Experiencing pain every day isn’t easy. Apart from the discomfort, you may also suffer from depression, anxiety, and decreased quality of life. It may even increase your risks of substance abuse or worse, suicide. Just thinking about those effects is enough to scare anyone.
If you’ve been feeling pain for quite some time now, you’re probably on the hunt for solutions to ease the discomfort. Before you take high doses of pain relievers and medicines, consider going the natural route first.
Here’s a list of the best 8 natural pain relief solutions that actually help you.
The good news with essential oils is this: You can try using just one type of oil or you can mix two to three types of oils to experience maximum comfort.
Peppermint oil is one of the best choices because of its menthol content. The cooling effect it gives can ease sore and achy muscles. The oil is also helpful in easing tension-type headaches.
Plus, it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The same is true with eucalyptus oil. Another excellent choice is lavender oil. Besides its calming and relaxing effects, it can also relieve pain and ease inflammation.
Turmeric is more than just an excellent ingredient in your everyday dish. With its cumin content, it can also help reduce your pain and make movement easier if you have osteoarthritis.
If you decide to take it, you may want to take around 500– 2,000mg daily to experience its benefits. If you choose to take it in capsule form, you’ll need to take it three times a day. That’s about 400–600 mg.
Cloves, particularly clove oil, are excellent anaesthetics. With its eugenol content, you’ll find it helpful in reducing and even numbing pain if you’re experiencing a toothache.
Apart from toothaches, you may also use them to treat throat inflammation.
The use of acupuncture in pain relief isn’t new. In fact, a lot of people swear by it, particularly those who believe in traditional Chinese medicine.
Acupuncture can ease pain by triggering the release of endorphins, the naturally occurring pain relievers in your body. It also affects that part of your brain that controls serotonin, a known chemical affecting one’s mood.
Fortunately, you don’t have to see a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner just to experience acupuncture’s pain-relieving properties. There are TENS or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation machines that are programmed with acupuncture modes.
A TENS machine allows you to experience natural pain relief without leaving your home.
The mind is a powerful thing and with mindful meditation, it’s possible to manage not just your pain but your stress and anxiety as well.
The best thing about it is that you can do it by yourself. By meditating, you can condition your brain to be less sensitive to pain. It may even help lower your inflammatory biomarkers.
Apart from mindful meditation, you can also look into visualization meditation or guided imagery. This type involves the visualization of something positive while meditating. Focusing on that one thought can help calm you down and lower your pain levels.
Another option for experiencing natural pain relief is yoga. It’s been known to be helpful for people suffering from chronic back pain, arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia, and more.
If you are thinking of getting into the activity, there are specific poses you can look into. For example, if you are dealing with back pain, you can try the cobra pose, bridge pose, and sphinx pose. The child’s pose and locust pose work well too.
Ginger is quite effective when it comes to relieving pain due to arthritis.
In a study done in 2000, researchers concluded that ginger extract can be as effective as ibuprofen. Another study done in 2001 suggested the same thing. Based on it, taking it in high concentrations can help treat people suffering from osteoarthritis.
You can take ginger in drinks and foods. If your tastebuds are a bit picky, you can take ginger capsules to mask the taste. Aim to consume 4 grams of ginger in a day to reduce inflammation and manage pain.
Also known as wood spider or grapple plant, the devil’s claw is native to the southern part of Africa. It’s widely used in France and Germany in treating arthritis pain and even low back pain.
While effective, you should refrain from using or consuming it if you have any heart or circulation issues. The devil’s claw may affect your heart rate and blood pressure, making an existing circulation problem worse.
It’s also not ideal for people with gallstones to take it since it can increase bile production. The same applies to those with low sodium levels and people suffering from peptic ulcer disease. If you have these conditions and you’re thinking of taking devil’s claw, make sure to seek your healthcare provider’s approval first to lower your risks of experiencing negative side effects.
Why choose natural pain relief?
In general, painkillers are effective because it’s what they’re created for. However, using it for a long time may not be such a great idea.
Why? For one, they can make your stomach bleed. This is particularly true for aspirin. Apart from bleeding, it can also cause indigestion and even stomach ulcers.
NSAIDs, on the other hand, can cause damage to the kidneys. Acetaminophen can leave you with liver damage if you take too much of it or if you consume it with alcohol. Ibuprofen can create kidney and stomach problems.
With these things in mind, it’s better to go the non-pharmacological route and aim for natural pain relief. It’s safer and there are fewer risks of developing additional health problems.
But there’s just one caveat. While the natural pain relief solutions mentioned above do work, you can’t rely on them to work in an instant. It may take some time and a couple of uses for them to take your pain away.
Considering the fewer risks of side effects and additional health benefits, they’re still a much better choice.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.