The opioid epidemic is out of control. Huge numbers of ordinary folks like you and me have innocently ended up addicted after taking a pain med prescribed by their doctor.
And over-the-counter NSAIDs might not be addictive, but they are dangerous.
Your pain is real. You deserve relief. And simply wishing it away isn’t going to work. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back… and your knees, head and feet too.
First we thing we suggest shoving those NSAIDs to the back of the medicine cabinet. Replace them with a few all-natural pain relievers instead. SAM-e, devil’s claw, ginger, turmeric and a topical pain killer with capsaicin or menthol are a good place to start.
Next, make sure you have a heating pad and an ice pack on hand. Aches and cramping pain respond well to heat. And for twists and pulls that come with inflammation, a cooling ice pack can bring quick relief.
5 wacky pain relievers that truly work
But as effective as all those remedies are, they aren’t your only drug-free options. Following are five unusual pain relievers that are as effective as they are unconventional.
The next time you find yourself battling a bout of pain why not try one… or all five?
1. Use your sniffer:
Studies, including a meta-analysis published in the journal Pain Research and Treatment, have found smelling aromatic plant extracts can significantly reduce pain.
Lavender essential oil, for example has been used to relieve a variety of aches and pains. In studies, researchers have…
- had volunteers sniff the oil directly from a bottle
- added it to an oil diffuser to scent the air in a room
- sprinkled it on cotton placed near a bed
And in every case, users have reported the scented oil helped to ease their pain.
If you’re not a fan of lavender, the Cleveland Clinic recommends bergamot, cinnamon, geranium, ginger, or lemongrass oils, as well. Just be sure you’re using 100 percent essential oils. Fragrance, perfume, or candles won’t give you the same results.
2. Turn to a furry friend:
Relaxation, stress management, and plain old distraction can all provide significant pain relief. And you can get all three in the form of a furry friend.
Pet ownership is a proven stress reliever. A pet will help you relax and distract you from the pain. Plus, having a loyal companion around who is always happy to see you, and provides you with unconditional love, will help boost your mood. This in turn will ease your pain, as well.
But that’s not the only way pet ownership helps. Pets motivate us to get up and move more. And the gentle exercise you get playing a game of catch the string with the kitty or walking the pooch will help take the edge off your pain.
3. Take a deep breath:
Incredibly, you can use something you’re already doing over 23,000 times a day to help you overcome pain. I’m talking about breathing, of course.
And while there are a number of effective deep breathing techniques to choose from, an easy one to start with is foursquare breathing. Sit in a comfortable position, back straight and feet on the floor if possible (but not necessary).
- Inhale deeply, filling your abdomen, for a count of four
- Hold your breath for another count of four
- Exhale, through pursed lips. for four more beats
- Hold, with your lungs empty, for four
Repeat the four steps ten times. By the time you’re finished, your pain should have faded into the background and feel far more manageable.
Keep in mind mastering deep breathing can take a little practice. So don’t worry if it feels a bit awkward at first or doesn’t work immediately. Keep trying.
4. Go ahead and %$*#!:
Does being in pain make you feel like swearing sometimes? If so, go right ahead and let loose. Because researchers from Keele University in England found that a bit of cursing can help take the edge of your pain.
When study volunteers didn’t have to hold back on swearing they were able to withstand pain longer, compared to when they had to hold it in.
So next time you’re in pain, make sure there aren’t any sensitive ears close by. Then go ahead and let her rip. While it won’t make the pain vanish completely, it can help make it a whole heck of a lot easier to handle.
5. Get a little frisky:
Next time you’re suffering with an aching head (or a throbbing toe for that matter) don’t opt out of intimacy. Because it turns out skipping out on sex could keep that pain hanging around far longer.
Experts say sex is a proven pain reliever which can take the teeth out of all kinds of agony including, ironically, headache pain. When you have an orgasm, your body releases oxytocin. This hormone blocks pain receptors, reducing headaches and other types of pain.
Your pain reliever choices don’t end with deadly opioids or dangerous NSAIDs. Soothe your pain using one of these unusual but effective pain relief solutions instead.
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