogspot.com (very interesting reading, very recommend to subscribe to she’s RSS)

Carrie Writes: Tips for Living With Back Pain

September 12, 2008

Living with back painI have suffered from lower back pain, off and on, for as long as I can remember.

The lower back, defined as the area between the ribs and upper legs, connects the upper and lower body, carrying most of the body’s weight. It can be easily strained or injured through overuse. Injury can come as a result of lifting, reaching or twisting the body.

The symptoms of lower back injuries include sharp pain that can be isolated to one area or spread over a larger area, muscle spasms and stiffness. At-home treatments include bed rest, along with icing the area for two to three days for 15 minutes every two to three hours, followed by using a heating pad for 15 minutes every two to three hours for two to three days.

If the lower back pain persists, you should see your doctor, who may recommend physical therapy. There also are some things you can do at home to help with back pain, such as laying on a hard floor and avoiding soft surfaces like couches, beds and recliners. You should always sleep on your side, wear low-heeled shoes, bend your knees when lifting heavy objects and be aware of what you can truly do with your body.

Exercise can play a factor in both preventing and healing lower back injuries. Some excellent activities include walking, swimming, strength training and any kind of cardio. The practice of yoga is very healthy for your back because it teaches the body balance and flexibility while strengthening muscles. Pilates is also very good for your back since it teaches body alignment and builds a strong core.

Every day, I practice yoga and Pilates to keep me flexible and pain-free. I also walk, either outside or on my treadmill, along with using a stationary bike. And I remind myself not to lift too much or do too much that could strain my muscles. When I do have a sore back, I take it easy but try to do my normal activities while using heating pads or ice to relieve the discomfort.

My theory is that back pain is your body’s way of saying, «Slow down and take care of yourself.»

Carrie Barrepski, a native of Livonia, Mich., lives in Western Massachusetts. You can learn more about Carrie at her Web site, www.carrie writes.net

She can be reached at [email protected]

Got Back Pain? A Shiatsu Massage Chair is Your Best Friend

September 6, 2008

Massage chairBack pain is a very common ailment. As many as 8 out 10 people suffer from some particular sort of back pain. If you suffer from back pain, you are definately not alone. Back pain can range from a constant, dull ache to sudden sharp pains. Although aches and pains come in a awide variety, there are two main categories ranging from acute to chronic. Acute back pain is a temporary condition with quick recovery periods from days to weeks. Chronic back pain persists for longer periods of time. If you have chronic back pain then you know expected healing time for an identified cause may go on and on even after receiving treatment. The choice is either you grow used to the pain or you need to find relief.

How can one find relief from back pain? There are many remedies for back pain ranging from taking drugs, to acupuncture to inversion therapy to massage. It is interesting to note that the most common relief of back pain is taking pharmaceutical drugs. There are other alternatives out there that are natural remedies. The secondmost common relief of back pain is massage therapy. More and more studies show that massage is effective fin relieving both acute and chronic pain. However, unlike drugs, massage is a completely natural remedy. Most of the time, the misalignment of bone, ligament, muscle, and tissue causes back pain. You can choose to just dull the pain with drugs, but that just avoids the problem. Seeking massage therapy, on the otherhand, can get to the root of the problem. Massage helps to stretch and soothe aching, tired muscles and ligaments in a natural way.

If you are suffering from back pain, you may find a massage chair is what you need. It is truly amazing how technology has advanced and massage chairs have extraordinary capabilities. Just push a button and enjoy a Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Swedish massage, or even a Sports massage. The premier shiatsu massage chairs scan your body to find your acupressure points. The chair then performs a custom shiatsu massage tailored to your acupressure points. The program of chair will position of the massage rollers to stimulate the areas you need relief the most. Shiatsu acupressure massages help enhance your natural healing based on the meridian pathways that connect throughout the body.

