When Brenden Cochran entered middle school at the age of twelve he had a devastating setback, losing his father to melanoma skin cancer. Struck with sadness he searched his soul to find his inner healer. As he grew older he felt a true calling to help people. This calling first brought him to the University of Washington in pursuit of medical school, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry.
He went on to receive his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the four year accredited Naturopathic Medical School at Bastyr University, with training focused in prevention and promotion of wellness in a primary care setting. After graduating he co-founded Interactive Health Clinic PLLC., a family practice that integrates the roots of ancient medicine with the philosophies of modern medicine – with the goal of promoting health. He specializes in pain, integrative oncology, chronic disease management and intravenous therapies.
In addition, he is a Professor of Anatomy and Physiology to students training to become nurses at Everett Community College. He also teaches at Bastyr University, with a focus on Advanced IV Therapy and lectures for International IV Therapy for Professionals. He is an instructor of Neural Therapy and Neural Prolotherapy to doctors around the world. He also served as the medical fellow/director of intravenous therapy at the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center (BIORC), Bastyr University’s cancer research center.
We had the opportunity to talk with him recently about the current and future practice of pain management.
KCP - How did you get interested in the area of pain management?
BC - Pain is such a broad area that affects everyone at some point in their life. It often encompasses and defines a person. I am dedicated to discovering therapies that allow people to function. It is very rewarding to see a person get out of pain. I myself have had my own pain obstacles as well and understand the daily challenges it creates in people’s lives.
KCP - How has our understanding of pain changed over the last 10-20 years?
BC - Pain seems to be an industry that keeps growing because everyone has it. For years we have focused on immediate ways to stop pain versus ways to fix the issues causing pain. So many times I still see so many unnecessary treatments still being used such as unnecessary surgeries, over-medicating people or steroid injections. Most of these therapies are very reductionistic. It has swung from purely structural to mostly mental. We are trying to find the “one shot wonder.” They miss the dynamics of a multidimensional approach to support the bodies mechanisms to heal. It is fascinating to apply old theories about pain with new treatment strategies but keeping the focus of whole person treatments as the focus.
KCP - What are the basic approaches available today for the management of chronic pain?
BC - Most commonly the approaches we see today in pain management is surgery, drugs, steroid injections, physical therapy or it is in your head. They aren’t all bad approaches, just sometimes used inappropriately like any therapy.
KCP - What new pain management therapies do you see on the horizon?
BC - I think much of what we are moving toward is what therapies can utilize the body’s capabilities to heal tissues, balancing the applications of mind body medicine, with nutrition and injection/surgical repairs that focus on long term outcomes. There are multiple new avenues of procedures with nutrients, chemicals such as cannabinoids, supportive injection that we will talk about and stem cells.
KCP - You also are a specialist in the areas of integrative oncology. Could you tell us about your work in that area?
BC - I do see many patients in integrative oncology as well. I spent time working alongside Paul Anderson and Leanna Standish at Bastyr’s Integrative Oncology Research Center as an Intravenous Nutrient director. I continue to collaborate with them on pioneering therapies for oncology needs both supporting patients through side effects of their treatments or improving their overall outcomes in my own private practice. These patients need our support, most of them are so overwhelmed and most are forgotten in the busy large practice establishments that they need someone to monitor basic care, think outside the box and consider all possible options that can get the through this situation. I and so many have lost loved ones to this terrible condition and make it a personal mission to be a pioneer in this area.