It’s interesting that Dr Vad recommends anyone in pain should avoid, or sharply reduce their intake of, dairy products. It’s not quite clear whether he does this because of the tendency of dairy products to increase cholesterol levels in the blood and promote weight gain, or because he thinks they are pro-inflammatory. He considers pain to be closely linked to inflammation, and inflammation to be exacerbated or even triggered by eating a poor diet full of processed and fast food, so maybe he considers dairy products as part of that. If one starts to delve into what cows are fed on, and the antibiotics and other drugs that are often pumped into them, milk seems less and less a ‘natural’ food, even for calves, let alone people. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), dairy products are considered to exacerbate any tendency to ‘Dampness’, the over retention and stagnation of body fluids, manifesting for instance as swelling and oedema, and as being overweight or obese. So anyone in pain from a swollen and puffy joint, particularly if this is exacerbated by them being overweight, would certainly benefit from cutting down on dairy products. (People are often concerned about not getting enough calcium if they cut down on dairy, but there are plenty of other places to get calcium from; and it is worth remembering that the country with the highest rate of osteoporosis, a bone disease linked with calcium deficiency, is the country with the highest consumption of dairy products – the USA.)
If dairy products might be pro-inflammatory, there are according to Dr Vad a number of herbs and supplements which are anti-inflammatory, and he recommends using these before having recourse to pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory medicines (like diclofenac and ibuprofen) because of the side effects of the latter. There is good evidence that ginger, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties. In TCM ginger is considered to promote the circulation of Qi, and since pain is nothing other than the failure of Qi to be moving freely, it makes sense to use ginger for pain relief, especially perhaps for the kind of arthritis which feels worse in cold wet weather, since ginger is also a warming substance.
Anyway, if you suffer from chronic pain, you could do worse that have a look at Dr Vad’s book. For a pain specialist he doesn’t seem to know too much about acupuncture, but no one is perfect!