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Many Dimensions of Pain

In this module, you will review the many dimensions that can affect the way pain is expressed and how it responds to treatment. You will also review various integrative therapies or healing practices that focus on the relationship between the provider and whole person, including the mind, body, and spirit, to improve health, healing, and pain. You will start with defining complementary and alternative therapies and understanding the difference between the two. You will review four integrative health domains as defined by the National Center for Integrative Health which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Finally, you will evaluate the best evidence about the use of these therapies in managing pain in people with serious illness. Remember, it is important to ask patients if they use integrative health therapies. Try to understand their past experiences and attitudes toward non-drug treatments. The key is to find out what works for the person in pain with his/her unique characteristics. As caregivers we need to be open to various approaches and our patient’s wishes.

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