All Natural Pain Relief

If you are anything like me, you can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of emails in your inbox on any given day. Today, I opened one about all natural pain remedies from MindBodyGreen.com and it hit me how much knowledge is out there and available for free!

A little history here. About 6 years ago, I started using more natural remedies in my family’s life when I had difficulty getting pregnant with my first. I started researching the products I was using and what I was eating and was shocked at what I found. I was coming into contact with 100s of chemicals everyday that had not been safety tested on humans. “Wow!” was an understatement. So, since then I have made one focus for my family that of transparency. I want to know what chemicals I am putting on my skin and into my body through my hair and makeup products, through the foods I am eating, and being knowledgeable about the medicines I am ingesting.

So this email {link to the article here} listed the top 5 all-natural pain remedies. Most often, people turn to medicines they can buy over the counter at any store {like ibuprofen or acetaminophen}. But even these seemingly safe medicines have side effects. Too much ibuprofen can cause stomach upset and can lead to stomach ulcers. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage.

There are all natural alternatives available, but as a society we have turned away from them in the past 100 years. There has been a renewed interest in alternatives recently, and this article is a great resource!  MindBodyGreen lists curcumin {part of tuemric}, peppermint essential oil, biofeedback, frankincense essential oil, and acupuncture as the Top 5 holistic remedies for discomfort relief across the board. Research supported treatment alternatives like this remind me why I started using essential oils 4 years ago. We initially started using them to decrease our toxic load of chemicals we used for cleaning, and occasional and minor aches. Peppermint and frankincense are 2 of my top oils {and we use them every day in our house}.  Peppermint is my go-to for occasional injuries. I also love it for its ability to wake me up and increase my energy. I do this by putting a couple drops in the palms of my hands and inhaling deeply two or three times, and then rubbing it on the back of my neck.  Frankincense is the “add to everything” oil, because it enhances the benefits of the oils its mixed with. It has been shown in studies to support the body’s natural inflammation processes {much of discomfort is due to an aberrant body inflammation process}.

Essential oils are becoming more popular and can be found at not only health food stores, but also at Wal-Mart and Target. I am always stoked to see essential oils being more widely used, but the quality of oil you use can directly affect the effects of the oils. I always recommend to get the highest quality oil, and one that has been 3rd party tested to ensure potency and purity. For more specific recommendations, see my tab “Essential Oils”.

Acupuncture has been a wellness modality for 1000s of years in eastern cultures. Its based on nerve meridians and bringing them back to baseline function. I’ve used it in the past for headaches with success. There is tons of research out there about its benefits for a wide variety of heath issues.

Biofeedback is a technique where you learn to use your heart rate, your perspiration rate and other items such as muscle tone, to help you have better control of your body’s systems and pain levels.

Curcumin is one of the active chemicals in turmeric. As I sit here and write this {while at work as a RN in the Emergency Dept- don’t tell my boss!}, I have a patient of eastern descent who came in for ankle pain after twisting it yesterday. She had applied turmeric mixed with a little water to make a paste to her ankle. She stated that it is a “home remedy” for pain. I think its interesting if nothing else, that so many of the traditional “home remedies” are being shown to have a REAL scientific basis.

To this list I would also add a high quality vitamin and fish oil supplement. In today’s modern world, much of the food we eat is vitamin and mineral deficient vs the food from even 50 years ago. The FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance {RDA} of vitamins and minerals is the minimum amount needed to prevent a vitamin deficiency related disease.  And most American’s don’t even get those levels. A 2002 study from John Hopkins found that only 32% of people meet the RDA guidelines. So, its no surprise why so many people are struggling to be well.  By supplementing, we are giving our bodies the building blocks it needs to fuel and rebuild itself on a daily basis. We also don’t consume enough omega-3s as a nation. We consume enough omega-6s. Another important consideration is the ratio of 3/6. According to the University of Maryland, the typical American diet contains 14-25x as much omega-6s as omega-3s. Examples of omega-3s are flax seeds, chia seeds, grass fed beef, olive oil, fish oil {or fish like salmon or sardines}, garlic and walnuts. Examples of omega-6s are grapeseed oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, peanut butter, almonds, and pistachios.

If you’re interested in the all-natural realm, I highly recommend subscribing to MindBodyGreen as they frequently have great emails like this one that provide useful information.

 

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