While medication works for many chronic pain sufferers, for some patients it simply isn’t enough. For others, the cost and side effects of these therapies outweigh any of the potential benefits, leaving them without a viable path to relief. If you’re struggling with chronic pain and traditional treatments have failed you, there are a few outside-the-box treatments worth considering.
Once maligned as a fringe therapy, alternative pain management through acupuncture is starting to gain some serious credibility and recognition from the healthcare community at large. Historical records and archeological finds date the development of the art to ancient China around 100 BC and while the technique has undergoing some changes, modern practitioners use the same tools and principles as their forbearers.
Acupuncture works by painlessly inserting delicate needles into specific regions of the body. It’s especially useful for treating arthritis, chronic headaches, and back pain. While there’s some dispute, researchers believe the technique works by either interrupting pain signals or by triggering the body to release hormones that block pain.
While spirituality is a discipline normally associated with providing emotional relief and support, it can also profoundly help with ailments of the body. Energy healing, or the manipulation and restoration of energy centers within the body commonly referred to as chakras, is an ancient art stretching back thousands of years, particularly among cultures across east and south Asia.
In modern times the practice has become significantly more streamlined, with practitioners undergoing energy healing training to master proper techniques and information on the theoretical principles that support its methods. Energy healing is especially beneficial for chronic conditions where the source of the pain is difficult to determine through traditional diagnostic techniques.
For all the simplicity that goes into adopting meditation as a regular habit, it can have some profound results. Often touted as a relaxation technique, meditation can help sufferers of chronic pain to cope with the depression, anxiety, and other mental symptoms that tend to manifest alongside pain. That said, it can also help to target pain directly by helping patients learn to cope with the stressful thoughts that often make pain worse. Likewise, chronic pain often leads to other issues like muscle tension or chronic stress headaches which can be easily remedied by meditating regularly.
Like energy healing and meditation, aromatherapy has its roots in spiritual practice and emotional restoration, but can also assist you in coping with chronic pain. Once a niche practice, it’s now common to find the tools needed for at-home aromatherapy alongside supplements in most grocery stores. Aromatherapy uses extracts from pungent ingredients to produce fragrant oils that promote rest and relaxation for the mind and body. Lavender and eucalyptus scents are favored for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making them excellent choices for joint issues caused by the swelling and tenderness associated with arthritis. Wintergreen, which has a long history of use by Native American tribes, is celebrated for its analgesic effect and can assist with fending off chronic headaches.
Vitamins and Supplements
While a varied diet is wise whether or not you’re suffering from chronic pain, making sure you hit targets for macro and micronutrients is especially important for those seeking relief from regular aches and pains. While commonly recommended for its powerful cardiovascular benefits, fish oil, whether derived from salmon, cod, or other sources, is also an invaluable resource for combating arthritis. This simple supplement prevents fluid from pooling in the joints, a common source of inflammation among patients with rheumatoid, psoriatic, and other forms of arthritis. Immune system boosters like Vitamin C and the various B vitamins are excellent ways to improve your body’s natural ability to ward off chronic pain.
While it can be disheartening to visit doctor after doctor without finding relief, rest assured that, with a little searching, you can find relief for your chronic pain. Techniques like meditation, energy healing, and acupuncture have long histories of use and countless success stories, making them well worth the time of investigating. Take control and improve your quality of life by testing these methods yourself and find one that works best for you.