Although I majored in cardiology, my patients, and even people who weren't my patients, have always tended to share what was hurting them. Backs, knees, necks, shoulders… they all seemed to have some kind of pain or discomfort.
I was not immune either. For years I faced a bad hip, courtesy of my college wrestling days.
Inevitably, the accounts and descriptions of these chronic pains will end the same way. "Do you have any suggestions for me?"
Natural pain relief the high vibration way
The best way to relieve chronic pain is to go to its root cause, and for me, that's all about energy.
Pain is fundamentally an attention grabber. In fact, it is probably the most effective way for our bodies to let us know that something is out of balance and needs to change.
However, a big problem is that we don't treat it that way. Instead, we are willing to burden ourselves with medications that can have toxic and addictive side effects. For starters, pain medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) were recently shown to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Worse yet, these drugs don't even fix the problem. They only cover you for a while, until you develop a tolerance for your dose. Then they prescribe even more.
That is not good medicine!
Why? First of all, ignore the body's natural healing wisdom. But more importantly, it decreases cell vibration. Prescription drugs are known to create nutrient deficiencies and other vibration-lowering side effects. Your goal should always be to take less of them, not more.
A better approach is to use natural therapies that increase cell vibration and improve energy flow in painful areas. It seems to me that these can bring significant pain relief. And, because several of them also involve the mind / body connection, they can also help reduce the emotional impact of chronic pain.
In fact, these approaches are so effective that the American College of Physicians included several of my favorites in their new guidelines for the non-surgical treatment of low back pain, which was designed to decrease dependence on opioid pain relievers. Are here
Natural Pain Reliever # 1: Anti-inflammatory Diet
Since pain is often caused or aggravated by inflammation, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet such as the PAMM (Pan Asian Modified Mediterranean) diet is an easy task. There are many benefits to this, but the main one is that the less foods you eat that stimulate your body's inflammatory response, the better you will feel. Additionally, PAMM's high fiber content helps your body discharge toxins that can cause additional inflammation.
To eat the PAMM way, focus on high-vibration foods like fresh organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and low-glycemic carbohydrates, along with healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3-rich fish. Remember, an anti-inflammatory diet is a long-term lifestyle approach, and pain relief will likely be gradual. But if you limit yourself to it, you will eventually see benefits.
Natural Pain Reliever # 2: Acupuncture
There may be no better example of vibration healing than acupuncture. The entire practice is based on enhancing the flow of qi (pronounced "chee"), or energy, throughout the body.
In traditional Chinese medicine (along with other oriental practices), qi is thought to flow through us along specific pathways, just like blood flows through arteries. Good flow means good health. But when qi is blocked, it can cause physical symptoms, such as pain, around the area where the flow stops. If you think of a stream or river that gets blocked, and the type of erosion and flooding that occurs, that's basically what happens with qi.
Acupuncturists can ease pain by removing qi blocks with small needles. Don't panic at the thought of being a human pin cushion, the actual procedure is actually quite pain free!
Natural pain reliever # 3: Massage
Massage helps release stress and tension that builds up in muscle tissue and stimulates blood flow, allowing energy to flow more freely. It is also useful for improving lymphatic circulation, which helps the body rid itself of toxins. Because massage is practical therapy, it also transfers the energy and healing intention of the therapist. In the hands of a conscientious and energy-savvy professional, this can bring another level of healing to the table.
Natural Pain Reliever # 4: Chiropractic
Chiropractic adjusts the alignment of your bones, specifically your spine. It is based on the idea that misaligned vertebrae can have a ripple effect on surrounding nerves, muscles, and bones, leading to mobility problems and pain. Regular adjustments can help maintain proper alignment, allowing the body's energy and self-healing ability to flow more freely.
Natural Pain Reliever # 5: Exercise
When you're in pain, the last thing you want to do is move, but it's actually one of the best things for you. Regular, moderate exercise (15-20 minutes a day) keeps your energy flowing, increasing your breathing, blood flow, and body temperature. (Heat indicates higher vibratory energy). It also helps protect against "rusty door syndrome," which kicks in when we don't move enough. Like the hinges on an old forgotten door, our joints and muscles stiffen when not in use. Exercise keeps them loose and swinging freely.
