Continuing my earlier blog 30 Plus Natural Ways to Relieve Pain written in July 04 2015…
- Yoga or Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga, warm ups, specific yoga asanas and micro-movements in yoga are extremely beneficial for knee, joint, neck, back, carpel tunnel syndrome and other chronic pain conditions. However it is extremely important to inquire if certain movements increase or decrease the pain in order to select the right Yoga therapy. Pain can discourage us from movement. However stagnation and congestion due to lack of movement can increase toxin accumulation and pain in the body. Yoga provides tools that address various aspects of pain. Since yoga is a complete body, mind, spirit and sense integration practice, it teaches how to use the above as a resource for healing. One of the ways yoga shows how to unlearn pain and stress responses is to give the body and mind new, restorative and healthier responses to practice. Yoga looks closely in to every aspect of pain such as relaxation, stress reduction, strong emotions, negative thought pattern and belief system that cause pain. For example Cobra can assist in reliving back pain, butterfly pose for hip pain, well supported wall plank can relieve elbow and shoulder pain. It is best to go to a Yoga teacher who will observe, create the right sequences and personalize your yoga practice to relieve pain. Restorative yoga is extremely helpful to ‘unlearn’ chronic pain and stress. This yoga turns the healing response of the body on by combining gentle or supported yoga poses with conscious breathing. A restorative yoga pose is held for longer than few breaths (stay even 10 minutes in that pose) and it uses props such as couch, pillows, blankets, towels, or bolsters. The right support makes restorative yoga effortless and your body is then completely able to let go.
- Pranayama: Breathing exercise strengthens the flow of Prana or vital energy in the body and brings about relaxation in the whole body. Try using Pranayama by directing the flow of breath right at the point where there is a sensation of pain. Imagine the breath or prana is dissolving the tension, stress and pain in that area. Using breath and visualization technique you will strengthen the body part in pain and relax the muscles and tissues in that same area.
- Grounding/Earthing: Grounding or Earthing is placing one’s bare feet on the ground (grass, natural soil, sand etc.). When you ground yourself or walk barefoot on earth the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system in balanced by the electron rich earth. This experience of grounding appears to lessen the concerns of exposure to potentially disruptive fields like “electromagnetic pollution.” Some research indicates that electrons from the earth (when standing barefoot on the earth) have antioxidant effect on the body. The antioxidants can protect the body from inflammation. According to Dr. Mercola, “It is known that mother earth contains negative electrical potential and when you are in direct contact with her, the earth’s electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it at the same electrical potential as the earth. Living in direct contact with the earth grounds your body, inducing favorable physiological and electrophysiological changes that promote optimum health.”
- Massage: Warm herbal oil massage in Ayurveda provides a deep soothing and balancing effect on the body and physiology. The motion of massage can create heat and friction which in turn enhances circulation and help cleanse affected tissues of chemical impurities or toxins. These accumulations of chemicals or toxins are the main reason behind chronic pain. Massage can release these toxins easily and reduce pain in the body.Kati basti is a popular Ayurvedic herbal oil massage that reduces back pain.
- Meditation: When pain is caused due to stress, emotions or memories it is best to use meditation rather than medication for pain relief. Hypnosis, meditation and relaxation – all of these can reduce pain. Many therapists use these techniques to understand the mind-body connection. Meditation uses the awareness technique to help quiet the mind, be in peace within the moment and relax the body. Using mantra or focusing on thoughts and sensations meditation can truly help in reducing pain. Meditation is also known to increase pain tolerance levels, improve self-esteem and mood as well as reduce anxiety and depression. Therefore resistance towards emotional pain is strengthened through meditation. Meditation has been used in a variety of chronic pain conditions such as headache, low back ache, chest pain and nervous digestive imbalances.
- Hypnosis or Change inner thoughts: Hypnosis is known to relieve a person from both acute and chronic pain such as cancer, arthritis, anxiety etc. During hypnosis the conscious part of the brain is temporarily tuned out and the person can focus on letting go, relaxation as well as changing their inner thoughts (destructive thought replaced by positive thoughts). This is possible during hypnosis as the mind relaxes it is open to positive suggestions and cultivating inner positivity.
- Water: The best way to keep pain away and maintain a great everyday health is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. This flushes toxins and waste out of the body and keeps the body in balance. Slightly warm water or room temperature water (especially for Kapha and Vata dosha dominant individual) is preferable. Also drinking small sips of water throughout the day is best. After yoga therapy or massage to reduce pain, it is essential to drink water to flush the toxins out of the body. Note that dehydration or low water intake increases histamine in the body and histamine acts as a pain messenger. If pain is due to accumulation of taste matter in the body (resulted from poor dietary habits) or stress, nervous tension and anxiety – then water is the best cure to reduce pain.
- Certain foods: Vata pacifying warming foods are amazing for pain relief. Cook nourishing and vata pacifying foods that is warm, lightly spicy, and moist. Cooking even fruits such as plum, pear, apple etc. are beneficial. On the other hand, know when to avoid dairy (allergy or intolerances), refined sugars, processed grain products, alcohol and vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, cotton seed oil, and hydrogenated oil) each of which is difficult for the body to digest. Instead, nclude avocado, olive oil, pastured eggs, fatty fish, squashes and blueberries. Avoid gluten containing grains if you have Crohn’s or Colitis.
- Enzymes: Bromelain (from pineapple) taken therapeutically reduces inflammation, prevents edema and enhances wound healing. It is taken to aid digestion and reduce pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Amino Acids: Dietary protein such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, leafy greens, nuts, seeds etc. are a matrix of amino acids. All of these foods vary widely in amino acid make-up. Amino acid is a nitrogen molecule attached to hydrogen. The body needs amino acids as they are the building blocks of muscles, bones and hormones as well as producing pain modulating neurotransmitters (endorphin, GABA and serotonin). Endorphin has analgesic effect on the body and serotonin can reduce pain from fibromyalgia and migraine. Muscle wasting is also another cause of chronic pain which can be avoided by incorporating protein in our diet (eggs, salmon, beef, sprouts, nuts and seeds).
30 Plus Natural Ways to Relieve Pain – Part 3
If you are in Canada or USA – you can order from Conscious Health shop the pain relief ointment that I have made. You can check out product details, availability, price and reviews here.
This is my personal creation that I created for my parents, then my friends, extended family as well as my clients.
All natural pain relief formula for tired, achy muscle, tendons and headaches. Contains Ayurvedic herbs and essential oils. A nourishing and strengthening ointment with analgesic qualities, it is used to soothe sore muscles and tendons, flexible joints as well as support an active lifestyle. Apply under your feet and effected area.
Temporarily relieves minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with:
Simple backache – sprains, arthritis, strains, bruises, cramps and headaches.