At FAM, other than the Fully Alive Breathe Easy Program, i.e. treatment for respiratory disease, our primary medical service is evaluating and treating patients suffering with chronic physical and/or emotional pain with cannabis and holistic medicine. These conditions include (but are not limited to): arthritis, migraine, musculoskeletal pain (especially back, neck, knees, shoulders, and hips), fibromyalgia, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, neuropathy, shingles, menstrual pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Chronic pain is an epidemic afflicting more than 100 million Americans. Defined as pain lasting longer than three months the primary treatment for chronic pain is opioids. In 2015, 35% of American adults were prescribed opioids. And in 2016, there were more than 120 deaths/day (over 42,000), resulting from opioid overdose. This death toll continued to increase in 2017 causing the President to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency in October 2017.
Recent studies have concluded that:
- Cannabis is effective for pain relief and for opioid withdrawal.
- There are no deaths directly attributable to cannabis.
- Opioids are no more effective for treating chronic pain than acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- In states with legal MMJ there were 25% fewer opioid-related deaths.
- Opioid overdose cases at hospitals in states with legal MMJ dropped by 23%.
- A nationwide MMJ program would save taxpayers about $1.6 billion on Medicare and Medicaid Rx’s annually (this includes opioids, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds). This estimate does not include private insurance which would increase cost-savings even more.
From almost any perspective – safety, efficacy, and cost-savings – it makes perfect sense for cannabis to become the medicine of choice for treating chronic pain.
At FAM, and in his book, Cannabis for Chronic Pain, Dr. Rav is establishing the standard of care for the appropriate use of cannabis for treating chronic pain. Based on his experience with more than 9000 chronic pain patients using medical marijuana to relieve their suffering, he guides patients in choosing the most effective cannabis products and best methods of consumption for their specific chronic pain condition.
Appointments for Medical Marijuana Evaluations (MME) for both new patients and renewals are 30 minutes, in-person (since the pandemic began in March 2020, all appointments have been via telephone). Cannabis Consultations (CC) for patients seeking advice on the most effective use of cannabis for their condition (without needing an MMJ license) are 30 minutes, either in-person or phone.
Dr. Rav also offers extended sessions (1 – 2 hours) for any chronic pain patient interested in healing beyond temporary pain relief. In the Extended Cannabis Consultations (ECC) you’ll learn to practice Fully Alive Medicine on yourself, encompassing the use of cannabis along with a comprehensive holistic treatment program to identify and treat each of the underlying causes of pain and dis-ease.
To obtain the best results from the ECCs, it is recommended, but not required, that the treatment program be presented over a period of 3 to 6 months, with a minimum of 4 sessions. These can be done in-person or phone consultations. This life-changing approach is not for everyone. It includes dietary change, vitamins and supplements, exercise, and energy healing (Healing Touch, Reiki, or Acupuncture); in addition to mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health practices.
The self-care practice of FAM can result in significant long-term pain reduction and potential cure of your chronic pain condition. As long as you’re willing to devote the time, exercise self-discipline, and make the commitment to address the multiple causes of your pain, then you have an excellent chance for success.