Pain Management: A Crucial Part Of Wellness

2 December 2019

5 Questions With Stephanie Kimber Lac., Manager of Oriental Medicine Programs, OneSpaWorld

As those who suffer from chronic pain know well, pain doesn’t take a vacation even when we do. Thankfully, these days hotel and cruise ship spas are well versed in creating pain management solutions for travelers aimed at helping them enjoy every last moment (and activity) of their trip. We spoke with Stephanie Kimber Lac., Manager of Oriental Medicine Programs at OneSpaWorld to learn more about the intersection of spa treatment and pain management. “Typically we do not value our health until we lose it which is truly unfortunate,” she says. “We encourage our patients to prioritize their health as the foundation of their life.”


What spurred the idea to bring pain management into the conversation with spa-goers? Was it something travelers requested or just something therapists saw becoming more prevalent?

Twenty percent of people in the world suffer from chronic pain. That is a large segment of the population. Most people go to spas to feel better, so we wanted to provide them with treatment modalities that would help them relax. Pain is so debilitating; we wanted to provide drug-free pain relief options in an environment that promotes wellness and relaxation. 


People are more and more open to non-invasive and alternative therapies when it comes to pain management. What are some of the most helpful and/or popular therapies you offer?

 Acupuncture, herbal remedies, and massage are our best treatments for pain within the spa. People are seeking alternative treatments because the drugs that are being recommended for pain often have side effects or are addictive. Although we never position ourselves as an alternative, we do describe our treatments as complementary to whatever treatment patients are currently using to treat pain. A combined approach can provide faster healing, symptomatic relief, and better results.  On vacation, people want to enjoy themselves. It is impossible to do this if you are in pain. For this reason we provide them with treatments that can help them enjoy their vacation pain-free.


How have visitors responded to the offerings and how have you seen it improve their vacations?

We have seen incredible results. Healing happens faster when on vacation because it is easier to relax. Acupuncture started on cruise ships in 2004. It has become an industry standard in the onboard spas because of the positive feedback. Taking a vacation from your pain can be a very profound experience. We have even had passengers contact us to find out where a specific acupuncturist is so that they can plan their next vacation around that practitioner, as it made such a difference on their last vacation.


What are the most common complaints when it comes to pain?

Some examples include but are not limited to back pain, sciatica, knee pain, peripheral nephropathy, shoulder pain, headache, tennis elbow, rheumatoid arthritis, and TMJ. We encourage our patients to be proactive with their health. If they are unwell or in pain, we want them to try acupuncture, herbs and massage to see if it will make a difference with their health concern. If it does help, they have discovered a safe, natural way to treat or manage their condition. Health is the most important thing we have and we try and motivate our patients to take better care of their bodies so that they can enjoy their lives more.

For more information on wellness therapies, click here.

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