I came across this article recently and thought I would share for all those who struggle with chronic pain.
Many medical doctors are increasingly turning to natural pain relief alternatives to help their patients feel better. In fact, pain is the most common reason Americans turn to alternative medicine. Here are just a few drug-free pain relievers.
More than just a back rub, people who have back pain, osteoarthritis, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, neck pain, and surgery-related discomfort may find relief through massage therapy. Dr. Andrew Weil, a leader in alternative medicine says, “Massage therapy has been shown to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin – the body’s natural painkillers and mood regulators – and to reduce stress hormone levels.” Massage therapy may also work at a molecular level, helping to turn on and off genes associated with inflammation, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine.
The ancient practice of acupuncture, where tiny needles are inserted into specific points in the body, is part of a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy – known as qi or chi – in the body, says Dr. Weil. “There remains no scientific consensus on the mechanism behind acupuncture’s effectiveness, he says, “but research published from Nature Neuroscience online showed that the careful placement of needles in specific acupuncture points affects the activity of adenosine, an amino acid that becomes active in the skin after an injury to ease pain.”
According to a study published in the journal, Spine, after two months of twice-weekly practice, people suffering from lower back pain reported a 42 percent reduction of pain and a 46 percent reduction of depressive symptoms. Maybe that’s why more than 20 million Americans now practice this ancient mind-body discipline. Yoga promotes relaxation and enhances stress-coping mechanisms, which is crucial, because stress can make pain symptoms feel worse. Yoga is now among the American Pain Foundation’s recommended treatments for lower-back pain.