Your head is aching – as if it’s splitting into two. Ibuprofen isn’t helping. You’re scared to take stronger medicines and you nauseate in the smell of topical rubs. What can you do?
Fortunately, you have plenty of alternatives. If you want a medication that is effective and doesn’t have side effects, then you must be looking for natural pain relievers! Whether it’s back pain, headache, cramps or fatigue, these natural remedies are sure to give you lasting comfort:
1. Water, water, water!
One of the most common causes of headache is dehydration. When you are in pain, gulp a glass or two of water and expect to experience relief. You may also want to sip orange juice. Vitamin C acts as a natural antibiotic and antihistamine. It also reduces inflammation which often leads to chronic pain.
2. Practise breathing exercises.
Breathing is a crucial aspect of pain management. It relaxes your muscles, boosts oxygen supply in the body, and stimulates the production of endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller. Breathe in deeply and slowly. As you breathe, feel your whole body relaxing. Do this for a couple of minutes to experience pain relief. Achieve six breaths per minute, suggests Brent Bauer, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program director at Mayo Clinic.
3. Be flown away by music.
In a study published in The Journal of Pain, it was found that listening to the music you like leads to reduction in pain. It also works if you are highly anxious and pressured. So the next time you’re in pain, tuck in your earphones and turn up your iPod.
4. Do some yoga.
Is your back pain preventing you from having a restful sleep? Do a little yoga. Stretching has many benefits. It boosts blood flow and helps the muscles relax. Research also found that this ancient practise helps ward off stress and insomnia.
5. Consider acupressure.
Numerous studies show that acupressure is nearly as effective as acupuncture. If you want to obtain the amazing health benefits of this therapy but you’re afraid of needles, try acupressure.
6. Get a massage.
In a 2011 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, it was found that getting a massage once a week is more effective in managing pain than medications. Instead of going to the movies one night, why not visit my small secret spa? You’ll definitely love it!
7. Learn to divert your attention.
Reciting the alphabet backwards, brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand, solving a jigsaw puzzle, or any other task that is somehow difficult can inhibit pain signals to the brain, suggests a recent study published in the journal Current Biology.
8. Get enough sleep.
Spending extra hours in bed can reduce pain sensitivity and daytime sleepiness, reveals a new study published in the journal Sleep.
9. Add ginger to your meal.
Ginger was found to be as effective as OTC pain relievers, research shows. Sprinkle your dish with ginger powder to fight premenstrual pain. Ginger tea sounds great too!
10. Take fish oil.
Fish oil is perhaps one of the best supplements available today. Aside from lowering down your cholesterol level and improving your brain function, it was also found to reduce inflammation. In one study, 40 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who took cod liver oil every day were able to cut their NSAID intake by more than a third.
Take care, Steve xx