Pain can be addressed in many ways: different strokes for different folks. Pills are easy, we get it. Problem is: they block the pain, but do not address the actual problem….plus they are incredibly addictive, leading to life-altering consequences. To truly address pain, we must a bit more active: the good news is, engaging your mind and body to combat pain is easier than ever. We’ve put together a brief list of ways to ease pain that you may not have considered. Look at these ten ideas for easing pain and challenge yourself to try out one this month. If it works, great! If not, try another one next month: odds are at least one of the top ten tips for easing pain is bound to provide some relief. Be sure to click the text on each idea for more details and testimonials.
- Eat a healthy diet
- Cold and heat
- Exercise: pain relief with the natural endorphins from exercise.
- Physical therapy and Occupational therapy: “Physical therapists guide you through a series of exercises designed to preserve or improve your strength and mobility. Occupational therapists help you learn to perform a range of daily activities in a way that doesn’t aggravate your pain.”
- Mind-body techniques: “include meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises help you restore a sense of control over your body and turn down the “fight or flight” response, which can worsen chronic muscle tension and pain.”
- Yoga and Tai Chi: “breath control, meditation, and gentle movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. Many studies have shown that they can help people manage pain caused by a host of conditions, from headaches to arthritis to lingering injuries.”
- Biofeedback: “Involves learning relaxation and breathing exercises with the help of a biofeedback machine, which turns data on physiological functions (such as heart rate and blood pressure) into visual cues such as a graph, a blinking light, or even an animation. Watching and modifying the visualizations gives you a degree of control over your body’s response to pain.”
- Therapeutic massage: “Massage can ease pain by working tension out of muscles and joints, relieving stress and anxiety, and possibly helping to distract you from pain by introducing a “competing” sensation that overrides pain signals.”
- Essential Oils
It’s never easy to change habits or routines. Thankfully, habits become routines with practice and all we have to do is start practicing. One of these tips is likely to become worth practicing and before you know it, you’ve got a routine! Don’t think you can do it? Music pioneer, famous heroin user and substance misuse extraordinaire, Lou Reed advocated for Tai Chi to slow down and pay attention to his body and to life itself. If Lou can do it…well, anything’s possible.
Resources and References