You can find some massage recliners that incorporate the Swedish massage technique. Thie Swedish or Classic massage technique uses flowing, long, strokes to stretch and elongate tight muscles. Select a Deep Tissue massage and enjoy a penetrating, soothing massage. With the Deep Tissue technique, the massage cair program will start more superficially and then begin penetrate layer by layer. This approach relieves aching, sore, and tired tendons and muscles. You can enjoy these massage therapies with the touch of a button with a shiatsu massage chair.

The application of heat helps relax tight and sore muscles and reduce pain. Heat is recommended over cold for chronic pain. For example, treating arthritis or for muscle relaxation. The premier massage chairs utilitze heat therapy. The best massage recliners have heating elements in the chair back, the seat and the footrest. These therapeutic massage chairs provide significant relief from back pain.

Music therapy is a complimentary relief and natural remedy to reduce the disability, anxiety, and depression associated with chronic pain. Many shiatsu massage chairs have a built in MP3 player. Music therapy induces relaxation, helping you to let your stress and anxiety go.

There is so much technology that is being incorporated into the best massage chairs. This technology can help you to really reduce the pain and anxiety associated with back pain. The massage chair is a great compliment to helping to relieve your acute or chronic back pain. You can seek a massage therapist, which is a great way to go. However, you need to go at a certain time and place. A massage chair on the other hand, is always waiting for you. The best massage chairs can provide a full range of massage therapies at the touch of a button and in the comfort of your own home. If you got back pain, your best friend is a shiatsu massage chair.

Dr. Gott: Disabling Back Pain Presents Dilemma

August 27, 2008

Dr. Gott PhotoDear Dr. Gott: I read your column about a person who seems to have the same progressive disorder of the spinal discs that I have. I have enclosed the doctorโ€™s report of my MRI. I am a 74-year-old man. I currently take one Ultram tablet three times a day and one Lyrica tablet twice a day. I have also had two hip replacements in the past 20 years.

When I get up in the morning, my left leg feels like someone has attached an electric wire to it. I also have a great deal of pain in my shoulders. The electrical feeling in my leg and the pain in my shoulders last until I take the Ultram, but then I still have some trouble standing or walking for too long. The Lyrica seems to help, because, by about 10 a.m., I am able to get up and move around somewhat better.

Because of all the pain, I tried a pain clinic, where I was prescribed gabapentin three times a day. I later stopped it because I felt very confused. I didnโ€™t know who or where I was. Quality of life is important to me. They also tried giving me an epidural block, which did not work.

My primary-care physician told me that I will have to have surgery when my bowels become involved. I feel that I am getting too old to have surgery. Knowing what I have told you and your past dealings with similar patients, I would like to know what your opinion is. Should I live with the pain or take a chance with surgery?

Dear Reader: You have enclosed the results of your MRI, which shows severe degenerative disc disease in several areas of your spine. The report recommends surgical decompression should noninvasive treatments stop working. I believe that you have reached that stage.

Surgery is the final option for most conditions. Spinal surgery is especially worrisome. Despite its vast advances over the years and its relatively low incidence of serious side effects, most people are uncomfortable with it. All surgery has risks, but spinal surgery is perhaps the second most detrimental (following brain surgery), including permanent nerve damage, which may result in loss of feeling, paralysis and more. I suggest you speak with a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the spine.

Exploring Drug-Free Options For Pain Relief

August 26, 2008


Doc48b444b4bed0c877575035If you have ever suffered from back pain, neck pain, stiffness, freezing and inflammation of various body parts and joints, you know the grind. Pop a pill, try some rest, ice, compression, elevation, pop another pill maybe and then grit your teeth and hope the pain goes away soon.

If the pain is serious and recurs all the time, you may find yourself visiting your doctor constantly.

According to The American Pain Society, an estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by disease, disorder or accident. Of these, the most common types of pain include arthritis, lower back, bone/joint pain, muscle pain and fibromyalgia.

An additional 25 million people suffer acute pain resulting from surgery or accident. Yet experts acknowledge that pain is widely undertreated in the United States.

