Pain. Nobody wants to have it. Few people want to hear you talk about it. But for some of us it is a reality. It is a constant companion.
My pain has changed my life. I am limited in my physical activities. It hurts to walk. And I know exercise, which is a natural pain remedy, is vital in so many ways! A real Catch 22; exercise would help manage my pain, but it hurts to do it. So here are some alternatives to exercise that may help you manage your pain. They are natural pain remedies, because they aren’t products at all!
Stretches and Yoga
I have a few CDs that I switch around that seem to help lessen the pain. They vary in length from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Doing one or two of them as often as possible seems to help. I know that I’d rather just sit, but that’s not good for me. Here’s what I have:
The Complete Healthy Back System, Back to Life by Emily Lark – a fellow pain sufferer, she speaks from experience
Yoga over 50 with Barbara Benagh – gentle and relaxing, but still challenging
Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams – also relaxing and focuses on various parts of the body
Classical Stretch The Esmonde Technique – 30 challenging but doable active stretches that will get your heart going
I recommend you use a yoga mat. If you don’t have one, here is a link to purchase an affordable one from eBay.
Laugh with friends
Does this sound obvious? But when is the last time you did this? I am blessed to have friends that make me laugh, and I always attempt to return the favor. Laughter releases those feel good endorphins, that may numb pain. And when you are with people you love who make you happy you aren’t focused on yourself and your pain. It makes you forget for a time.
A few words of advice though. Don’t be a Debbie Downer when you get together with friends. Yeah, you’re in pain, but ask about them, see what makes them happy. Come prepared with a few jokes. Be the person that everyone wants to be around. I’m not being Pollyanna here. I know from experience what kind of people attract others. People that complain and talk only about themselves are lonely for a reason. Don’t be that person. Practice asking questions. Think about others. Don’t talk about yourself so much.
I can speak from first hand experience that when I am laughing with others I forget completely about my pain. What a relief!
I don’t watch TV. It is a time waster for me. For relaxation I read. But otherwise, I keep busy. This seems to work like laughter; if you are focused on something else, you don’t focus on the pain. Focusing on the pain makes it stronger. Find projects and activities that you can participate in. On good days I attempt something physical. On bad days, something more sedentary. Have lists that will provide you with ideas to work on. Just making lists and plans helps your attitude.
It is my hope that these natural pain remedies will give you some relief and joy.
Limit certain foods
Did you know that alcohol and caffeine can increase pain? There seems to be evidence that stress hormones can affect pain, increasing it’s level. Caffeine increases the stress hormones, therefore, caffeine increases pain. Alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb several vitamins that are essential for nerve health. If your body is unable to function at it’s peak, then your pain could be worse.