7 Non-Invasive and Natural Pain Management Techniques
Pain takes a million different forms and can strike unexpectedly. While pain may have a purpose — alerting us to injury or warning us something isn’t functioning the way it should in our bodies — for many, pain can linger and severely reduce their life-quality. From a crick in the neck to unbearable aches in the knees, a recent study reveals over half the adult population in the UK are affected by some form of chronic pain — that’s around 28 million adults suffering every day. So what do you do when pain strikes?
For many of us, our first impulse is to reach for pain relief pills. But these seemingly harmless solutions come with a pretty long list of nasty side effects including dizziness, nausea, constipation and, of course, addiction. When we pop pills over a long period, we can also run the risk of experiencing hormonal dysfunction, digestive imbalance, fatal liver damage and kidney cancer. But the good news is there are hundreds of ways to treat your pain naturally.
In this post, we’ll show you our top seven ways to fight pain naturally — and there’s not a pill in sight!
1. Head to an Acupuncturist
It may seem nonsensical to stick pins all over your body when you’re in pain, (and more than one person has been put off by the idea of becoming a human pin cushion!), but it really shouldn’t deter you from trying acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years and is proven to heal and help with a whole host of pains and ailments.
Developed in China, acupuncture uses small (and painless) needles, inserted at key points — known as meridian points — around the body, to balance the “qi” or natural energy. The idea is, by stimulating these specific points, an acupuncturist redirects the qi to promote self-healing.
The effects of acupuncture are incredible. In a recent study, scientists revealed that the therapy helped to relieve pain by about 50%, by modulating the endorphin levels. Medical professionals and complementary therapists alike regularly recommend acupuncture for people suffering from pain — and is said to be particularly helpful with cases of chronic pain in the neck, back, and knee.
2. Tap into Your Health with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
If you’re a needlephobe and can’t bear the thought of acupuncture, don’t despair, Emotional Freedom Technique is a great pain-relief alternative. Similarly to acupuncture, Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, works with the energy meridians within the body. The difference? Rather than using small (and honestly painless) needles, EFT uses a tapping technique to rebalance the energy and provide instant pain relief.
As with acupuncture, EFT has been proven to help with a whole host of painful symptoms — physical, emotional and spiritual.
3. Add Turmeric to Your Food and Hot Drinks
Curcumin, or turmeric as its more commonly known, is widely used in Asian cuisine. You’ve no doubt seen this yellow powder in your local shops or maybe even added it to an Asian-inspired recipe. But did you know turmeric is a herbal powerhouse, scientifically proven to reduce pain?
From reducing cancerous tumours to easing inflammation linked to neurodegenerative, pulmonary, autoimmune, and cardiovascular diseases, recent studies have shown turmeric to be one of the most underestimated superfoods out there. But what makes turmeric such an effective pain reliever? Known as Indian saffron, turmeric contains a compound called curcumin — a great antioxidant that reduces inflammation by regulating cytokines, protein synthesis and enzymes linked to inflammation, pain and a whole host of diseases. And the best part? Turmeric is easy to include in your daily meals or hot drinks. Simply add a couple of teaspoons to food or mix into warm milk as part of a delicious, nutritious alternative Chai Latte.
4. Stimulate Your Blood Circulation with Therapeutic Massage
Flickering candlelight, opulently scented essential oils, and the firm strokes of a masterful massage therapist — there are few things as indulgent as a massage. But massage therapy is much more than simply a birthday treat as research proves massage is an effective therapy for pain relief.
There are several reasons why medical professionals prescribe massage therapy for pain relief, and at the heart of it all is the power of human touch. Touch is a basic human need and to be touched by another person is profoundly nurturing and soothing.
Have you ever noticed how relaxed and rejuvenated you feel after a massage? Or felt like you were glowing after visiting a massage therapist? Well, this is because massage stimulates your brain to produce more endorphins — the feel-good hormone — that help you to feel more positive and in control of any symptoms. Massage strokes, such as effleurage also stimulate blood circulation and boost the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues by draining your lymphatic system of waste products — which in turn eases tense muscles, stiff joints and worried minds.
5. Stretch It out with Yoga
When you’re in pain, it’s all too easy to resign yourself to bed. Curling up in a ball under soft blankets feels good, right? But is it really good for you? Of course, you should listen to your body and realise that what works for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you. But undertaking gentle exercise may be the key to overcoming your pain.
Yoga is a holistic exercise system that incorporates breath control, gentle movements, and meditation to stretch and strengthen the muscles. It was first practised thousands of years ago and has been proven to help to slim your body, improve mobility, flexibility, and strength — and also help to heal and ease pain.
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that among 313 people suffering from chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class proved to be highly effective in curing them of their pain. You don’t have to be inhumanly flexible or a pro-athlete to enjoy the benefits of yoga, there are hundreds of different classes and styles out there to suit every fitness level and need.
6. Get Spicy with Chilli Peppers
Chilli peppers have a long association with pain — especially for anyone who has tried a dish a little too spicy for them and learned first hand of their pain-producing potential! But did you know chilli peppers are also an effective — and delicious — way of fighting pain?
Chilli peppers contain something called capsaicin that depletes your body’s supply of substance P — a chemical component found in the nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain. By reducing the amount of substance P, chilli essentially de-sensitises your sensory receptors and helps reduce feelings of pain in the body. There are countless studies into the pain-busting power of chillis, but one revealed that victims of trauma experienced an 80% reduction in pain symptoms after using a capsaicin patch, and osteoarthritic patients reported an 80% decrease in pain after being treated with chilli. It gives a whole new meaning to the catechism fighting fire with fire!
7. Sip on Moringa Tea
Moringa Oleifera, also known as the “Miracle Tree of Life”, may be relatively new to Western medicine but has been part of healing rituals in Africa, India, Central and South America for centuries. Thankfully today, moringa teas and supplements are easy to come by, so we can all benefit from their powerful anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving benefits.
Every part of the Moringa Oleifera have serious health-boosting properties — the leaves alone contain 46 different antioxidants (great for relieving pain) and contain around seven times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges. Moringa is an easy remedy to incorporate into your daily life — either boil up a pot of Moringa tea or sprinkle the leaf powder into your favourite dishes for a healthy boost. With so many benefits, it’s not hard to see how Moringa has earned its nickname as an organic “miracle”.
Don’t let pain rule your life, use these natural remedies and browse our collection of pain-busting holistic therapies to put a stop to your pain once and for all.