Natural Pain Relief
Natural Pain Relief
Pain can be debilitating and demoralising and sometimes we need to opt for a pharmaceutical pain-killer such as paracetamol or ibuprofen etc. But these can have significant side effects on your mood, sleeping patterns and digestion as your liver battles to break them down and rid the body of the toxins. I want to talk about two things in this post:
1) What is pain?
2) How can we combat pain naturally?
I'd love to know what you think in the comments below - have you found any of the suggested tips below or any other methods useful to combat pain?
What Is Pain?
Pain can be caused by many things, including:
- Physical trauma such as a cut, bruise or break.
- Repeated muscles use: Sometimes your body will create pain by holding tension unnecessarily. Clenching tension when stressed is a common cause of neck and shoulder pain. Taking painkillers will numb this pain but it won't tackle the problem and so this pain will continue, potentially creating an even worse situation.
- Inflammation: The body uses heat and swelling to create an environment where damage can be protected and healed and this generally will cause discomfort or pain.
- Emotional trauma or blocks: This is pain commonly felt as heart ache or nerves that make your stomach feel like it's being wrung out. Emotions are felt in the physical body and sometimes stressed emotions can cause physical pains in the same way that stressed muscles can.
- Nerve damage: This can cause pain that is being triggered by nerve pathways rather than by the point at which the pain is felt. Therefore the treatment should be to calm the nervous system.
- Heightened sensitivity: Your response to pain will affect how much pain you feel. A sense of panic will cause the awareness of pain to be heightened, as will being tired or unwell. Women often find that their sensitivity is increased during certain times in the cycle. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that your body is subjected to more pain, it means that your brain is interpreting pain as being more significant and less manageable.
Once you have identified the type of pain you have, it's useful to have some natural solutions up your sleeve to help reduce the effects of pain and also to tackle to the cause of the pain.
Combat Pain Naturally
There are many research studies that prove that exercise reduces back pain significantly but you need to make sure that you choose the right exercise. Yoga is great if you do it with awareness and ensure that you talk to your yoga teacher about what pains, injuries and physical issues you currently have so that you can be guided appropriately. I work with a model of movement therapy called Hannah Somatics which encourages you to take control of habitual patterned movement and build strength, mobility and flexibility through beneficial alignment. I have helped many people to recover from injuries, build strength and significantly reduce muscular pain through doing Hannah Somatics and Somatic Yoga. Contact me today if you would like to discuss whether I can help you.
Physical pain triggers pain response hormones to be released and these are linked to stress hormones. When you are in pain, your body is in a constant state of alert preventing you from switching from "fight or flight" mode into "rest and digest" mode. If your body is not able to rest then it's ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins is diminished. This causes a vicious cycle because tiredness and stress on your body causes more pain; more pain prevents body from recovering...
Having a meditation practice can help. You can meditate by simply sitting comfortably and bringing your attention to your breath. (Click here to read my previous blog with a few tips about Meditating) Alternatively, do something to take your mind away from the pain, allowing yourself to KNOW that you ARE OK, such as painting, writing, colouring, singing or listening to calming music. Let yourself be distracted in a way that brings you a sense of calm and peace and try to let yourself focus entirely on your activity. Watching TV is not really in this category! Sorry! Although it is distracting, which has it's short-term benefits, it's also very stimulating, so unless you're watching something that induces a deep sense of peace, such as watching an orchestra, I wouldn't recommend it under this particular heading!
Consuming anti-inflammatories can be very beneficial, depending on the cause of the pain. Here's a few useful natural anti-inflammatories:
- Turmeric - get fresh turmeric if you can. If not, ground turmeric is OK. Put in curries, add to rice, put in warm water with your favourite herbal tea and a little maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.
- Magnesium - a magnesium supplement can help with muscular aches and pains and can also help to aid sleep. Foods that are high in magnesium include spinach, almonds and raw cacao.
- Omega 3 - this can help with target the source of arthritic or joint pain and is found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel or algae or flax seed oil.
Essential Oils can help relieve pain. Not only by targeting and treating the cause, but also by affecting the brains response to the stress caused by being in pain. The power of smell can invoke a sense of calm, inducing the release of endorphins and other happy-making hormones that reduce the sensation of pain. Here's a few Essential Oils that are proven to help with pain relief. If you'd like more information about purchasing the best quality Essential Oils then please click here and get in touch as I am a proud advocate for doTERRA Essential Oils and would be happy to make sure you get the most relevant oils for your personal requirements.
- Frankincense / Boswellia - is proved to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lavender - acts as an anesthetic, reducing the sensation of pain. Also has a calming effect which helps to reduce panic that magnifies pain.
- Ginger - is a warming anti-inflammatory
- Eucalyptus and peppermint - act as an analgesic, helping muscles to relax. Great to inhale to relieve a head ache or neck pain.
- doTERRA Deep Blue Soothing Blend - this is a wonderful blend of oils which is great to apply to tired, strained or painful muscles. Not only does this blend provide immediate relief, it also acts on repairing damaged cells thus helping pain symptoms as well as the cause.
Natural Health Practitioners
Try visiting your natural health practitioner. I speak as a Systematic Kinesiologist, but talk for all natural health practitioners when I say that we can help with many problems that you think that no one can help you with! If you have any pain - identified or unidentified - we can help. If you don't already have a natural health practitioner then find an Acupuncturist, Homeopath or Systematic Kinesiologist. They will be able to identify what specific remedies and solutions will help your personal set of circumstances.
If you found this article interesting or useful then please leave your thoughts below in the Comments. Thank you x