7 Unexpected Natural Ways To Reduce Chronic Pain
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your chronic pain?
Some days you may even feel as if your body is conspiring against you. What was once an active and vibrant machine that carried you through life is now something you don’t even recognize anymore.
Maybe you’re going to appointments with one specialist after another, and prescription pills are being pushed at you from every direction.
Some doctors are sympathetic, and others think you are crazy. You’ve even tried holistic doctors and chiropractors with little relief.
You have no idea what to try next because you feel like you’ve already tried everything. Acceptance has settled in, and you think it’s your lot in life to suffer and deal with the cards that you’ve been dealt with.
You are not alone. The CDC estimated that one-fifth of adults experience chronic pain — many are given opioids for pain management.
I get it. I’ve been there.
I was in a car accident in 2006 and still deal with back and neck pain. I was misdiagnosed right after the accident and was fed muscle relaxers and hydrocodone for years.
They referred me from one specialist to another. I was told my physical therapy would work (all four rounds!). I was at a crossroads — I knew that I needed to be more proactive about my health.
The truth is, before you can even begin to really heal, you have to accept where you are at right now. You have to be willing to go through the trial and error process to find what will work for you and understand that you might not get your body back completely.
I’m gonna give it to you straight. You have to mentally and spiritually prepare yourself and get back in touch with your body.
When I decided enough was enough, I knew that I needed to spend time reconnecting with my body again. Body connection creates an awareness, which then helps us get back in touch with our intuition so that it can guide us in the right direction.
The good news is that there is hope! Especially if you are willing to change your mindset!
Get curious about your pain! Discover new ways to live a full life without giving up on the activities that you love, or better yet, trying something new.
If you change your perspective, you will be amazed at how that impacts the body.
Here are seven tools to add to your wellness toolbox so that you can reduce your stress and pain levels.
7 UNEXPECTED NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE CHRONIC PAIN
Notice I said reduce, not stop? Here’s why — your body is amazing, and it has the capacity to heal itself, but we are all unique. That means what works for one person will not work for another.
I realize that that’s frustrating when we want a quick fix to our pain. The combination of what will work is as unique as your body.
That’s why I recommend having a journal to write things down so you can keep track of how your body responds.
1. NUTRITION FOR CHRONIC PAIN
What we eat can have an impact on the levels of inflammation in our bodies. You pretty much see this everywhere on the internet!
You can try all the diets from Keto, Paleo, Anti-inflammatory, Vegan, Vegetarian, to the Mediterranean diet, and the list goes on. Remember that what works for one person might not work for another.
Our bodies are always in flux. Keep track of how the food and drinks you consume impact your pain levels. The main culprits tend to be sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy, soy, and corn.
For me, even eggs and nightshades vegetables such as tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, etc. can trigger inflammation.
2. GET UP AND GET MOVING
If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!
I think that’s a very true statement. I loved kickboxing, but I found it actually increased my neck pain, so I had to switch it up.
Although it seems counter-intuitive, movement can help you lower your pain. Do what you can do without injury or increasing your pain.
That also means understanding the difference between aches from using muscles that haven’t been used in a long time and actual pain from your injury. There is a difference!
At first, you may want to opt for more gentle movements such as yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or Pilates. Even going for a short walk can do wonders for the body!
As you get stronger, you can graduate and do high-intensity interval training. Do what you can do to get a little movement into your routine. It’s all about listening to your body, after all!
When you have chronic pain, it’s important to sweat!
Get a little creative if you can’t go for a run or do an intense workout. You can take a hot bath or shower, go to a sauna, use a far infrared heating pad, relax in a jacuzzi, etc. This helps detoxify your system and build your immune system.
4. SOUND THERAPY FOR PAIN
Music is healing! Think about stepping into a spa and hearing the calming, instrumental music in the background.
It automatically sends your body into a more relaxed state.
I recently watched the Netflix documentary, HEAL.
One of the featured experts, Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, D.C., B.F.A. and Founder and Director of The Center for Neuro-acoustic Research, talks about how expertly-crafted “brainwave entertainment” can spark the brain and send healing messages throughout the nervous system to the body.
You can add music or sound therapy into your routine to help your body slip into a more relaxed state. Find something that resonates with you!
5. ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CHRONIC PAIN
Essential oils are an amazing tool to have in your wellness toolbox!
Some oils have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial if you have chronic pain.
You can diffuse them, use topically, or include a drop in a hot bath or shower.
Although this is not a complete list, here are a few essential oils that might help for chronic pain sufferers:
- German Chamomile
- Roman Chamomile
- Clary Sage
Note: Essential oils can be irritating to the skin so always dilute them (which makes them more effective) and when possible, seek an expert opinion for more detailed instructions and recommendations to use them effectively and safely.
6. PRACTICE GRATITUDE & POSITIVITY DAILY
I believe that having a spiritual practice is essential for everyone, especially if you have a chronic disease or illness.
It can help you feel more connected to your body as well as keep your thoughts positive, which is essential for healing.
Affirmations, gratitude journals, meditation, prayer, or even the simple act of helping someone else can keep you in a positive frame of mind.
This can be difficult when you are constantly in pain; however, find what works best for you because your mindset truly is everything!
7. GET SUPPORT
Another essential for healing chronic pain is knowing when to ask for help!
When you deal with chronic pain or any chronic illness, it’s easy to go into isolation with Google as your source of comfort.
It’s important to talk with someone who gets it because pain can impact your job performance, relationships, emotions, and social connection.
That’s why I highly recommend seeking out a Health Coach, accountability partner, doctor, or someone knowledgeable you can bounce ideas off of and who can help keep you in a positive state.
Getting support can be the missing piece to your health puzzle.
Dealing with chronic pain is not easy.
It requires you to be proactive, open-minded, and at times, forces you to get a little creative!
Although these options only scratch the surface, you have to find the combination that works for you and your situation. Know this: you are not alone.
We want to hear what you do to ease your chronic pain, tell us in the comments below!