However, with exercise, you have to be careful about one thing, and that is not to overdo it. Too much effort can increase swelling and pain, which will lower your vibration, not raise it. Additionally, vigorous exercise can cause oxidative stress, which also reduces vibratory energy.
Natural pain reliever # 6: mindfulness-based stress reduction
MBSR, as it is also called, is a meditation-like practice in which you focus on being fully present in each moment by noticing your surroundings, emotions, and thoughts, as well as the physical sensations in your body. When your body and mind are connected in this way, you are less likely to accumulate "stress energy" - the muscle tension and pain that kick in when you're on autopilot. (If you've ever looked up from a project and suddenly felt pain or stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you know what I mean!)
There is only one rule for MBSR, and that is do not judge yourself or your thoughts. Just breathe out and let them go.
Natural pain reliever # 7: Yoga
Of all these natural pain relievers, yoga is probably my favorite. I've been doing it for years and I love how it makes me feel. I think it is the mother of all mind-body-spirit activities.
When it comes to pain, yoga helps with flexibility, which naturally helps to relax muscles and improve strength and range of motion in crusty joints. (It has been shown to be an effective way to help manage chronic low back pain, in particular.) Don't be intimidated by all the poses. A main rule of yoga is that you respect your limits and do what you can. There is no need to force yourself to make a "human pretzel." However, I would not recommend yoga if you have acute pain, unless you take it very light and do not press anything.
Yoga is also a great stress reducer. That's important for pain, because chronic pain can easily be aggravated by stress. A pain in the neck can literally put stress on your neck!
I got a first-hand look at the stress-busting power of yoga when I led a workshop at a yoga retreat a few years ago. After a specific practice called alternate nostril breathing, the yogis' heart rate variability (HRV) improved significantly. HRV is a measure of how flexible the heart is, beat by beat. The higher your HRV, the more relaxed and able to flow you are.
Natural Pain Reliever # 8: Earth Connection
I love grounding (or "Landing") almost as much as I love yoga, for many of the same reasons. It's a great way to help balance your body's stress response and improve heart rate variability.
There is also evidence to suggest that grounding can help relieve pain by helping to reduce inflammation. When you absorb negatively charged free electrons from the Earth's surface, they neutralize positively charged free radicals, shorting out the inflammatory process.
Grounding yourself is easy. Just walk barefoot on a natural surface (grass, sand, clay, or stone) for at least 20 minutes every day, or use a grounding device, such as a sheet. Both techniques connect you with the natural healing energy of our planet.
When natural pain relief is not enough
As good as these pain relief techniques are, I must admit that there may still be times when you need help from conventional medicine for relief. With my hip, I finally gave up and had a complete joint replacement.
Hopefully, you won't need something as drastic as surgery. However, it may turn out that you actually benefit from a prescription pain medication. If you have tried the alternatives and are still not getting the results you need, you can proceed with this. Just follow the same advice that I used to give my heart patients. Take the medications, but keep using the natural therapies, too. They will help reduce the dose you need, which will mean less toxicity in your body.
Remember, pain does not need to define your life. You can take healthy and natural steps to control it.
By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
References (in English)
- Büssing A et al. Effects of yoga interventions on pain and pain-associated disability: a meta-analysis. J Pain. 2012 Jan; 13 (1): 1-9.
- Cramer H et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga for low back pain. Clin J Pain. 2013 May; 29 (5): 450-60.
- Ghaly M and Teplitz D. Thebiologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress. J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Oct; 10 (5): 767-76.
- Holtzman S and Beggs RT. Yoga for chronic low back pain: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pain Res Manag. 2013 Sep-Oct; 18 (5): 267-72.
- Oschman JL, Chevalier G, and Brown R. Theeffects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory andautoimmune diseases. J Inflamm Res. 2015 Mar 24; 8: 83-96.
- Qaseem A et al. Noninvasivetreatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: A clinicalpractice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Apr 4; 166 (7): 514-530.
Article in English: HeartMD Institute