Everyone is aware of the public health crisis our country is fighting to reduce the opioid epidemic. No one wants to depend on medication to manage pain because of the addictive qualities of these medications, but what are the alternatives?
The great news is that there are effective options available to anyone who does not want to rely on prescription drugs to manage pain. And, these approaches are holistic and backed by science so why not give them a try?
Traditional Chinese acupuncture is an evidence-based treatment often used for pain management. There are many different ways to address pain. Usually, very fine needles are inserted into your body at specific acupoints which release endorphins and restores the flow of qi, the body’s energy.
This stimulates healing while promoting relaxation. The results are often immediate and long-term with a series of sequential treatments.
A plant-based diet or adding more plants to your existing diet will reduce inflammation which will undoubtedly help your body to manage pain. Inflammatory foods and ingredients hide in processed foods, so it’s important to eat fresh food whenever possible.
It’s an excellent idea to replace sugar and artificial sweeteners with healthy options like stevia or monk fruit. Turmeric is incredible at reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain in those who have arthritis or other painful conditions. Food is a beautiful type of medicine, and it’s mandatory to eat for your health.
Yoga is a practice that includes breathing, posture changes, and mindfulness all which can help reduce stress and increase strength and flexibility. It’s easy to find a community group session or a local studio to join if you want to practice and have fun with others.
There are also many videos if you prefer to practice in the privacy of your home. Any way you choose to practice the deep stretches and mindfulness exercises are very effective at relieving pain and discomfort.
Oh, the benefits from a good massage are many! Massage is both preventive and can also provide relief if you’re already in pain. Massage has another bonus too. It can help people with the psychological aspects of dealing with pain, improve overall relaxation and also improve your sleep!
Don’t forget to drink a lot of water after your massage to help flush the toxins out of your system because that’s how powerful a good massage is to your body.
5. Tai chi and Qigong
The slow controlled and focused movements of tai chi and qigong have a significant positive impact on various types of pain. What’s lovely about both is that for older adults the movement has amazing preventative benefits and helps improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. Unfortunately, falls are all too frequent for older adults, so this is a beautiful way to be proactive.
6. Cold and Heat
We often forget about cold and heat for pain. Both are beneficial therapies for chronic pain. Cold decreases inflammation and heat relaxes muscles and helps prevent spasm. A perfect practice is to alternate between the two, ten minutes of cold and ten minutes of hot. The results are almost immediate, and you can continue this as often as you need.
All types of meditation practices are helpful in pain management. Meditation helps your body relax, stay calm and can be useful whether you practice 10, 20 or 30 minutes a day. A bonus benefit is the deep breathing which also allows for your body to relax and alleviate pain. There are many phone apps and sites on the internet where you can download mediations for your use, or you can join a group and meditate together as a community.
It’s important to understand other ways to manage pain other than relying on opioids. An integrative approach using holistic and natural tools will reduce dependence on prescription drugs and increase your quality of life for good. If you would like more information on holistic pain management contact Maureen Lake for free information.
About the Author:
Maureen Lake, MA is a holistic wellness expert and coach. She is the author of the best-selling book on self-care for busy moms, “Being Happy, Raising Happy.” She is a graduate of the Integrated Medicine Institute and professionally trained by Dr. Aviva Romm and certified in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University, holistic nutrition, and special education. Maureen has helped hundreds of women, including working professionals and stay at home moms. She specializes in self-care, thyroid disease, insulin resistance, and sleep issues. She’s helped women regain their health, energy, and strength through lifestyle changes and diet. She has appeared on Fox News, Thrive Global, Organic Newsroom, She Speaks, Bustle, SixtyandMe and more. Maureen lives in Denver Colorado with her husband, three children, and two dogs.