Some days I feel like it is a blessing, and some days it is a curse but I am allergic to most pain killers. I feel like it is a blessing as I will never have to worry about addiction or deal with the mirage of side effects that go along with taking pain killers. But I'm sure you can understand why it is also a curse! I have dealt with a lot of pain over my lifetime with migraines starting at the age of 7 to polycystic ovaries wreaking havoc in my late teens and twenties to my recent four year journey with illness. I have had to find other ways to deal with my pain and I thought I would share them in case they could help you too.
When I was younger, my number one remedy was music. I would find super relaxing music and just start taking slower and deeper breaths while imaging the pain dissipating with every breath. This was before I knew anything about yoga or breathing - it was just this natural intuitive decision. I know this method may sound too simple and you may think it wouldn't do a thing, but sometimes we just need to get out of our own way and try something to test the waters. Now that I know more about music, I listen to the Solfeggio Frequencies that vibrate at a specific frequency to help with pain.
And on that note, part of that remedy was music but the other part was breathing. Our breath can control the mind or the mind can control the breath. More often than not it is our breathing that is controlling the mind. We can take our bodies out of fight or flight by controlling our breath. Focusing on long and slow exhales will help you move into rest and digest mode and as the nervous system becomes calm, the pain will lessen. Some times I use a 4-count inhale and a 6-count exhale or another variation that can help with pain and sleep is to inhale for 4-counts, hold your breath for 7 and exhale for 8-counts.
Hot and Cold
Now I feel like the most obvious natural pain relief choices are applying either ice or heat. I don't feel like this is anything new or shocking but it can be really helpful and I think we often forget to turn to the simple remedies. I experience a lot of chills and fevers which isn't pain but I have to remind myself to climb under my electric blanket or grab a heating pad when I have the chills. The mistake I see people make with hot and cold is overusing heat. Many times pain can be caused by inflammation - which means there is already too much heat which is contributing to the pain. If your pain is from inflammation it is best to use ice. If you do live in a cold climate that aggravates your pain, I highly recommend getting a heated jacket or other heated gear to help make your quality of life better.
I have tried quite a few supplements for pain relief and wasted quite a bit of money! I have narrowed it down to two different supplements that work best. Now everyone's pain stems from different issues so I can't make any guarantees but here is what I recommend. EndoInflame is what works best for me. It is a CBD supplement I found on Amazon and within days of taking it my bone pain went from a constant 8/10 to a 3/10. I ran out at one point and was in pain again two days without it. Now the other supplement I recommend didn't work for me but has worked for many of my clients and it is called Deep Blue. It is a supplement made by DoTERRA and works to decrease inflammation in the body. I find this works best for pain like arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis.
Deep Blue also comes in a topical form. It is a completely different formula than the internal supplement. The internal supplement is made from things like ginger and turmeric but the topical is made from cooling essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus. It comes in a tube of ointment, a roll on, or individual packets so I always have some handy everywhere I go. I even use it on my neck and shoulders when I'm feeling stressed and it is instant relaxation. You could just use peppermint or eucalyptus oil - I find eucalyptus oil works better. Another topical I like is Biofreeze which also comes in a variety of forms and is easier to find in stores where DoTERRA has to be ordered online.
Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Menthol are the most common active ingredients in topicals but these are all essential oils that work via aromatherapy. There are actual medical aromatherapy protocols designed for a wide variety of ailments and health conditions that can help with both healing and with pain. Learning these protocols was one of my favorite trainings I went to because it allows me to hand off the protocols to my clients and they can help themselves instead of being dependent on massage. This is wonderful during this "hands off" phase of life!
Vibration interrupts the pain signal from the nerve to the brain. There are a few different ways to use vibration therapy. My favorite method is with a vibrating massage gun but they also make balls and foam rollers that vibrate too. The massage gun is great because if you are in a lot of pain, you may not feel like getting down on the floor and pulling out your foam roller but you can lay right in bed and use the massage gun.
Foam Rolling and Stretching
Speaking of foam rollers!! Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release and it is also called the poor man's massage. This is the best way to decompress your muscles that may be contracting and tensing against the pain. I know when my bone pain is severe all of the muscles surrounding the pain start to tighten up and spasm causing even more pain than the bone pain alone. Foam rolling decompresses the muscles and can help reduce scar tissue and adhesions while increasing range of motion. Stretching will help reduce tension and it increases endorphins to help reduce your pain levels. I created an online foam rolling and stretching course that teaches how to foam roll every part of the body and gives you 16 stretches and 4 sequences to address the hips, hamstrings, spine, and the neck and shoulders. I also work with people online to create custom stretching routines to help address your aches and pains.
Those are the most common natural remedies I use and the beautiful thing is that you can combine them all in different ways to get different effects. Turn on some music, focus on your breathing, apply an ice pack, and then put on some deep blue and use the massage gun. You can download my free guided meditation or access most of my recommended products in my Amazon shop. I hope you can find a way to use some of these techniques to address your own needs.