In our modern day of “living better through chemistry”, we tend to get into the habit of taking a pill when we feel pain. But over thousands of years of holistic medicine, people have relieved pain by eating with determination and practicing non-invasive practices. In most cases, natural treatment has little or no side effects.
Sometimes it’s better to do something than to take something. The following 7 natural pain relief techniques are all to be tried before using the drugs because they can really work. And when you first try to heal naturally, you have an idea of the severity of your illness. If it is just pills, it is important to consult your doctor to find out if something serious is happening.
But for common ailments, a natural technique could very well do the trick. Try these 7 time-tested strategies to feel better. The technique n. 7 is in fact closely related to a well-known OTC analgesic!
Acupuncture has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for 2000 years and is now practiced all over the world. The process involves inserting very thin needles into specific parts of the body. The holistic explanation that explains why it relieves pain is that it balances your chi. Western doctors believe that acupuncture is effective because it stimulates nerves, muscles and connective tissue. At least they agree that it works!
If you are interested in trying acupuncture for pain relief, make sure you choose an experienced practitioner. Know that the law requires the use of new needles with each patient. For the most part, the side effects of acupuncture are minimal, but you may feel some pain or slight bruising at some insertion points. Pregnant women and people with a bleeding disorder should not receive acupuncture.
2. Epsom Salt
If your pain is the result of muscle fatigue, arthritis, bumps and bruises or skin abrasion, Epsom salt may be your best friend. Taking the time to soak in a warm Epsom bath relieves and improves mental well-being. The benefits of awareness and meditation – which come easily while bathing – cannot be ignored.
From the scientific point of view, Epsom salt acts to relieve pain because it dissolves in magnesium and sulfate when it is dissolved. Magnesium is known to play a role in the way pain signals travel from the brain throughout the body. It also regulates muscle contractions and alleviates the symptoms of depression. An Epsom bath offers these benefits directly in the painful areas.
Sometimes the pain comes from contracted muscles that also pull other parts of the body. Chronic inflammation may also persist around the rigid joints and at the site of any injuries; this reduces blood flow and causes pain. Massage can relax tense muscles, relax stiff joints and increase blood flow.
For this reason, doctors always recommend more massages than drugs. Massage can not only reduce the physical symptoms that cause discomfort, but it is also useful in the management of anxiety and depression. Some people even report a decrease in the frequency of migraines when they receive a regular massage. Make sure you choose a masseur with whom you feel comfortable. It’s important to talk if the pressure is too much for you.
Clove is a sweet and spicy herb that can be used to relieve many types of pain. In fact, the active compound contained in the clove, called eugenol, is used in many counter ointments for the relief of pain. Clove oil is an effective topical remedy for pain caused by headache, inflammation and toothache. But the cloves can also be consumed inside: you will find it whole, in powder and in oil.
Note that too much clove oil can damage your skin if you use it for several days in a row. Furthermore, it is not recommended for people taking blood thinners. But for headaches or sore muscles, clove is an excellent natural pain reliever.
5. Comfrey Extract
Another natural treatment that you can try is comfrey root cream. A recent study on people with back pain shows that topical treatment can significantly reduce suffering. Almost 95% of participants reported feeling better after using it. Further studies on people with arthritis and sprained ankles have shown consistent results.
Science assumes that the comfrey helps to relieve pain with its content of allantoin and rosmarinic acid. Researchers have determined that rosmarinic acid reduces inflammation and relieves pain, but that allantoin can help by accelerating the growth of new skin cells. Comfrey should only be used outdoors; some fear that it may be carcinogenic during consumption, but further studies are needed.
6. Heat and Ice
The use of heat and ice to relieve pain is an ancient technique still used for its effectiveness. Alternating heat and ice treatment is an important first step in treating pain. But to get the best results, you have to respect the correct order of application.
It is important to start with the ice applied to the site of pain, with a towel or rag between the cold source and the skin to prevent burns. Cold reduces inflammation and numbs pain. Fry the area for 30 minutes, then let the skin return to normal temperature. Then apply heat with a heating pad. Heat relaxes the muscles that contract around the sore point and relieves stiffness.
7. Willow Bark
If you are sure you need something stronger to relieve pain, try willow bark. It contains a compound called salicin, which is closely related to acetylsalicylic acid, which you probably know as aspirin. Long before aspirin was designed and produced in the laboratory, people chewed willow bark to manage pain, fever and inflammation. Today you can find dried willow bark to prepare an analgesic tea. It is even easier, though perhaps less soothing, to take a liquid supplement or capsule.
Although willow bark is natural, it can cause the same side effects as aspirin. If you use it every day, you could develop a bleeding disorder, slow down kidney function or have an upset stomach. Willow bark is not safe for children because it is difficult to get the right dose for them. If you are taking warfarin or another anticoagulant, avoid willow bark.
If you’ve avoided trying natural pain relief techniques because you think they might not work, remember that everything we have on our list has been successfully performed by humans for centuries. It is always useful to try the least invasive treatment before taking any medication.
The risk of side effects is much lower and you may be able to deal with many less difficult things. It is a total victory for your body, your mind and your wallet