Ease Everyday Pains, Naturally
Many people suffer from low-grade aches and pains, especially as they age. Whether their discomfort stems from specific activities or simply from sitting around too much, dealing with ongoing pain can leave them feeling fatigued, impatient and stressed.
Fortunately, there are many ways to ease minor pain and feel better without resorting to conventional pain relievers. Lawrence Rosen, MD, a pediatrician, author and certified trainer of yoga teachers, offers these tips:
1. Curative foods and beverages
Excess weight puts undue stress on joints. Try a diet that promotes joint and tissue heath. For a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory zest, add a dash of flaxseeds, rosemary, mustard seed, fresh ginger, turmeric or cayenne pepper to your meals. Green tea, rich in antioxidants, is also thought to lower the risk of arthritis.
Calcium can help prevent arthritis and osteoporosis in older age. Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, can lower inflammation.
3. Topical treatment
Try an arnica-based, topical gel or cream, which doesn’t have the strong medicine smell of menthol and camphor ingredients. Arnica montana (Latin for mountain daisy), can be used at the first sign of muscle pain, stiffness, swelling from injuries and bruising. Boiron, among several companies that carry it, sells an arnica gel and cream free of fragrances, dyes and parabens.
4. Essential oils
Eucalyptus or lavender in the form of essential oils can be added to a bath to ease minor muscle injuries. Both are often included in packages of Epsom salt for baths. Lavender oil, known also to promote relaxation and sleep, is also often used during massages to help soothe aching tissue and muscles.
5. Mind-Body therapies
Massage, acupuncture, meditation and “mindfulness” are all particularly good therapies for reducing pain. “Yoga and other mindfulness tools have clearly demonstrated benefits for those struggling with chronic pain,” Rosen says.
Pain can take its toll on one’s physical and mental well-being. Don’t resign yourself to needless suffering. Consider alternative ways to feel better.
Other ways to feel good