Natural pain killing remedies are on the rise. There’s a good reason for this. The perceived dangers of certain prescription painkillers, combined with the cheapness and accessibility of natural remedies has sparked an increase in popularity for natural health products.
It’s important to note that health products are not ‘one solution fits all’, and everyone reacts differently to medication. These methods are not necessarily intended as alternatives to prescription painkillers, but as healthy complements to your lifestyle, and are by no means instructive.
Without further ado, here’s why using natural painkilling methods could benefit your health:
The dangers of prescription painkillers
The power of prescription painkillers cannot be underestimated. While they work as agents to numb pain, they can also prove extremely addictive in certain cases, and the issue is becoming increasingly common. Fentanyl, for instance, is a pain-relieving opioid that is proving immensely addictive and is increasingly finding its way into the wrong hands. You can find out more about the crisis here.
How can natural remedies be beneficial?
While prescription painkillers can be highly effective (especially for people suffering from acute health issues), many people are turning to natural remedies to help numb their pain. The benefits of natural products are clear. These ingredients and techniques are purely natural, so there are a lack of toxins, side-effects and threats of addiction compared to harder hitting substances.
Finding the right remedy
Before you launch into the different remedies, ingredients and techniques, it’s critical to diagnose what is causing your pain. After all, without knowing the problem, you can’t find the right solution. Consult a doctor and find out what would best help your pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique which pin-points specific areas of the body and stimulates the central nervous system by inserting needles into the skin. By using this technique, it is thought you can encourage the body to use its natural serotonin stores to reduce pain.
Practitioners believe that acupuncture helps kick start the body’s release of painkilling chemicals. While this technique is nothing new, acupuncture is increasingly popular, and there are a number of products and services available for you to try.
These include conventional acupuncture services (whereby a trained practitioner administers the needles) and, more recently, a range of acupressure mats. These mats are designed to simulate the acupressure technique. This follows a similar ethos to acupuncture; whereby tiny pressure points stimulate the central nervous system and release blocked pressure throughout the body. This technique is regularly used to reduce back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, relax stiff muscles and even eliminate insomnia.
Yoga combines both mental and physical benefits to reduce pain throughout the body.
Pain originates in the brain, and relaxing yourself mentally can reduce stress and, therefore, a great deal of pain. It forces you to focus on your breathing and empty your body of anxiety and tension.
This, combined with the physical act of stretching your body, getting your blood pumping and oxygen flowing can greatly reduce pain in and of itself.
Indeed, breathing techniques have been found to reduce pain by reducing the pressure on our nerves. There are an increasing number of experts and yogis who believe breath control to be a powerful way to limit our pain, increase our fitness and improve our focus.
Yoga, therefore, is a fantastic way to reduce physical and mental pain, while improving your health and strengthening your mind and body, reducing the risk of future pain and illness.
Closely related to the yoga techniques above, meditation can greatly reduce pain and stress by focusing on the power of breath and the reduction of anxiety.
One of the best types of meditation to try, especially as a beginner, is mindfulness meditation. This does what it says on the tin by forcing you to sit there with your thoughts and simply be in your body. It may sound easy, but its effects can be powerful. Meditation can alter the way your mind works, changing the way it deals with pain. Think of meditation as a gymnasium for your mind, training it to grow stronger and better cope with pain.
Turmeric is a rhizome, and while you’re likely familiar with its excellent qualities in food, you’re probably less familiar with its power as a painkiller. Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which can act as powerful healing agents.
In fact, one study suggested that turmeric could be as powerful a pain-reliever as Ibuprofen for knee osteoarthritis if the patient takes it over the course of a month.
Turmeric has been known to prevent cancer, help psoriasis, help indigestion and even reduce the chances of heart disease.
Turmeric is also a great natural painkiller because it is so easy to incorporate into your daily intake. You don’t have to queue up for a prescription or shell out lots of money for pills. This is a natural ingredient you can find in any food store. The even better part is how tasty your medicine is. Work it into a variety of curries or juices for best effect.
It’s an almost identical story with ginger, which contains gingerol and shogaol (phytochemicals). This makes ginger an effective painkiller, especially if you’ve got anything wrong with your stomach – reducing nausea, motion sickness, an upset stomach and even morning sickness.
The added benefit of ginger is that it could reduce the damaging side-effects of other, less natural painkilling substances. It has been suggested that ginger helps protect the stomach lining from the ulcers and other damage certain painkillers can cause.
Similarly, to turmeric, ginger is a brilliantly useful cooking ingredient, which makes it easy and fun to incorporate into your diet. If health blends are your thing, why not add a few flakes of ginger to the mix, or even grate it over soups and add it to herbal teas.
Of course, the simplest way you can consume your ginger dosage is to cook with it. Try using it with stir-fries, curries and basically any other recipe which would taste better with ginger included.