This is a guest post from a fellow holistic living blogger, Robin, whose blog I have been following for a while! Totally awesome stuff in there!
"At the risk of sounding weird, I’d like to say “thank you” to pain. Why? Well…
Pain is an essential aspect of our health
Pain is the body’s way of letting us know something is not right—that something is out of whack. Someone didn’t drink enough water. Someone stayed up too late. Someone spent too much time looking at a computer screen. Someone didn’t exercise for a year. Someone exercised too much. Someone shouldn’t have lifted that heavy box alone and now something needs to be done to fix the problem.
Or worse yet, someone has something deeper going on and that pain is our body's way of saying: Get help, please.
If we don’t address whatever issue our body is dealing with the issue may take on a very ugly face down the road. Or, perhaps worse, our body’s alarm system (pain) will shut down completely leaving us numb to the problem. Numb to it, but not void of it. Years later we can find ourselves dealing with some pretty big problems and then we usually get angry at our body as if it let us down.
In reality, it’s just saying, “I told you so.”
Natural Pain Remedies
Of course, sometimes the pain is real and the problem is "too late" to solve. Maybe you drank too little water and you'll do better next time but need some relief now. Maybe you are in the process of healing through nutrition, physical therapy, or other means but still need some relief from the pain you feel right now. Are there safer methods than popping a pill? YES!
Of course every body is different, but I have found that the following are some great ways to naturally relieve pain:
§ Stretch, Move, Yoga: This is my go-to method for when my back or neck start acting up (usually from too much time at the computer). Our bodies were designed to move! If we stay locked up in any position for too long we will start to feel it. Check out this super short video that you can do right now at the computer.
§ Heat: A hot bath, a heating pad, or just laying out in the sun for a few minutes can do wonders for tired muscles and joints. Don't just target the point of pain. Listen to your body and get the whole muscle pathway warmed up. We often feel pain as a result of issues in different parts of the body.
§ Cold: This one doesn't usually feel as good as heat, but it's a must for immediate injuries. Cold presses help reduce inflammation which is important for healing AND for feeling less pain. Plus it doesn't have the nasty side effects of anti-inflammation pills.
§ Essential Oils: I am not an expert at essential oils, but the more I learn the more I am intrigued by their ability to calm and soothe us. Be sure to do your research or talk to a trained professional before diving in. Essential oils are potent things that need care and respect.
§ Herbs: Pretty much a big "ditto" to the above. Beyond some real healing benefits, I find that certain herbal teas can be very comforting. Stress is another signal from the body that is often a favorite companion to pain.
§ Massage: Who doesn't like a good massage? But you don't have to pay big bucks to benefit from healing touch. Ask a friend or family member for a back massage or do a little self massage. Reminding the muscle tissues to "let go" can be a major pain relief.
§ Chiropractic, Physical, or Movement Therapy: Sometimes chronic pain is a result of habitual patterns or traumatic injuries that take time to surface. If you find yourself constantly struggling with pain it would probably be wise to seek out a professional who can address the root of the problem. The best practitioners are those who look at the whole body rather than simply trying to address your symptoms. In my work as a Movement Therapist, I have helped a number of people get to the root of their pain problem without drugs, surgery, or other drastic measures.
§ Nutrition: Often our chronic pain and disease are a result of malnutrition or imbalances. You may find tremendous help by improving your diet and adding more nutrient dense foods to your daily intake.
What would you add to this list? What helps you deal with pain?"
About the Author:
is the author of the blog Thank Your Body (www.thankyourbody.com). She is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist () and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (). She is also an avid researcher. With a deep passion and respect for the human body, she has been exploring ways to help others reclaim their personal power and embodied way of knowing through movement, nutrition, and holistic approaches to health.