Alternative and complementary therapis

Chronic pain

Active Release Techniques (ART®)

Ottawa Chiropractic Health Clinic

This informative page provides an overview of ART®, a patented massage technique practiced by chiropractors.

Ergothérapie et maux de dos en milieux de travail [Occupational therapy and back pain in the workplace; available in French only]

Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec

Taking four workers as a concrete example, this document illustrates how occupational therapy can be used in the treatment of back pain.

La neurostimulation pour soulager la douleur chronique [Neurostimulation for chronic pain relief; available in French only]

Montreal Neurological Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Neurostimulation involves implanting a device under the skin that delivers electrical signals to the brain, blocking the pain signal. This information is intended for patients and their families.

Le traitement neural des douleurs chroniques [Nervous system manipulation for the treatment of chronic pain; available in French only]

La Revue de l’Ostéopathie

This article traces the history of osteopathic techniques for the treatment of pain.

Maux de dos: en guerre contre la douleur [Back pain: at war with pain; available in French only]

Émission “Une pilule, une petite granule”, Télé-Québec [“One pill, one small granule” program, Télé-Québec television network]

In 2010, the program told the story of Catherine, who struggles with chronic back pain. In her case, alternative methods, in particular chiropractic treatment, improved her comfort level significantly.

Mindfulness meditation workshops (available in French only)

Université de Montréal

Developed by the Université de Montréal, this series of 12 workshops teaches participants how to practice mindfulness meditation and is presented in the form of video clips. This type of meditation is intended to reduce stress or regulate emotions. The workshops are presented by Professor of Psychiatry Hugues Cormier.

NADA protocol (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association)

The NADA protocol is a five-point ear acupuncture protocol. While initially developed to treat addiction, it is now used as a complementary therapy in various fields, including pain management, behavioural health and cancer treatment.

Relaxation and meditation exercises

Passeport Santé [Health passport]

This site proposes a number of relaxation and meditation exercises, presented as audio clips.

Stratégies d’intervention pour aider efficacement les personnes souffrant de douleur chronique [Strategies to effectively help people suffering from chronic pain; available in French only]

Presentation at CRAN on January 28, 2016 by Frédérick Dionne, Ph.D., Psychologist and Professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR)

This practical booklet presents the main characteristics of cognitive and behavioural therapy (CBT) and, more specifically, acceptance and commitment therapy. The goal of the approach is to help the patient to accept pain in his life, enabling him to resume his daily activities. ACT does not relieve symptoms directly, but instead works on improving the patient’s quality of life.


The booklet, which is intended for both patients and care providers, contains slides from the presentation and spaces for notes. At the end, there are suggestions for guided meditations available online that can be accessed directly by clicking on the links. The themes are as follows:

  • Five-minute focus on breathing
  • Bring awareness to your breathing, encompassing the whole body
  • Reconnect with your body by doing a body scan
  • Learn from pain from the perspective of the wise observer
  • Leaves on the river
  • Take a break with “the breath space”



Studies on the effects of acupuncture on pain

Cochrane Review

The Cochrane Review, which gathers and summarizes evidence from hundreds of scientific studies, has thoroughly reviewed the evidence on the effects of acupuncture on pain.

Treating Chronic Pain Without Opioids

Beth Darnall, Providers’ Clinical Support System (PCSS) Monthly Update, July 2015

In this article, the author explains that approaches other than drug therapy can be used to manage chronic pain, insisting on the fact that less medication equals fewer risks. The author also stresses that, to reduce widespread reliance on medications, it is important to recognize the essential role of psychology and that patients can harness the power of their nervous system to lessen suffering. Physical exercise is one of the best treatments for chronic pain. Patients should get a physical therapy evaluation and begin a program that is appropriate for their level.

What is mindfulness meditation?

ECSA (European Community Studies Association) – Faculty of Psychology (Belgium). French-language site on mindfulness in psychotherapy

This Belgian site presents the indications and contraindications for this type of meditation, its psychological benefits, its practice and false beliefs associated with it.

Yoga and chronic pain

Annie Courtecuisse, a yoga teacher who specializes in yoga for older adults, has published a practical guide to tell people who suffer from chronic pain about yoga.

“Acupuncture May Be Helpful for Chronic Pain”

National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

An NCCIH study published in 2012 provides evidence that acupuncture may be helpful for chronic pain, taking the placebo effect of the treatment into account.

“Gérer sa douleur au travail” [How to manage your pain at work; available in French only]

Association québécoise de la douleur chronique (AQDC)

How can an occupational therapist help a patient manage his pain in everyday life? How can his workplace be modified to reduce his pain? This article addresses the topic.

“Les psychothérapies” [Psychotherapy; available in French only]

Association québécoise de la douleur chronique (AQDC)

This article, which provides a fine summary of the topic, explains how the different types of psychotherapy can help improve the day-to-day quality of life of people living with chronic pain. The article also gives pointers to help the patient choose the type of therapist he needs.

Opioid use disorders

Acupuncture services at CRAN

CRAN’s Regular Services include acupuncture for users undergoing treatment. This free service is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the 5th floor. To find out more, call 514 527-6939 or write to .

Benefits of psychosocial treatment during opioid detoxification

Cochrane Review

In this article, the authors review the scientific literature on psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for opioid detoxification and conclude that benefits are observed when the two approaches are combined.