Wednesday, December 19, 2018

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Many people who suffer from chronic, oftentimes debilitating pain can find themselves frustrated by their seeming lack of progress using just conventional western medicine. Synthetic drugs, after prolonged use, can not only cause undesirable side-effects but can damage the liver. Additionally, using one prescription medicine can set off a chain reaction of needing yet another prescription medicine to counterbalance the side effects of the first and so on, making you dependent and possibly addicted to your medicines.

There are many methods to achieve chronic pain relief, and it doesn’t have to be created in a lab. Safe and effective methods such as Chinese medicine, meditation, yoga and acupuncture can help you to achieve pain relief and also peace of mind by knowing that you are being kind to your body and mind.

Chinese medicine is a method that has been practiced for thousands of years and still offers pain relief today. The medicine is based upon the ideas of yin and yang and Qi. Yin and Yang are the masculine/feminine aspects of our bodies and Qi is the flow of energy. When the balance of these are disrupted through diet, stress, and other external factors, the body can enter into a state of pain or disharmony. Acupuncture is one of the main components of this ancient medicine practice. The theory underlying it is based on the flow of Qi through the body. Ancient practitioners believed that Qi connected the internal organs and that when this flow was blocked it would cause disease. The insertion of tiny needles into the skin is thought to undo the blockage and restore the flow of Qi, bringing about pain relief. Acupuncture remedies have been repeatedly shown to bring relief to those who suffer from back pain, post-op pain, and in ameliorating the side effects of chemotherapy.

Another method of alternative medicine is massage therapy. This practice also goes back thousands of years and there are many modalities, including the most frequent method used in the western world called Swedish massage. Deeper modalities that utilize more pressure are sports massage and deep tissue massage. Reiki is light touch therapy and reflexology, which focuses on the hands, feet, and scalp, is also a lighter method and one more appropriate for those who are frail or in a state of recovery. All methods of massage loosen tight muscles and the simple touch of the human hand can help to relieve pain. Other physiological effects of massage are lower cortisol levels, improved blood circulation, and enhanced immune function.

Additionally, mind-body therapies like yoga and hypnosis can aid in pain management. Yoga combines yogic postures, mindful breathing, and meditation to calm the mind and relax the body. Yoga helps to improve blood flow and keep muscles flexible. Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness where outside distractions are blocked, enabling people to focus intently on a particular topic. A certified hypnotist leads you through the exercises and helps to open your mind to suggestion, specifically when trying to eliminate a bad habit such as smoking. Studies on hypnosis have shown that it is effective in helping to ease the pain of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, allergies, stress disorders, and many others.

Regular exercise can also help to alleviate your symptoms of pain. It improves your mood and improves cardiovascular, pulmonary, and muscle functions.

These methods are low in cost or free and can only enhance your pain management process by bringing you closer to peace of mind, a stronger body, and emotional rehabilitation.

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