Pain Management Starts In The Mind
by Jess Walter - Freelance Writer
Plenty of chemical painkillers exist and there’s no doubt that they work. However, they are incredibly addictive, with 785 methadone deaths occurring in Florida and tens of thousands of Brits being dependent on painkillers such as Neurofen Plus. It is understandable that many people are looking for effective alternatives. Fortunately, there are natural and holistic pain relievers, with a growing body of scientific backing. Below are some of the main options and an explanation of why they work.
Meditation and guided imagery
Meditation can be a powerful relaxation tool, meaning that it can combat the intense pain of a hernia injury or a chronic backache. For evolutionary reasons, you have a general bias towards negative feelings and emotions. This means that your brain is exaggerating negative feelings and giving them priority over positive experiences.
Meditation can counterbalance negativity, by guiding you towards a focus on the positive.
Your meditation sessions may take the form of contemplating the good things in your life, rewiring your brain for positivity. It will also put you in a deeply relaxed state. Pain is a response to danger, whereas relaxation suggests that there is none. So if you’re in this state, much of the mental experience of pain will be diminished.
A holistic approach views everything in your life as being interconnected. If you are experiencing chronic pain, there may not be one simple solution. Instead, consider making lifestyle changes. Often pain is caused by inflammation, but fortunately, there are many anti-inflammatory foods on the market.
The best anti-inflammatory diets include plenty of turmeric, ginger, oily fish and dark green vegetables, such as kale and broccoli. If you’re lacking in these kinds of foods, then consider if your pain is a result of excessive inflammation. Upping your intake of these foods will also bring a number of health benefits, including stronger bones and muscles, so the chance of further injury is reduced. It can be easy to simply reach for a pill to fix the pain, but there may be deeper issues that can be solved through a change in diet.
It’s important to remember that anything which releases endorphins can be addictive, but if controlled, it’s a great natural alternative to methadone or Xanax.
The World Health Organization lists over 30 conditions that can be treated using acupuncture and pain relief is one of the most common reasons to undergo the practice. When a needle is inserted near nerves, endorphins are released. This is your brain’s natural pain blocking mechanism. This can be complemented with any activity that releases dopamine or adrenaline in a healthy way, such as exercise.
Pain is an important part of the human condition, alerting you to potential dangers within your own body. Simply blocking them with chemical prescriptions ignores the fundamental cause and can lead to addiction. Since pain is often caused by a negativity bias and dietary deficiencies, consider meditation or consuming new foods to manage the pain naturally. For instant pain relief, acupuncture offers a natural release of endorphins to block the pain.
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