While mainstream medicine can help no doubt, drug-free options for pain relief are fast growing in popularity.

Here is a sampling of what is available in Southern Illinois:

Holistic medicine

Followers of holistic medicine recognize the interconnectedness of the mind, body and spirit. They believe less medication equals less side effects and are interested in exploring what non-believers are apt to label “new-age nonsense.”

Linda Hostalek, a doctor of osteopathy and owner of Holistic Healing Arts in Herrin and Pomona has earned quite a reputation and following for her alternative techniques when it comes to treating pain.

Having battled fibromyalgia in medical school and survived cancer, she is a walking advertisement for what she believes in: Good things in, bad things out and finding a balance.

Hostalek explains that this entails eating good foods, supplementing your diet and doing things that make you happy;  getting rid of the bad stuff by having a good detoxification, getting out of a toxic relationship, toxic job, anything that is not good for your mental well being and happiness; and finally trying to live life in balance.

Easier said than done, she is the first to admit.

Believing that all disease is multi-factorial, Hostalek employs a combination of cranial osteopathy, bio-energetic-electrical balancing, Reiki, nutrition, myofascial release, deep tissue work, Tachyon and Peruvian Shamanism to treat her patients. 

“Cranial osteopathy is a gentle yet extremely effective approach to release stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head,” Hostalek says.

Trained to look at the structure of the body and uncover where disruptive patterns lie, cranial osteopaths like Hostalek believe an accumulation of stress and strain in the body disrupts the cranial rhythm, which in turn manifest as aches and pains in one place.

“The first place to start is figuring out what the problem is,” Hostalek says. “Once you diagnose what and where the problem lies, it is important to balance the fascia, which is the connective tissue in the body; see where the blockages lie and unblock the energy fields.”

According to Hostalek, every single cell that we have has an energy field and often we carry elements in our energy fields that can make us toxic.

“A combination of healthy lifestyle, vitamins and daily stretching helps to move the energy where the fascia live,” Hostalek says. “The more empowered you are energetically, the more you can help heal yourself.”

When asked how she deals with non-believers, Hostalek says people will believe whatever they want to believe. But she does admit it helps to have an open mind when you visit a practitioner that works with energy fields.

Chinese acupuncture

After an acupuncture session, a grateful patient once told Dr. Ying Li, “You keep me walking, working and saving money!”

A trained Chinese physician licensed and certified to practice oriental medicine and acupuncture in the United States, Li has a busy practice in Carbondale and Metropolis, with as many as 60 percent of her clients coming to her for pain relief.

“Chinese medical theory believes that a person’s state of health is always changing, subtly moving in one direction or another,” Li says.

Qi (pronounced “chee”) or life energy flows through numerous specific pathways called meridians, which connect to particular organs and glands, bringing nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

When Qi is obstructed in one part of the body, the blockage affects the flow of life energy to other parts of the body resulting in illness, pain and disease.

In order to correct the imbalances, acupuncture, a 5,000-year-old Chinese technique, uses hair-thin needles to stimulate certain points along the channels, called the meridians. Treatments are cumulative

“In China, you have to be a medical doctor first, before you can become an acupuncturist,” Li says. “It is a medical skill and can effectively treat a variety of pain.”

Li says you should give acupuncture a shot, if you are exploring conservative options for pain relief. In many cases it has helped people avoid or postpone surgery.

In addition to using acupuncture, Li also employs cupping techniques, magnetic electric needles, moxa therapies and herbal patches for pain relief. 


Dr. Stephen Barrett, a chiropractor at Barrett Spinal Health and Wellness Center in Carbondale, strides into the room, a package of energy, intelligence and charm.

“Pain is a sign that something is wrong,” Barrett says. “If we take spinal pain, for example, I’m looking for any places in the spine where the nerves have been interfered with. Sometimes a subluxation could be the primary cause. Other times it could be poor posture that causes the muscles to become dysfunctional.”

