Some days we wake up with a headache or backache we can’t shake. We often reach for ibuprofen or acetaminophen in the hopes of soothing the situation. Maybe it’s time we try methods other than an over-the-counter pill for relieving our stress.
Here a just a few ways you could relieve your pain without medications.
Acupuncture: This process, which consists of sticking thin needles into the skin at “acupoints,” stimulates the affected area. Some therapists may twist the needles to create heat therapy to further enhance the effects of acupuncture.
Massage: Massages aren’t just good for pain relief, they have also been known to help depression and anxiety. Altering the frequency of which you receive massages can help chronic pain, too. Massages reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow, which allows oxygen to reach your muscles and get rid of the toxins causing pain.
Hot and Cold Therapy: Alternating sources of hot and cold temperatures on an affected area can reduce swelling and help with lasting pains. Heat therapy consists of applying a compress, heating pad or other heat source to the sore area. This increases blood flow and supplies oxygen to the sore muscles. Cold remedies slow down the blood flow to the injury, which reduces swelling, strains and bruises.
Herbal Remedies: Many natural chemicals in herbal or natural treatments are an active component of over-the-counter pain medications. So why not try the natural version without all the extra chemicals? Be sure to check with your doctor before trying a herbal remedy as they can cause side effects or interact with certain medications. The following all help with pain:
- Chile peppers (capsaicin)
- Birch leaf (similar to cortisone)
- Wintergreen (methyl salicylate; also found in aspirin)
- Holy basil
If you suffer from chronic pain or have had an ache for a long time, consider one of these remedies before reaching for your aspirin. Consult your doctor if the cause of the pain is unknown.