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Natural Pain Relief

Before we get started you should remember that your pain serves a very useful purpose. It is your body's way of prompting you to do something about this pain. If you need medical advice, talk to your doctor. Beyond that here are some helpful things to know about natural pain relief. The following may provide symptomatic relief but in no way, shape or form treats the underlying cause of your pain.

Sensitivity to Pain

Let's start with your sensitivity to pain. If you are in pain right now, it is helpful to know what increases it and what decreases the pain. By being aware of what increases your sense of pain you can easily figure out what to do about it. Things that increase pain include;
  • Dehydration (not drinking enough water)
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Inflammation
  • Negative emotional stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fear
  • Nicotine
  • Opiate medications
  • Over stimulating the Sympathetic nervous system
  • Poor sleep
  • Tensing your muscles
  • Vigorous exercise
The remainder of this article addresses those things that decrease your pain or decrease your sensitivity to pain.

Wonderful Water

Water is probably the most natural, and abundant, pain reliever on the planet. Nothing can take the place of a hot bath to relax muscles and relieve pain caused by tension. That is why hot tubs are to popular. But that is not the only way to use water to relieve pain. Many pregnant women have found that using a warm to hot shower on their lower back or over their belly provides a wonderful relief. You really should try both and see which one you like best.


Heat can relieve pain by improving circulation to the muscles, which decreases spasms, and reduces inflammations. Heat also increases blood flow to the skin, relieves joint stiffness and decreases sensitivity to pain. There are a verity of different kinds of heat packs or hot packs from homemade to electric. Here is short list:
  • towel wet with hot water
  • Electric heat pack
  • Disposable Heat packs
  • Reusable heat packs
  • Nappies
  • Hot water bottle
  • Rice heat pack
  • Flax seed
An added bonus of the disposable heat packs is that they're designed to hold moisture so they don't drip everywhere and the crystals inside seem to retain heat exceptionally well. Heat packs can be made with or without herbs. The reusable heat packs can be heated in your microwave oven.


The natural response to stress is to take short, quick breaths. Unfortunately this tends to intensify the stress, heightens anxiety, and increases your sensitivity to pain. Taking slow deep breaths does the oppisite. Remember how women in labor are told to focus on their breathing? Sometimes the same approach can be useful for other kinds of pain.

Anyone with chronic pain should learn to do deep breathing exercises several times a day. Deep breathing means taking only 5 to 10 breathes per minute. Breathing well oxygenates your blood, which in turn can help you reduce pain.

Changing Position

Some kinds of pain are greatly influenced by the position of your body. Listen to your instincts in regards to the position of your body. Moving around can have a big impact on your pain tolerance. Choose positions that are comfortable for you.

Herbs for Pain Relief

Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea but can also be grated into vegetable juice.

Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients. This one seems to work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Krill Oil: The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have been found, by many animal and clinical studies, to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Bromelain: This is an enzyme found in pineapples. It is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This is an oil found in fish and dairy butter. It acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. Try this to relieve ganglion cysts and mild carpal tunnel syndrome. Use a topical preparation for this.

Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for the pain of arthritis. Borage oil contains a highest concentration of GLA, which means you need fewer capsules, and it tends to be less expensive.

Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this is a spice that comes from dried hot peppers. Cayenne reduces pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.

California Poppy and Jamaican Dogwood: Good as natural alternatives for pain relief, especially nerve pain. These herbs do not irritate the stomach like some NSAID's or other prescription medications.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa): A member of the ginger family, Turmeric has been used in traditional Indian dishes and other ethnic cuisine. Studies reveal turmeric increase the secretion of bile, liver protective activity, cholesterol lowering and weight loss effects. It also exhibits very powerful anti-inflammatory actions.

The National Cancer Institute and Columbia Presbyterian Medical centers are looking into turmeric's anti cancer activity. This plant may offer safe, and effective relief of arthritis pain for those sufferers who were on Celebrex and Vioxx. There are reports that Tumeric is showing good results for people with eczema and mild acne or rosacea.

Although there is no known toxicity level for tumeric, large doses are not recommended in cases of painful gallstones, obstructive jaundice, or extremely toxic liver disorders. The typical dosage ranges from 100 and 300 mgs. 2-3 times daily, depending on your amount of pain. This based on the assumption that this is all you are using. If you are using a combination of botanicals or other formulas, your dosage may be less.

Look for products that have a 90-95% curcuminoid level, or a super critical extraction process. Those two criteria should almost guarantee the level of quality in the product.

Methods such as yoga, acupuncture, and even holding hands can also result in an astonishing amount of pain relief without any drugs.

If you find this page useful share it with others. If you know of a natural product that gives pain reief, use the form below to add your comments, feedback or suggestions. Please note that all addresses are held confidential.

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Copyright 2009 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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