For those of you who have bounced around on my blog, you know I am overcoming a severe injury. You may also know I grew up with an addictive parent… mix those two things together and you’ve got someone who HATES (yep not afraid to use that word) hates pain medication.
A lot of that was out of fear. Will I become dependent? Will I turn out like her if I start taking it? The first 3 weeks into my injury I refused to even take ibuprofen. Friends would witness me in pain & would assure me, “you will be fine.” Finally after surgery I caved– on the pain meds I went.
Needless to say, I didn’t become addictive. But guess what? I still have a lot of pain and knew I needed to find ways to help myself in the long run. I have personally tested these six natural ways to help manage my chronic pain. I use them in my everyday life & let me tell ya — they have made a huge difference in my pain levels, therefore in my life.
*ditches pain meds, conquers life*
A natural pain reliever and inflammation fighting machine! I put it in everything. Add a pinch of black pepper to help increase absorption! Sometimes before bed if I am having more pain than usual, I make myself a golden milk latte. (psst! this golden milk also contains ashwagandha)
dosage- I like to make golden milk. or you can take capsules when you’re experiencing pain or know a certain time of day or activity will cause pain. I usually pop 1-2 per day.
As pictured above, cupping can create bruising and has actually been around forrrreevver through traditional Chinese Medicine. Think of it as a reverse message! The cups create suction by pulling the muscles and skin up, whereas a massage applies pressure to the muscles.
Although there is no scientific evidence in the benefits of cupping, it has helped decrease my swelling and aid in blood flow. Try it before you knock it, yeah? Read all about cupping, here.
This mat may look like a bed of nails, but it’s heaven. I look forward to laying on it, every day. An acupressure mat helps stimulate the body encouraging it to release endorphin hormones. Those are the hormones that have a soothing effect on your body… & mind. Benefits may include: helping repair the body & healing it from stress, muscle soreness, fatigue, insomnia and decrease joint pain.
I bought this one on Amazon:
be with the pain
I saw a psychologist because I wanted to learn how to handle pain, naturally. What he told me was surprising. He said, “be with the pain. Describe the pain to yourself and where it is hurting. Then go back to present moment and then back to your pain again.” Boy was this frustrating when I was eating and sleeping pain… but it did work.
How exactly? By acknowledging the pain and describing it to yourself, you are actually helping your body become more used to the pain, less afraid and less feeling like the pain is never going to end. You’ll be able to check-in with the pain rather quickly the more you do it. Here’s what checking in with the pain looks like to me:
“Oh there’s that achey pain on a scale of a 7 out of 10 & will go away in about two minutes. Oh look a cute boy running. Now the pain is a 6.5. Are the two minutes up yet? Gah where did that cute boy go? Pain down to a 4.”
“Oh that’s a shooting pain & will only shoot up my arm for another thirty minutes” (insert present moment, go back to the pain)
“What’s up old friend, I sure didn’t miss your throbbing a** but you’ll go away in about 20 seconds.” (turn music up, go back to the pain)
Get the point? Describe pain, present moment, back to pain. It’s hard work but the more familiar you are with something, the less scary it is… aka the less painful it will become.
I promise — it worked for me. Mind over matter, baby!
low inflammatory diet
Since one of the main causes of pain comes from chronic inflammation (when your tissues become irritated) eating a low inflammatory diet is crucial. I cannot stress this enough.
Need ideas? Here’s what I eat in a day.
Staying hydrated will help increase circulation, reduce inflammation, fight off germs and help you bounce back faster from your injury. Period.
As you know, I avo?cad-ding luh you.