Pain can be intense and incredibly disabling. Or, it can be a minor annoyance. Of course, there is a wide range of medications that can help to ease pain and discomfort. But quite often these medicines can have nasty side effects. Taking such medication in the short term might be acceptable. But over the long term, these side effects can themselves create health risks.
I find that many people want to avoid the use of medications if they can. They would rather opt for something natural so long as it is effective.
When it comes to pain relief I find that acupuncture can be both quick and effective. But other therapies also have a lot to offer.
Acupuncture and pain
Acupuncture is a popular and widely accepted treatment for musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain and arthritis. The treatment works by promoting the release of the body's own local pain-relieving chemicals. It may also block the transmission of signals to the brain so that we don't feel the sensation.
Even though acupuncture is most well known for relieving this type of muscular or joint pain. It is also able to help with other types of discomfort. For instance, acupuncture can be very effective for reducing the incidence and severity of migraines and headaches, or menstrual pain.
There is also evidence that acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment to help with pain during pregnancy. This is important because it affects many women during this time. Of course, it is also a period when medications should be avoided or minimised wherever possible due to concerns over a risk to the developing baby.
Yet acupuncture is not just for physical discomfort. It also helps with the relief of emotional pain such as depression or grief.
Cupping is an ancient therapy that has been used for the relief of pain for millennia. This therapy is very similar to massage. I find that it helps promote circulation, reduce inflammation and promotes healing.
Herbal remedies have a long tradition of use to ease pain and discomfort. There is even evidence that what we eat can make a difference.
This is because many constituents of herbs and foods are anti-inflammatory or antispasmodic. This means they may reduce inflammation and prevent cramps and spasms.
In addition, many herbal remedies have constituents that can be absorbed through the skin. This means that when they are applied topically, they can have therapeutic effects. So herbalists might offer analgesic herbal creams, gels or ointments as well as teas or tinctures.
See my posts about managing pain:
The link between fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome
Why NSAIDs are not the best solution for osteoarthritis
Could coenzymeQ10 reduce your fibromyalgia pain?
How acupuncture works from a western perspective
8 natural alternatives to NSAIDs
Herbal remedies to heal skin ulcers
Nigella sativa and osteoarthritis of the knee
Which therapies for chronic pain?
Which therapy - chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis
Which therapies work for low back pain?
Complementary therapies for chronic neck pain
Is your pain medication working for your chronic pain?
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by bacteria
Which are the best anti-inflammatory herbs and spices
Rosehips improve osteoarthritis symptoms
Also see my articles on autoimmunity