Chiropractors like Barrett believe a (vertical) subluxation occurs when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves.

Because the nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of the body, a subluxation causes nerve interference wherever it occurs and this in turn prevents the affected organs from functioning normally.

“Injuries, accidents, trauma, bad posture, can all contribute to a subluxation,” Barrett says. “And chiropractic is strictly about the detection and correction of subluxations.”

To correct this, chiropractors “adjust” the spine by applying pressure to the bone and “unlocking” it from its improper position. The theory is that the bone will then be free to align itself correctly and irritation to the nerves will also be reduced / eliminated.

You come to a point in your life when you realize you don’t want to take pharmaceutical drugs for the rest of your life,” Barrett says. “You want to get rid of the problem and what’s causing it, instead of covering up the symptoms. And that’s why more and more people are choosing chiropractic care as a first option, not a last resort.”


For three years now, Yolanda Comiskey has worked in Carbondale as a Psych-K (psychological kinesiology) facilitator and offers private sessions and workshops to those wanting to reprogram their conscious and unconscious habits.

Skeptic or not, you tend to let your guard down a bit when faced with her positive energy and open, approachable demeanor. She seems perfectly believable when she says she comes from a family of healers.

“Psych-K is all about belief,” Comiskey says. “These beliefs, usually subconscious, are often the result of lifelong ‘programming,’ and represent a powerful influence on human behavior. When you change your beliefs you can change the outcome.”

Psych-K then is a powerful tool which helps you identify and transform beliefs that ‘sabotage’ you into beliefs that ‘support’ you, in any area of your life. It helps you gently rewrite the software of your sub-conscious mind and change your life.

Establishing communication with the subconscious mind through the muscle system, Comiskey uses energy work to address a variety of issues, including pain.

She says pain can be a limitation in the mind which is reflected in the body. For example, a client with neck pain realized her body was speaking volumes when faced with the simple question, “Who is it that is causing pain in the neck?”

Many of her clients use Psych-K as an adjunct to regular medical care. “The mind is a powerful thing,” Comsikey says. “If you listen closely, your body may be trying to tell you something. And Psych-K can help you get to the root of it.”

Herbs and supplements

Vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry today when it comes to maintaining good health and alleviating pain.

Cheryl Couch is owner of The Natural Choice, a health food and vitamin store in Carterville. “Right now cherry juice is a popular natural choice to alleviate pain from arthritis, joint aches and body pain,” she says.

Stocking a special kind of cherry juice concentrate made from Montmorency tart cherries of Michigan, Couch says the cherries have anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to being a rich source of antioxidants.    

Other popular products include Curamin, an all-natural dietary supplement made from curcumin, which is a derivative of turmeric; MSM, a natural source of sulphur, that helps relieve pain; and Flexcin, a joint-health supplement containing a patented anti-inflammatory ingredient, Cetyl Myristoleate.

Note to readers

It’s important to talk to your doctor about any alternative and complementary options you may be exploring, including ingesting herbal supplements and vitamins as these may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that understanding a treatment’s risks, potential benefits, and scientific evidence is critical to your health and safety.

Experts advise patients not to stop pain medications without consulting their doctor, noting that further analysis of the data is needed and acceptable health risks must be evaluated individually.

Quick glossary

  • Bio-energetic electrical balancing: Supporters of bioenergetics believe the body “records” negative emotional reactions and stores them in the form of muscle tension, stiffness, poor posture, and low energy levels. To release these trapped emotions and return the body and mind to a balanced, healthy, peaceful state, patients must first release muscle tension and correct physical imbalances, using a combination of psychotherapy, gentle body movements, massage, deep breathing, and exercises that help patients “release” their emotional memories.

  • Tachyon: A non-invasive treatment utilizing specialized Tachyonized™ tools and techniques designed to re-connect an individual to the “Energetic Continuum.”

  • Cupping : An ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup.

  • Moxa therapy: An oriental medicine therapy utilizing moxa, or mugwort herb to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi.