Pain Management, The Importance of Non-Drug, Alternative Therapies

11 April 2005
a BioFeedBack Resources International e-mail newsletter
edited by Harry L. Campbell, BCIA, NRBS President
technical editing and production by Edwin Johnson

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  1. Upcoming Seminars
  2. Time Magazine on the Treatment of Pain
  3. American Academy of Pain Management – Electromedicine Track
  4. The Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society’s Spring Conference 2005
  5. A Reminder


I. Upcoming Seminars
Biofeedback – July 8-12, 2005, Tarrytown, NY
Neurofeedback – April 15-19, July 15-19, Tarrytown, NY

Visit our web-site: or call 877-669-6463 or 914-762-4646 ASAP if you are interested in attending.


II. Time Magazine on the Treatment of Pain
One of the car accident clients I see at a pain management clinic recently gave me a copy of the February 28, 2005, Time Magazine article titled “The Right (And Wrong) Way To Treat Pain”. She has been coming to me for biofeedback as part of her treatment for pain, headaches, insomnia, and anxiety. She still has pain but she is feeling much better about her situation, her headaches have decreased considerably, and she is sleeping better. She believes that biofeedback has helped her. She was so impressed by it that when she saw this article which mentioned biofeedback, she immediately decided to give a copy of it.

The article starts out talking about a woman named Penny Rickhoff who was injured on her job by a heavy file cabinet fell onto her back. She saw many doctors and came to the realization that she was not going to be cured of her pain. She then changed her approach and began to look for ways to live with the pain. Her therapy now includes Tai-Chi, abdominal breathing, and lower dosages of medication.

The headlines are full of references to pain medications including Vioxx being pulled off of the market due to negative side effects like heart attacks. It is becoming more important than ever to learn other approaches to help people deal with pain.

The article says that studies suggest that about one half of Americans with chronic pain don’t find an acceptable solution. Chronic pain is one of the top causes of people missing work. The estimated national cost is $100 billion in lost productivity and increased health care. A doctor from Michigan who also suffers from chronic pain from a car accident that took place in 1999 stated that many doctors have disdainful and contemptuous feelings about chronic pain patients who never get better. Doctors from America’s top pain management centers say that it is wrong thinking to seek the solution to chronic pain through medications alone. Chronic pain should be approached in a variety of ways. Medication is just one of the options. Studies show that multidisciplinary programs are more effective than medication only for pain patients. According to Dr. Pamela Parker, Medical director of the pain management center at University of California, San Francisco, “the anxiety, depression, and hopelessness that come with chronic pain really all have to be addressed”.

Biofeedback is among the recommended treatment options in the article for the treatment of chronic pain. The four main parts of treatment offered by top clinics like the one at Stanford and UCSF or the Wasser Pain Management Center in Toronto are drugs, injection therapies (nerve blocks like epidurals) physical therapy and exercise, and behavioral techniques like relaxation training, biofeedback and psychotherapy.

Dr. Alan Gordon, who is the director of the Wasser Center says “A patient who learns to reduce pain with breathing exercises or biofeedback can often manage his misery with lower or only intermittent doses of drugs, reducing the risks of side effects that come with every pain killer.”

The article goes on to say that the mind is always actively involved in pain, especially in chronic cases. Learning to relieve fear, anxiety, and depression related to pain helps bring relief.

Dr. Scott Fishman, Chief of Pain Management at U.C. Davis and incoming president of the American Academy of Pain Management does not like how insurance plans prefer quick drug treatments over the physical and psychological therapies that he believes are necessary for chronic pain patients. It is also more expensive over time, for example for a patient with 25 years of pain, the insurance company would pay $1,000 to do a 20 minute injection rather than pay a much smaller amount for a physician to spend one or two hours talking to the patient about what is really happening regarding the pain.

I found the article very interesting and encouraging. More people – including top physicians are beginning to see the value of what we do. I urge you to pick up this issue of Time Magazine and read the article in entirety. This type of information can be very effective in educating clients, referral sources, and insurance companies.


III. American Academy of Pain Management – Electromedicine Track
On September 4, 2003 in Denver Colorado over 6½ hours of lectures and interviews with eight leading authorities in electromedicine were filmed. This comprehensive course in microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) and Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) is available in a 4 DVD set for $195

You know how expensive it is to attend a professional conference. There are hotel fees, conference registration fees, seminar fees, airfare, car rental, and time missed from work. It can easily cost thousands of dollars. It is very difficult to get this type of information without attending a training seminar or conference in person.

Back in the 1980s Adam Crane learned about electromedicine with Daniel Kirsch, Ph.D He introduced electromedicine to our biofeedback clients as a tool that they could use as an adjunct to biofeedback. He taught them how electromedicine could help relieve pain and promote relaxation so that biofeedback techniques could then be more effective for long term results. During our seminars Adam gives a brief introduction to electromedicine and does a quick demonstration. Because time is limited and there is lots of biofeedback information to cover during the seminars he is not able to get into detail about the history, how it works, how to use it, and the many conditions it can be used for. This DVD set does a very thorough job of this.

