Pain is a tricky thing. We all know it serves the important purpose of telling us where there’s a problem so we can find a solution. At the same time, after you receive that message, it would be nice to be able to hit the snooze button on your pain.
It isn’t quite that easy but there are plenty of ways to have more control over your pain than you realize. Without considering opiate medications, the field of natural and alternative medicine has much to offer.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or facing chronic pain, try these alternative healing and pain relief options.
1. Ongoing Physical Activity
When you’re in pain, all you want to do is lay in bed comfort yourself with a blanket. Don’t listen to that urge.
Exercise has an amazing power to reduce pain. The activity releases endorphins in your brain, which relieve pain and improve your mood. That shift in your outlook can turn around your pain.
On top of the way to enhances your brain chemistry, exercise keeps your blood flowing well. That blood flow is one of the most important ways to promote healing in your body.
There are limits, though. Make sure you only do as much exercise as your doctor permits.
2. Cupping Therapy
Everyone was talking about cupping therapy during the 2016 Olympics. It isn’t only athletes who can benefit from it.
During cupping therapy, a therapist places warm glass cups on your skin. That warming draws up your skin inside the cup with a suction-like pressure.
On top of loosening the connective tissue to relieve tension, cupping also enhances your blood flow in the area. This helps your body heal more quickly.
Acupuncture is somewhat of a medical mystery. Study after study shows that it works. We just don’t know why.
During acupuncture, a trained therapist inserts tiny needles into precise areas of your body. The needles are so fine that you can barely feel them if you feel them at all.
One theory is that acupuncture triggers your body to release pain-relieving hormones or other chemicals. Others believe the process blocks nerve signals, reducing your pain in the treated area.
Without a doubt, hypnosis is one of the most unconventional healing methods out there. Still, patients around the world are confident that it has helped them.
During hypnotherapy, a therapist draws you into a state of deep relaxation. At this point, they guide your brain through different thoughts and exercises.
Pain has so much to do with your brain that hypnotherapy may enable you to take control of that pain. For many people, hypnotherapy also helps them relax and improve their overall emotional state, which also helps them heal and reduces pain.
5. Changing Your Diet
If there is one aspect of health that is underrated, it’s the impact that food has on your body. After all, it’s our only fuel source and we know nutrients play a role in nearly every process in the body on some level.
If you’re in pain or your body needs to heal you should focus on inflammation. Chronic inflammation in your body can hold back your healing process and keep you in pain longer.
Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that reduce inflammation.
On top of adding inflammation-blocking foods to your diet, you may need to cut out certain items too. Steer clear of foods that tend to make inflammation worse, like highly-processed foods.
6. Practicing Yoga
Yoga has become stereotyped as a workout for “hippies,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga offers a wide range of benefits anyone can enjoy.
For one, yoga reduces stress. Stress and emotional strain will slow down your immune system and keep you in pain longer, so reducing stress has a healing effect.
On top of the stress relief, yoga is excellent exercise. As we mentioned above, frequent exercise produces pain-killing body chemistry.
Finally, yoga is great for your blood flow. All exercise helps with blood flow, but yoga requires you to stretch your muscles in a way that opens them up to healing.
7. Talk Therapy
Some people believe that if you try hard enough, you can think away your pain. That isn’t exactly true, but your brain’s chemistry and the signals within it have a significant impact on pain.
In particular, pain and depression go hand in hand. People with depression are more likely to be in long-lasting pain. They also have less energy to find ways to reduce that pain, like exercising.
At the same time, pain has a way of bringing on depression. This is especially true when pain lasts a long time. If you don’t feel well enough to go anywhere or live your normal life, it can make anyone feel depressed.
In this way, pain and depression form an endless cycle that can be devastating.
This is why talk therapy can make such a difference. Working through your depression can reduce your pain directly and give you the power to pursue a variety of pain relief methods.
Finding the Right Fit in Alternative Healing
There is a belief and a stereotype that in medicine, “alternative” means “ineffective.” That couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are countless types of alternative healing and alternative pain relief methods in the world. Many of them are supported by study after study, even if their exact effects are unknown.
At the end of the day, every person’s body is unique and you need to find the pain relief methods that work for you. Starting with the treatments above, start a process of trial and error to find out what works best to get you back on track.
Want to learn more about the power your diet has to improve your health? Check out more articles on our site to keep discovering.