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-(magnesium sulfate) in a hot bath soak is a great way to manage muscle and joint pain. If your doctor has not limited you from hot bathing this is one of the more enjoyable layers of management. Add 2 cups in a standard tub of water. Soak for 20-30 minutes. Fully submerge the parts of the body that are most painful.

 Stretch routine- of your choice but I highly recommend yoga because all in the same window of time you learn several skills. Yoga focuses on stretch, strengthening, and breath work (very important in managing pain) Also a very importantly but less talked about skill, a good yoga teacher will teach you to quiet your thoughts along with your breath work which trains you to manage runaway thoughts. This strengthens your psyche which goes a long way in managing pain. There are lots of yoga classes out there that use caution for people with injury or who are challenged with movement, or even just nervous, new and clumsy. I like to refer to OM Turtle Yoga and Florissant Civic Center. No matter where you go, since you are utilizing Yoga as a stretch routine as a way to help you body while its in pain, I'd like you to choose a yoga instructor who has a strong focus on proper positioning. Talk with the Yoga Center on the phone and ask if they observe and correct for proper positioning.

 Physical therapy- if you haven’t tried, please do so. Do the homework they give you. Exercise and stretch is really one of the greatest things you can do to manage long term pain.  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 formulated HM Salve with essential oils that research suggests reduces inflammation, reduces spasm, increases blood flow, reduces pain and supports the body’s natural healing process, though it is not medicine it is considered of great benefit. You can also use other topical over the counter ointments and creams however I prefer that whatever you use, that you not choose a product that is formulated to only numb the pain. This can give you a false since of freedom in which case you might be overly active causing more problems. Getting better is my goal, not simply masking the pain.

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-
Blue Sky Nutrition here in St. Louis sells powdered ginger in bulk. Check your local nutritional shops.
Stock pot with about 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. alternatively if its your hand or foot you can soak right into the pot and eliminate the compress.

You can cover and refrigerate the water and reuse for 2-3 days but no longer. If it begins to look cloudy or murky its time to discard and make a fresh batch.
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.

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.

Natural Pain Management

Rebecca May

Massage and Natural Therapies

Florissant, Mo