Massage and Natural Therapies
Natural options to care for your pain
Traditional allopathic medicine is known and loved for its ease and convenience…you take a pill and you get results. There are lots of arguments about the challenges of side effects and long term use that come into play. For that reason I like to share knowledge that I have gained from education, trusted mentors, and experience over the years that helps manage pain naturally. Thinking and applying self-care in layers is going to get you the best results.
Epson salt baths-or magnesium sulfate in a hot bath soak. 1-2 cups in a standard tub of water. Soak for 20-30 minutes. Fully submerge the parts of the body that are most painful. Caution: magnesium is known as a laxative when taken orally. Certainly reduce amount of salts or frequency of tub soaks if you have that experience. Also Magnesium can be very relaxing…many take orally in the evening to help with sleep. Same cautions apply.
Stretch routine- of your choice but I highly recommend yoga because it focuses on stretch, strengthening, breath work (very important in managing pain) and very importantly but less talked about it teaches you to manage and quiet run away thoughts which strengthens your psyche which goes a long way in managing pain. There are lots of classes out there that use caution for people with injury or who challenged with movement, or just nervous and new and clumsy. I like to refer to OM Turtle Yoga, Florissant Civic Center.
Physical therapy- if you haven’t tried, do so. Do the exercises they leave for you. And especially**be an advocate for your limitations. Some soreness will be present. There is a difference between soreness and pain. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong and to stop or ease back a bit.
Topical natural medicine- I have HM Salve formulated to reduce inflammation, reduce spasm, increase blood flow, reduce pain and supports the body’s natural healing process. You can also use other topical meds however I prefer that whatever you use it not be something that numbs. This can give you a false since of freedom in which case you might be overly active causing more problems.
The use of using hot ginger compresses was taught to me by my associate, Mary Wallis. It is a tried and true natural medicine of the Japanese tradition. The following directions are a variation of the original recipe.
Hot ginger compress- Ginger is well known for reducing any inflammation be it digestive, joint or muscle. This is truly a great resource. It takes some time and effort but if you put in that effort you will be surprised by how effective it can be. It is an accumulative effect so it is a committed routine, doing it 3 or more times a day is going to get you the best results. See directions below. Keep in mind once you do it a time or two it becomes an effortless routine. Caution….don’t burn yourself.
½ cup of powdered ginger
Stock pot with about ½ to 1 gallon of water
Wash cloth and or hand towel for emerging in water
Large dry towel
Boil water and then stir in ginger with whisk, turn off and cover.
When the water has cooled enough to use without burning yourself…but is still hot… submerge smaller towel, ring it just until it stops dripping and place on problem area. Keep the dry towel under you to catch any drips. Once it has cooled re submerge, ring and replace on problem area. Continue this until the water in the pot is no longer hot. Your skin should be pink and you should feel a warming heat from the ginger for 10-20 minutes after.
You can cover and refrigerate the water and reuse for 2-3 days but no longer.
People often report back that they feel better after the 3rd treatment (3 or more a day) and that they feel greatly better after a week. Some even report back the issue is gone after the recommended treatment of using until the pain is gone and then for another 30 days after.