my new(ish) favorite pain-relieving modalities
* Honest, genuine reviews and experiences…not a sponsored post.
I get a lot of questions regarding how I’ve managed my pain this past year without medications, injections, or surgery. Honestly, it’s difficult to answer because I’m constantly trying new things and tweaking old practices. I’m also quite a ways off from having everything figured out. Nevertheless, these are tools I use above all others to try to keep my symptoms under control…at least for today!
Kinesiology tape: Not everyone supports the use of kinesiology tape, but I’m a big fan. It helps keep my hypermobile joints in place and reduces inflammation.
Infrared heating pad: Infrared heating pads are more expensive than their electrical counterparts but, in my opinion, worth every penny. Their heat penetrates deeper than a traditional heating pad, they increase blood circulation, and they emit low EMF radiation. Win, win, W I N !
Chinese herbs: In the course of one week both my acupuncturist and my shaman recommended I take Chinese herbs. As if the timing of their separate suggestions wasn’t coincidence enough, their specific herb recommendations were practically identical. While taking these herbs doesn’t directly influence my pain (yet), they do promote a sense of physical and emotional calm. With my muscles, joints, and mind in a relaxed state, I can more successfully manage my discomfort.
Essential oils: My current favorite essential oil for controlling spikes in pain is lavender. Using a carrier to help it go farther, I rub it over aching muscles, joints, and trigger points before going to bed at night. It’s a beautiful thing.
Anti-gravity running: I finally gave up long-distance running in 2011 when it became clear that my body could no longer handle it. For years I tried to find some form of exercise that didn’t exacerbate my symptoms, eventually giving up. I didn’t realize, however, that the decision to stop moving made everything worse. A few years ago I discovered the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. It allows me to walk or run at as little as 20% of my body weight and get moving even on the bad days. (If you’d like to try an AlterG, you can click here to learn where there are available machines near you.)
Diet: I couldn’t begin to manage my symptoms without following a strict diet. While my body’s needs are constantly changing, there are three big things that I consistently avoid: refined sugar, wheat, and dairy. They wreak havoc on my body by increasing inflammatory responses, promoting spikes in pain, and making me feel all-around lousy.
Acupuncture: I go to acupuncture at least once every month. When my symptoms are particularly challenging and I need extra help, I’ll add more sessions. I feel so fortunate to have found Noell who is not only a fantastic acupuncturist but has also provides me so much support and guidance as I try to navigate this path towards healing. (By the way, Noell offers distance Spiritual Healing sessions so anyone can benefit from her insight no matter where you live!)
Meditation: If you follow me you’re probably rolling your eyes right now because this is something I bring up a lot. I can’t help it, though, as it’s truly the crux of everything I do. Meditation helps relax my physical body (which can stave off discomfort or even bring down pain during a flare) as well as promotes mental clarity to help me better relate to my world. It enhances everything I do in the name of pain management and has helped me live a happier day-to-day life.
I hope you can find something here that helps you. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!