Natural pain management
Posted on 27 March 2018
There are many types of pain we can experience in our lives. Pain can be temporary like headaches, period pain or injury related pains. it can be long term chronic pain related to illnesses or it can even be a psychological pain related to grieving or trauma manifesting itself in the body. The level of pain we are able to tolerate is different to each individual and type of pain, is it local pain in specific point or is it a pain in the whole body, like for example joint pain. Pain can be muscular due for example stress, working too much or exercise or it can be an aching pain in the joints due to for example rheumatism or other chronic illness. Women tend to have a higher pain tolerance due to the natural ability to give birth. Each person is different and we should never judge others suffering.
The approach to pain management is an individual choice and you may need to try different things to see what works for you. Natural methods and remedies can be a great option or maybe you can use them alongside of pharmaceutical medications. There are so many ways you can use herbs and essential oils and quite often it depends on the day and how you are feeling, sometimes warming and sometimes cooling may be the thing that works. Here are some of my top methods I usually turn to whenever I have problems with pain. Hopefully you find them inspirational and you will get ideas on what you can try to ease your pain. Usually a combination of different things work best and overall healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise) can be beneficial.
Of course I love using essential oils whenever I have any issue I want to tackle. They are great for creating treatment products for cooling or warming. Essential oils can be easily added to treatment products such as bath salts and balms or massage oils. You can create products that you feel will work best for you. I have worked with an osteopath to try different options and I have also created products for chronic pain and for people who use their body a lot like a ballerina. Here are a list of some of my top essential oils to use.
Birch and wintergreen both contain natural aspirin painkiller and are great for treatment products for localised pain. I have also created some shower products for chronic pain sufferers for cooling effects with some fabulous results. As they are very potent, they should be used with caution and on localised area. Read more about birch
This is a great essential oil for cooling products. Not only does it have a fresh herbal scent, it has some antispasmodic properties, so work especially well for muscular aches and pains. Perfect essential oil for sporty and active people.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for almost everything. It has a familiar comforting scent and blends well with many other oils. I usually add lavender to my treatment products for its calming effects and added relaxing which is important for tired body.
This is another one of the top essential oils for active people. It is stimulating and cooling and works really well for muscular aches and pains. Rosemary is also well known memory booster so can help with focus and as an energy boost.
Ginger is widely used in cooking and often mixed with lemon for warming tea. It has been used in Asia for thousands of years for its healing properties. It is warming and spicy and a great add to your warming treatment products.
Cinnamon is warm and spicy and often used in baking or in hot drinks as a flavouring. The essential oil has the familiar Christmasy scent and works well with other spice oils as well as citrus oils. It is also often recommended for headaches and chronic pains.
Chilli is often used in cooking or added to vegetable oils for flavour. The essential oil is made from the seeds and can be potent so should be used with caution. It is strongly heating just as the fruit itself. Add to your warming products for extra heat.
Turmeric is well known for its healing properties and often used in cooking or tea. The essential oil has strong warming properties and a spicy scent. Turmeric is one the natural remedies that has been used in studies and research for cancer care, pain management and chronic conditions. It is related to ginger and has been used for thousands of years in Asia for its health benefits.
Use essential oils for massage and treatment products. Create bath products with some salts for additional minerals or use in shower gels or lotions. Read how to create bath products and treatment balms.
There are many treatments that may be beneficial for your pain management. One of the best known options is a massage. It can help you to relax which can sometimes be difficult especially with chronic pain. It is calming for the body and can release muscular tension and help with stress and anxiety. It may also help the muscle flexibility and general body condition. There are some studies about the benefits of massage and it has been used around the world forever. If you feel that full body massage is not for you, you should definitely try facial massage or foot massage like reflexology or Thai foot massage. Some people also find acupuncture helpful, which also can be combined with massage. Try and see what works the best for you.
Exercise, stretching and healthy diet
Exercise has many benefits, especially when done outdoors. Fresh air and even a gentle walk can hugely improve the body condition and reduce pain. Nowadays yoga, pilates and tai chi are all popular and a gentle way to stretch the body and improve mobility. Diet can have a huge impact on your body and some foods can make the pains worse. If you not sure what would work for you, see a qualified nutritionist for additional advice and easement of your lifestyle.
Herbal remedies and homeopathy
This is definitely a topic that tends to divide people. My personal opinion is that herbs have been used around the world before modern medicine and they have worked for various conditions so I have no doubt they work. In modern world we are used to quick fix and quite often with herbal remedies you need to give them a bit of time to see best results. It is very common just to take a pill to stop the symptoms rather than find out the real reasons behind our symptoms. I have personally used natural remedies for immune boosting, colds, coughs and lack of energy. I have also had amazing results with homeopathy for my period pain which stopped completely for six months after one dose. I was definitely a sceptic about homeopathy before my own experience If you have a chronic issue I would always recommend seeing a qualified herbalist for consultation.
Some of the popular herbs for pain are Valerian, Turmeric, Arnica (which I also used as an infused oil for my treatment products), Cayenne pepper and Devils claw. Read more about herbal remedies for pain
Other things to try
You may find that heat works sometimes and cooling works at other times. The pain can change and the symptoms can change. Try warm bath with salts or sauna for warming the body. Try cold compress, ice or cold bath or shower for cooling. You may also find that calming the mind can be beneficial, if the pain is really strong we may struggle to force on anything else. Try meditation to calm the thoughts. You may also find talking therapies beneficial as sometimes it is a challenge to express your feelings to your immediate friends and family. Talking to an outsider may be beneficial.
Hope you find this article helpful. What are your top tips for pain management? Leave your comments below