Keeping Pain Relief Safe & Healthy: 5 Natural Pain Relief Options We Love

06/21/2016

Keeping Pain Relief Safe & Healthy: 5 Natural Pain Relief Options We Love

 

Thank goodness for natural pain-relief solutions that work, because the old, outdated ways just don’t cut it anymore (aka pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs). We all know the drill. It hurts a lot. It’s unbearably uncomfortable. And it’s not going away. We go to the doctor. Get prescription or over-the-counter pain meds. And then we have to deal with the consequences, the huge negative impact that, ironically, come from drugs designed to ease the pain. Detrimental side effects of pain meds include drowsiness, ulcers, liver issues and pain-med addiction. Yikes!

Luckily, the all-natural pain relief trend is here, and Western medicine has embraced it, thanks to positive results for patients and research supporting natural pain relief, especially for chronic pain.

Leading the way with healthy pain relief are integrated approaches such as acupuncture, acupressure, massage, yoga, hot and cold treatment therapy, exercise, nutrition, meditation, essential oils, aromatherapy, herbal remedy care, chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Let’s take a look at five of our at-home, natural pain-relief favorites. They’re straightforward and affordable and let you breathe easy because they offer impressive results while keeping you and your family safe and healthy.

  • Heat treatment– Obviously we’re a fan of heat because of our heat packs! Here’s why: Heat gets your blood vessels to dilate, which increases circulation, which relaxes muscles, bringing you the pain relief that can help sore and tense muscles, arthritis, painful joints and muscle spasms. Heat also brings in the fluids that help your body heal, like white blood cells. So, if you’re feeling tense and have one of those painful tight balls of muscle in the crick of your neck, for example, a heating pack can get it to relax, usually more quickly than a massage! All-natural heating pads filled with flowers, herbs, and grains – think peppermint and lavender – also provide a soothing aroma that enhances the calming effect of the heat, providing even more painful-tension relief. Safe for the whole family, heat packs are also nice at bedtime to help you ease into a deeper sleep. Simply heat in the microwave and leave on as needed.
  • Cold therapy – Another obvious favorite here is cold treatment, which works wonders for acute pain and injuries that involve swelling, such as sprains and strains or even sunburns and bruises. Swelling causes pain by putting pressure on nerves. Cold therapy works by numbing the pain and causing blood vessels to constrict, which decreases fluid and, therefore, swelling. Put an all-natural cold pack in the freezer then apply for five to 15 minutes every few hours. Pain relief starts quickly, within minutes. Keep your pack in the freezer so it’s ready when you need it.
  • Exercise – Like heat therapy, exercise eases pain and heals by increasing blood flow. Blood brings in oxygen, nutrients and healing white blood cells that relax tense or tired and sore muscles. Exercise may seem counterintuitive and sometimes causes discomfort, but the added nourishment it brings can aid healing in a specific area. For example, blood coming into the knee from walking nourishes worn-down knee cartilage and can help it rebuild. Exercise also builds muscle, strengthening and offering better support for the joints. This added support usually makes movement easier and more fluid along each joint’s intended pathway, thereby decreasing the risk of further injury and pain. Even a simple 20-minute walk each morning can help. In addition to increased blood flow and warm muscles, you get a comforting endorphin rush (aka hormones that reduce the sensation of pain), sure to make you go “Ahhhh!” Always check with your physician first, though!
  • Healthy nourishment – Since pain is often due to inflammation (aka swelling), imbibing food and drink with anti-inflammatory qualities is an easy way to all-natural pain relief. Foods with anti-inflammatory benefits include cherries, olive oil, ginger, and salmon. You can also sit down with your heating pad on your shoulders, listen to your favorite tunes and enjoy a cup of green tea. Green tea is an inflammation suppressor. Bask in the ritual and soothing aroma and flavor while you ease pain from arthritis, sports, tension headaches, stress and more.
  • Meditative balance — Like acupuncture, meditation helps energy flow smoothly and brings your body into balance. It also helps you take the focus off the pain, which can offer long-term relief, especially for chronic issues. Clinical research shows that mindfulness meditation can help stave off chronic pain 57 percent of the time, with practiced meditators enjoying up to 90-percent less pain. Meditation also calms the mind, which reduces stress, which can relieve physical discomfort caused by tension and anxiety. Sitting quietly, clearing your mind and focusing your breath for just five minutes a day can help! If it’s hard to sit still, try a walking meditation, where you clear your mind and focus on your breath while you walk.

*This article is meant for basic informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as medical advice, substitute for a doctor’s appointment or to be used for diagnosing or treating a disease. Users of this website are advised to consult with their physician before making any decisions concerning their health.

 

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