No More Pain with Help from A Therapeutic Effect
May 25, 2017 08:10AM
● By Nancy Somera
Dr. Ashton using Torque Release Technique
Pain brings many people through the doors of A Therapeutic Effect, a wellness center in Mountville, but the quality of care brings them back time and again, long after the pain is gone. Dr. Andrew Ashton, a chiropractor, and his group of dedicated therapists, including wife Sue Ashton, a former massage therapist, are in tune with the natural health alternatives best suited for each individual treated at the center. “Pain can be a funny thing,” explains Ashton, who will be celebrating A Therapeutic Effect’s 10th anniversary in August. “A lot of different therapies can help once we uncover the origin of the pain,” he says.
In acute cases due to over exertion as well as chronic pain from repetitive motions, chiropractic and massage are very effective, along with advice on home-care such as ice, heat and trigger point therapy. Ashton points out that sometimes a pattern of pain can develop as a response to stress, either on the job or in one’s personal life. “Emotions can manifest as pain and discomfort. For example, one might experience general overall pain, headaches or muscle stiffness, and even persistent heartburn and acid ingestion,” he says.
Through attentiveness and deduction, Ashton helps clients create more awareness to any differences from week to week in their life and consequent changes in the body that can be traced to increased stress. With more awareness, patients can learn to alter movements and posture and make other lifestyle modifications that can help keep pain away.
There also can be a chemical cause of pain, as in cases of food sensitivities, such as gluten, or from lactic buildup or an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. Recognizing that chiropractic alone isn’t some kind of “magic bullet”, Ashton will make various recommendations that clients might feel comfortable with based on his getting to know them. One such suggestion is a change in diet; another is colon hydrotherapy to assist with detoxification, which can be helpful for alleviating headaches, among other problems. Manual lymphatic drainage, a form of light touch massage therapy, is also good for detoxification and relieving chronic pain.
Regardless of the source of pain, a properly aligned skeletal system will allow for a more efficiently working body, with less compensation and dysfunction, and not as much “cope and manage” as Ashton describes it. Typically, a better working body has a positive effect on the psyche. “People in pain are also usually depressed,” he says, and he believes this to be a contributing factor in the current opiate addiction epidemic. According to Ashton, opiates have an affect on the pleasure centers of the brain, which is why individuals whose quality of life is diminished by pain seek them out. Alternatives such as chiropractic, massage, colon hydrotherapy and other natural therapies, are beneficial without any harmful side effects.
So, while it might be a “I can’t stand the pain anymore” health event that prompts individuals to seek out initial treatment, Ashton believes most stick with it long-term because they come to understand the philosophy of how their body got well. “We are creating a community within our community with people who are learning to understand that their body is able to heal itself with a little help,” he says, “and with healing comes improved vitality and quality of life.”
Nancy Somera is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings who lives in Barrington, Rhode Island. Connect with her at [email protected]