Natural Pain Management: The Power of Movement, The Mind and MealsDr. Jim Collins
Pain has been universally experienced by humans throughout the ages. It continues to be an unwelcome sensation today. Pain can be felt both physically and emotionally. In addition, it can negatively affect quality of life.
There are more treatment options for pain today than ever. Most of them don’t require invasive procedures or prescription medications.
According to current CDC guidelines, one of the most effective methods to reduce pain is exercise therapy. Especially for chronic pain. According to a recent research article in Innovative Aging, physical therapy is also recommended to reduce pain symptoms. It can also improve physical strength and overall well-being.
Although resting for short periods of time can help heal the body, too much rest can also do more damage than good. Research has shown that regular exercise and movement can improve muscle tone and flexibility. Similarly, exercise also causes a release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
Some exercises to try include:
Mind-Body therapies are gaining more attention lately. They are viewed by many healthcare experts as effective methods of managing and reducing pain. These therapies involve the mind’s ability to positively impact the functions and symptoms of the body.
Some mind-body techniques include:
- Guided imagery
- Breathing exercise
William Welches, D.O., PhD, a pain management specialist, recommends healthy eating as a way to manage pain. He states, “…diet should be an integral part of a pain management program – especially as patients age”. Above all, he believes that an anti-inflammatory diet can be a powerful way to reduce pain and improve health.
Some foods and beverages that will reduce inflammation and help manage pain include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Green tea
- Cherry juice
- Salmon and tuna
- Olive and canola oils
- Garlic, onions and chiles
- Ginger, turmeric and cloves
- Nuts and flax seeds
- Whole grains and quinoa
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine
Pain is an experience that will affect everyone. However, there are a number of ways to naturally reduce and manage it and without intrusive measures or the need for prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Research supports physical movement, using the power of the mind, and healthy eating as some of the most effective pain management methods.