Acute or chronic pain is frustrating and exhausting. It may cause insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, deplete your sex drive and suck the happiness right out of your life. Headaches, painful joints and muscles, injuries and even emotional trauma are just a few of the issues we are often confronted with during our daily struggle. The good news is that you may not need to have these body battles.
There are are a number of things that you can do on your own to decrease your pain and improve your overall health. Drink fresh filtered water, ideally half your weight in ounces. This detoxifies your systems as well as hydrates your tissues. This is extremely important since when you’re dehydrated you are more prone to injury; consequently it also takes longer for things to heal.
Eating a healthy, whole food diet, especially an anti-inflammatory diet, will give your body the nutrients it needs to repair itself. Basically if you eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, you’re on the right track. Avoid dairy, highly processed foods, and things that are dense in sugar, such as baked goods. Also eat healthy carbohydrates like potatoes, quinoa, millet, and grains that take longer then a minute to prepare. Reducing your inflammation is key while allowing your body to heal itself.
Your mother may not have known it, but telling you to go to bed early has great healing benefits for your entire body. High quality sleep is very important to decrease chronic pain. It’s estimated that on average we sleep approximately two hours less than we did 50 years ago.
Aim to be sleeping by 11:30 p.m. during daylight saving time and 10:30 p.m. during standard time or earlier to get at least 8 hours. These times are significant based on our internal clock with emphasis on the liver and gallbladder in Chinese medicine. The liver specifically is responsible for the smooth flow of circulation, the ability to handle stress and to have fairly even emotions. A healthy liver can help us regenerate and repair while we sleep.
Exercise will help improve circulation and strengthen your connective tissue. Use the 70 percent rule with your workouts. When injured or in chronic pain, the goal is to have safe and healthy progress. More pain will cause less gain in this scenario. Work out to about 70 percent of your ability and avoid going to complete exhaustion. Maxing yourself out when you’re not in pain may have benefits, but will retard healing if you are in a state of mending old injuries. Avoid activities that are prone to injury or that may re-aggravate your condition.
Drink several cups of ginger or cinnamon tea each day to improve digestion, circulation and decrease pain. Ginger and cinnamon are warm and invigorating. Drink several cups of mint tea to decrease inflammation and pain. Mint is also invigorating, but cooling.
Let’s get rid of that chronic pain and boost your sex drive. If you’ve tried these home remedies and are still having issues, we can assist you with acupuncture, Chinese medicine and naturopathic medicine and customize a treatment to get you feeling refreshed, and stronger then ever before. Acupuncture can open up the smooth flow of circulation in your body, improve your sleep quality and decrease your pain. Our multitude of naturopathic options can give every cell in your body a boost towards being pain free.
For a more detailed plan, you may schedule with a Health Moves doctor and receive quality guidance.
Fred Russo is a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine. He may be reached at Health Moves, 17311 135th Avenue NE Ste. C-800, Woodinville, WA 98072; 425.402.9999; or www.HealthMoves.org. Most insurances accepted.