5 Natural Ways To relieve aches and pains
There are a few natural ways you can better manage your pain. Try these science-backed natural remedies to relieve and address the root cause of pain.
Curcumin is the bioactive compound in turmeric that gives the herb its healing properties. It is one of the safest anti-inflammatories available and has been proven to be a powerful pain reliever, even for acute pain associated with chronic diseases. A recent study found that curcumin shows clear analgesic activity and matches or outperforms ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter painkillers without any side effects.
However, turmeric only contains 2% – 5% curcumin. So when you’re looking for a curcumin supplement, be sure to get curcumin and not powdered turmeric root. Additionally, curcumin is not easily absorbed by the digestive tract. Because of this, it is essential to look for a supplement that combines curcumin with a fat-soluble element that aids absorption. An example of this would be black pepper extract (piperine).
Soak in some magnesium salts
A long, hot soak can work wonders for many reasons. Firstly, it reduces the force of gravity that contributes to your discomfort. Secondly, the heat reduces swelling and inflammation while also increasing circulation. However, you can supercharge your soak even more by adding Epsom salts. Experts say that magnesium deficiency is a significant pain trigger because it prevents muscles from being able to relax. In addition to that, the standard American diet contains 65% less magnesium than a few decades ago because of the increase in processed foods.
While you should definitely increase your intake of magnesium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, whole grains, and soy, this mineral can also be absorbed through the skin. Because Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulfate, you can add two cups to your bath and soak for more or less 20 minutes a few times a week. Keep in mind to drink water before and after the bath to stay properly hydrated.
Fish body and liver oil are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, vitamin A, and vitamin D. This makes it a potent supplement to improve the symptoms of arthritis and inflammation and reduce different types of pain, especially back pain. Fish oil works in two ways; it significantly reduces the release of elements that form inflammation in your white blood cells, and it also forms the foundation for prostaglandins that regulate your immune system and fight joint inflammation.
As well as being a natural antioxidant that supports the function of healthy joints, fish oil can be beneficial in the long run. It reduces the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and, as a result, improves normal immune function.
Apply the right kind of pressure
If your pain is mostly muscular, you can use acupressure to target trigger points and relieve pain. Trigger points are small, marble-sized knots in your muscles that correspond to the acupressure points that physicians focus on when doing treatments like acupuncture or sports massage. Identify and locate your trigger points with this guide and push on it with enough pressure to see a white mark form around your finger and hold for 45 seconds.
You may need to ask a friend or professional to apply acupressure to hard-to-reach areas in your back, shoulder, or neck. Alternatively, you can lay on the floor with a tennis ball between you and the floor on the spot where you are feeling pain. Roll it around to find the most tender spot and keep the pressure for one to five minutes. It’s important to note that this will be painful at first, but as it increases blood flow to the muscle, it will work the same way a sports massage does.
Let the sun in
Bright light therapy involves exposure to the sun or a lightbox to regulate serotonin and melatonin levels. While light therapy can also help depression and sleeplessness, these hormones are crucial in pain management. A recent controlled trial found that subjects’ pain intensity rating, as well as overall pain sensation, improved after three treatments of bright light therapy.
To imitate bright light therapy, simply spend approximately 30 minutes in 5,000 lux light (half the strength of indirect midday sun) three times a week. This will also have positive ripple effects on your sleeping pattern, as exposure to natural light helps to realign your circadian rhythm.
CBD has been a game-changer in alleviating acute and chronic pain episodes. Of the more than 120 compounds called cannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are perhaps some of the most well-known. However, it’s important to note that CBD does not cause psychoactive effects (it doesn’t make you feel high) and can be used to treat many different types of pain.
Our body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids and helps to regulate functions like sleep, pain, and immune-system responses. Studies show that CBD influences the human body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively and activates or inhibits other compounds in the ECS to promote better pain management. For example, CBD enhances the way your body uses anandamide – a naturally-occurring compound that regulates pain.
*Tip: Sometimes, the basics are the best when it comes to pain relief. When you are in pain, consider using a hot/cold compress to alleviate symptoms. The temperature change triggers an anti-inflammatory heat-shock response, and the compression decreases blood flow and, as a result, inflammation.