As a former massage therapist, I’ve seen my share of acute and chronic pain. That’s why I’m thrilled to share, Free yourself from pain—12 naturally innovative solutions.
Working with the acute pain clients was pretty easy, we built a rapport quickly, and they usually got better fast. It was those suffering from chronic pain that gave new purpose to my career.
When they’d come in for a first appointment, their faces would be cloaked in a mix of angst, grief, and skepticism…their light was dim. Then, after the first treatment it was like a dark cloud lifted from their entire body. They looked younger, brighter, happy—I could see who they really were, and they could see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve dealt with chronic pain throughout my life. It was after many serious car accidents as a young child, that I found chiropractic and massage. While most teenagers were going to the mall to buy clothes, I would save up my money to get an hour long back massage.
The reason I did not include chiropractic, massage, osteopathy, or acupuncture on the list below is because they’re a given…an integral part of the foundation for health.
Toward the end of my massage career, I experienced the most debilitating pain known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It’s like carpal tunnel for the arms. UGH. So I know how draining, depressing, isolating, scary, lethargic, and hopeless pain can make a person feel.
The unfortunate thing about pain is the limited solutions modern allopathic medicine has to offer. Like I’ve said before, I am not anti-conventional medicine, but in this area, expertise and long-term, harm-free solutions are sorely lacking. Did you know that a very small percentage of medical doctors are actually trained in the handling chronic pain, including how to properly prescribe prescription painkillers? And that prescription opioiod painkillers are the #1 cause of overdose death in America?
There has got to be a better way. And may I just say, the majority of the medical field needs to step it up!
I’m excited to share with you these 12 naturally innovative solutions to acute and chronic pain. I hope they will inspire you, even if you have given up hope, to try them out. They are side-effect-free, inexpensive, and easy-to-find.
1. Guided imagery/self hypnosis—I put this one first for a reason. If you’re in serious pain, even getting out of the house to do something about it can be a huge undertaking. You can practice guided imagery from your own bed if you have to, it’s like a form of deeply relaxing self-hypnosis. Check out Dr. Marty Rossman’s site, thehealingmind.org for a variety of resources.
2. Systemic Enzymes—Enzymes play a critical role in our bodies, contributing to everything from digestion to inflammation. As we get older, our enzyme levels decrease and supplementation can be helpful.
Popular in Europe, systemic enzymes help the body manage inflammation when taken on an empty stomach. The best quality enzymes can be found through holistic practitioners. To locate a rock star practitioner near you, contact Energetix.
3. Arnica—Arnica comes from a flower and is a powerful pain reliever when used topically in a gel, or taken orally as a homeopathic. We keep a tube of arnica gel around the house for bumps and bruises, sore muscles, tired feet, you name it.
I have personally taken homeopathic arnica for everything from a bike accident to post-labor recovery…it’s AMAZING stuff. Try it, NOW!
4. Alkaline diet—Also known as the acid/alkaline diet, the premise is that certain foods have an acidic effect on the body, while others have an alkalizing effect. It is believed that humans were originally designed to consume an alkaline diet, like hunter gatherer societies, yet modern man consumes a very acidic diet which leads to disease. An alkaline diet has been proven to help everything from bone health, to muscle mass, to low back pain.
5. Turmeric—We’ve talked about turmeric before in our post on liver cleansing, but it is best known and researched for its effectiveness as a natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatory. This is due to the compound, curcumin.
Want proof? Click this link to pubmed.com, and prepare to spend HOURS in awe of the research.
6. Egoscue exercises—I’m always surprised how many people don’t know about this incredible resource—I’ve seen it work miracle after miracle.
Egoscue focuses on correcting postural issues to restore health to the entire body. An egoscue therapist will perform a postural analysis and recommend a program of exercises called “e-cises”. Most people feel results within one session. Check out: egoscue.com to learn more and find a local clinic.
7. Magnesium—Magnesium allows the muscles to relax, if there’s a deficiency pain can follow. Unfortunately many of us are deficient because we just don’t eat a lot of magnesium-rich foods, such as leafy greens and legumes.
Unless you’re ready to go on a magnesium-binge diet, supplementation may be the answer. Check with your healthcare practitioner regarding appropriate dosage for your unique needs.
Also, check out this article from Psychology Today about how Magnesium has been proven to help nerve pain and migraines too.
8. Vitamin C—In the light of the latest and greatest natural “cures”, good old vitamin C is often left in the dark…forgotten, like last season’s UGGs®.
But this powerful antioxidant nutrient protects and nourishes bones, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and connective tissue. Ironically, there is less vitamin C in our fruits and vegetables then there was fifty years ago…which may explain A LOT. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive and a good bet for helping reduce pain.
9. Laugh hard. Laugh often!—Nothing gets those healing, feel good endorphins going like a good laugh. Laughter’s been prescribed for everything from stress, to cancer, to increase immunity. And now science has proven it helps decrease pain. For more info have a look at our previous post, Is laughter the best medicine?
10. Gluten-free diet—The gluten-free diet was originally created for patients suffering from celiac disease. However, beyond gut health and trendy dieting, gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation throughout the entire body. For many, cutting out gluten can be a new lease on life. Try it for a week, you may be pleasantly surprised.
For more on gluten-free living, including recipes visit: livingwithout.com
11. Pilates—My sister Teryl is a personal trainer and runs a spa and fitness center. One of their biggest draws to the fitness facilities is their Pilates program.
Now, they are located in small town North Georgia…not exactly hot and trendy Pilates territory. So why is their program so successful? They have had amazing results helping people with chronic pain. I’m talking about people who came in barely able to stand upright. You need the right instructor and the right equipment, but call around…you could be living pain-free with a hot bod in no time.
12. Reiki—Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation which also promotes healing. While there is no guarantee on results – the potential for healing through this self-guided healing energy is limitless. You can learn more about it through my teacher Michal Spiegelman. I will be writing much more on the topic in months to come.
We’re done already?! May I just say that it was really, REALLY hard to pick just 12 solutions? We may have to do a follow-up piece…12 MORE fresh innovative solutions for pain. That is proof in itself that there are heaps of evidence-based, attainable solutions out there besides pain pills and surgery.
I encourage you to reach out to anyone you know who may be suffering from acute or chronic pain and share this post like crazy. If it gives hope and changes the life of one person it would be a blessing; if it reaches hundreds it could start a movement. Imagine a world with less pain…
just for the health of it!