The drugs of choice for treatment of chronic pain and associated conditions are analgesics and if they fail – synthetic and natural opioid. With opioids comes the abuse. The opioids effects are irreversible and sooner or later the tolerance builds up. It leads to dangerous overdoses and loss of life. Wisconsin Veteran Affairs hospitals are participating in experiment to at least partially shift from the opioid use to more natural and safe choices.
U.S. Department of VA has launched the pilot program “Whole Health” in a hope that mental and physical health as well as general quality of life of the veterans will be improved by nontraditional therapies. In total 18 of veteran hospitals across the country is included in the experiment which involves Healing Touch, Tai Chi and acupuncture along the traditional medicine. Tomah VA hospital is one of the facilities that enlisted the program.
“We’re trying to really change the environment to be one of looking at the entire veteran: what the veteran wants in their lives and what’s important to them,” said Victoria Brahm, director of the Tomah VA in interview to Wisconsin Public Radio.
Although alternative medical program operates somewhat new-age-style vocabulary as “person’s energy field” it has helped some people. The scale of VA experiment is big enough to prove or dismiss this set of therapies.
The therapy will not fully eradicate the need for opioids. Instead it’s goal is to teach the veterans to manage their pain and mental conditions.