One-quarter of Americans are in pain daily, according to the journal The Lancet. That’s a lot of hurt, but today there are more practitioners than ever to help you find relief. While there’s no one magic bullet that erases pain across the spectrum, the rise of alternative and holistic medicine has made drug-free therapies more available and reliable. Some therapies on this list are so tried and true that they are routinely covered by insurance; others are less established and more expensive, though many practitioners provide service on a sliding fee scale according to a patient’s resources. What works for someone else might not work for you, but each of these 10 types of specialists is worth seeking out if you are one of the millions of Americans for whom pain is a fact of life.
1. Massage Therapists
Massage therapists use touch to ease tension and relieve the aches and pains that come from stress, injury, and physical exertion as well as chronic conditions including fibromyalgia. You want to find a practitioner who is licensed in your state and has been certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work. There are many styles of body work—from widely offered massage varieties, like Swedish and Shiatsu, to more specialized practices, like Reiki—and you may need to experiment with the different modalities until you find the treatment that works for you.
How to find one: Get a referral from the American Massage Therapy Association. While not all states require a license to practice massage, municipalities and counties often set regulations. The AMTA recommends asking massage therapists if they are licensed or otherwise meet requirements to practice in your area.