Valecia Weeks, Health Editor for Houston Forward Times Newspaper, is the owner of Assuring Hands Doula & Massage Care. She is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist as well as a Birth Doula. Valecia also is licensed and certified in Personal Training with NESTA and ZUMBA.
Ever heard the phrase "no pain…no gain?" When the pain in your body is the kind that just won’t go away, you may think that you are just paying your dues. Some physicians are quick to prescribe the latest "heavy hitter" pain killer, but even prescription medications aren’t always enough. The side effects of some of the pain relieving meds can make you appreciate being in pain more than having to deal with the dreaded after effects of pain killers. Yes, it’s important to follow your doc’s recommended medication plan, but don’t stop there. Try breaking the pain cycle with self calming that can help alleviate or at least lessen the pain.
Pain that just nags at you and continues to persist drives up the stress hormone, thus, making your back pain (for example) appear much worse than it really is. Soon you become like a dog chasing its tail…going round and round from increased stress to escalated pain perception. How do we get off the pain "merry-go-round?" Dial back those pain-boosting stress hormones by trying the following remedies:
Massage Therapy - massage calls up the body’s natural pain killers. It stimulates the release of endorphins , the morphine like substance that the body naturally produces into the brain and nervous system.
Hot or Cold? - Ice packs can help reduce swelling and numb painful joints and muscles, but some folks prefer moist heat to ease aches. Others find the best relief from a combination of both. Follow these basic guidelines: Use ice -- never heat -- in the first 48 hours after an injury, and make sure to never place an ice pack directly on the skin (use a paper towel or cotton lining). After the first 48 hours, use heat or alternate heat with cold. Not sure which is best? Check with your doctor.
Topical Rubs - Over-the-counter or prescription analgesic creams containing arnica menthol, wintergreen, peppermint, camphor, or no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may help soothe your pain. Ask your doctor whether combining topical analgesics with oral pain relievers might help even more.
Relaxing Breaths - Deep-breathing exercises not only reduce the stress associated with pain, they may also help tame the pain itself. You can use deep breathing as an emergency pain- or stress-reducing measure. Better yet, make it a daily ritual to see if it dampens overall pain levels and bolsters your mood.
So, see ladies, there is help in what may seem like a hopeless situation. Hang in there and try some of these natural remedies to help alleviate your pain. For more information on massage as a therapy, go to www.assuringhands.massagetherapy.com