If you don’t already have electromedicine equipment this program will show you why you might want to add it to your practice. If you already have electromedicine equipment, this DVD is a must. It will help you get the most out of your equipment. I have known about electromedicine for many years but I learned many new things from this program.

Here is a breakdown of the program:

DVD 1: (1:34:00)

Chapter One: A Brief History of Microcurrent Electrical Therapy – Pierre L. LeRoy,MD, FACS (15:00)

Chapter Two: Contemporary Theories of Electromedicine: Emerging Paradigms of Biophysics – Daniel L. Kirsch, Ph.D DAAPM (47:00)

Chapter Three: Central Sensitivity Syndrome: Treating Migraines Without Medication – Michael Singer, DDS, FACP (31:00)

DVD 2: (1:119:34)

Chapter Four: Basic Protocols for Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET) – Daniel L. Kirsch, Ph.D, DAAPM (1:119:34)

DVD 3: (1:37:57)

Chapter Five: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation for Pain and Stress Related Disorders – Daniel L. Kirsch, PhD., DAAPM (1:00:30)

Chapter Six: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation in Psychiatry – Rose Marie Pitt, MD, MPH

DVD 4: (1:55:00)

Chapter Seven: Fibromyalgia and Headaches: The Role of Microelectric Current – Howard Rosen, MD (22:37)

Chapter Eight: Electromedicine: The Other side of Treating Pain – Michael Perry, CRNA, Ph.D (30:18)

Chapter Nine: Animal Pain and the Human-Animal Bond – Ava Frick, DVM (30:10)

Chapter Ten: Psychological Uses of Electromedicine: Electromedical Protocols and Cases in Psychology – Steve Mann, Ph.D, DAAPM


IV. The Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society’s Spring Conference 2005

NRBS Spring Conference 2005
Sponsored by Biofeedback Resources International
Sunday, May 1, 2005
9:00am to 3:30pm

Elise Stettner, PT, MPS, BCIAC, BCIAC- PMDB
“Biofeedback Treatment of Elimination Disorders”

Ms Stettner is a Physical Therapist with 14 years experience in using biofeedback to treat elimination disorders. She will cover anatomy, evaluation, and treatment of urinary and fecal problems. Problems presented will relate to muscular function. Case examples will be presented. Various products and the use of home trainers will be discussed. Ethical and infection control issues will also be covered.

Ray Pavlov, MD, PhD, ND &Nicolina Pavlov PhD
“New Developments in Neurofeedback”

Drs. Ray and Nicolina Pavlov are owners of ALTER-ABC, Inc in Canada which specializes in neurofeedback and biofeedback training and education. The company is a licensed educational facility in Applied Electrophysiology for healthcare professionals and the public. Both are experienced speakers and promoters of self-regulation and homeostasis through neuronal potentiation.
Kirtley E. Thornton, PhD

“The quantitative EEG Activation (qEEG) Approach:
A Neuroscience Breakthrough for LD, ADHD, TBI”

Dr. Thornton will employ a powerpoint slide presentation to discuss the relative benefits (in comparison to other presently employed psychoeducational and cognitive rehabilitation interventions and EEG biofeedback interventions) of the activation qEEG database approach to learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. The presentation will also address the overlap between learning disabilities and emotional problems. The diagnostic and treatment approach will be presented in concept and in individual cases.

6 CEU’s


NYPH-WeillCornell Westchester
Staff Annex 2
21 Bloomingdale Rd
White Plains, NY

NRBS Members- FREE
Non-members- $45
Lunch included

By Train from NYC: Harlem Division of Metro North from Grand Central to White Plains. Take taxi to hospital.

By Car: Take I-87 or I- 95 to I-287 Proceed on I-287 to Exit 8W. Stay to your left on the ramp. Turn left onto Rte 119 (Westchester Ave). Continue straight and then turn left (Nordstrom’s will be on your right) onto Bloomingdale Rd. Turn left again at next light into hospital entrance. Follow signs to Staff Annex 2. (Call (516)521-4339 on day of conference if further directions are needed.)

* Doors Open at 8:30 AM for Sign-In

================= registration form =================
* NRBS members – e-mail your name and phone # to:

* If not a member, complete this form and send with a $45 check made payable to NRBS to:

Amy Rubin-Morey 175 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 213 Syosset, NY 11791

Name: _________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________


Phone: ________________________________________________________


Sign up for NRBS Membership by downloading our Application Form from the webite:


V. A Reminder:
Our new company is BioFeedBack Resources International Corporation. If you were an American Biotec Corporation customer, you can enjoy the same quality products, training, and service from the same team at BRI.

* Since 1971 our team has led in providing high quality, low prices, and outstanding support to the U.S. and international biofeedback community. We also offer supplies, software, free and paid online training, consulting, and mentoring services in person or over the phone or Internet including video conferencing.

* Biofeedback and EEG/Neurofeedback Equipment and BCIA Certification Training


* Harry Campbell, BPS, BCIA, President of Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society

* Adam Crane, BCIA – Senior Fellow, BCIA EEG

Phone: 877-669-6463 / 914-762-4646

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