Many foods and herbs have amazing anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
So what, you say? Well, I’ve been reading about the nasty side effects of pharmaceutical medications, so just bear with me.
Even though I rarely use pharmaceuticals these days, the one thing I have long struggled to give up is my use of pain relief. As someone who experiences back and neck pain, as well as chronic headaches, migraines, and period pain, giving up pain relief seemed impossible.
I switched from paracetemol to ibuprofen many years ago, thinking it was gentler to the body. Wrong! After reading about the effects of using ibuprofen – including damage to the digestive, intestinal, cardiovascular, and kidney systems, as well as interfering with tissue healing – I realised I needed a serious change in behaviour in the area of pain relief.
Was it possible I could be undoing all my good work by taking ibuprofen a couple of times a month?
So now I’m going through my first painkiller free cycle (friends may want to give me a wide berth for a few days). The symptoms are still there, but I’ve committed to not medicating them away.
Louise Hay, in her book Heal Your Body, says headaches and migraines are about invalidating the self, resisting the flow of life, self-criticism and fear. PMS is giving power to outside influences and a rejection of the feminine processes. How often do we ignore our bodies and keep pushing them to perform in the world, out of fear, or a resistance to signals of tiredness and pain? I know I do.
So I committed to listening to my body and re-discovering ways to treat pain without drugs, through food, gentle exercise, heat packs, lavender oil, meditation, herbal tea, and rest.
Sometimes it means not being able to function, and having to say no to things I could do if I popped some pain relief medication. It feels like letting my body being in charge instead of my mind.
In the meantime, I have found much peace and comfort listening to Marianne Williamson.
Marianne is a Hay House published author, another writer that I lumped in the Louise Hay school of trite New Agers and ignored until recently.
Her use of Christian ideology can be a little off putting to those not so inclined, but her message is that we are all enough as we are, that we are exactly where we are meant to be to learn what we are meant to learn, and really, if we could just stop stressing about where we should be in life, and just inject some love into our thoughts and actions, we could be the truly magnificent beings that we are meant to be.
I don’t know what’s changed in me, but I just love it.
She suggests committing to total surrender of all your thoughts for one week. And you know, just see what happens. I decided to give it a try. Every time I find myself thinking (read stressing out) about what to do, is this right or wrong? I just remembered, oh yeah, I surrender. Okay, universe show me what to do. I let go and trust.
My logical mind says this is crazy! And then the next thing is I’m not stressing and somehow I feel perfectly okay.
I have to remind myself to do this every few minutes. I keep taking back control, having new thoughts, stressing myself out.
Let go. Of what? Of my thoughts.
Having a pounding headache has helped me because it actually hurts to worry. So the incentive to let go of worrying thoughts and relax is far greater than when I feel good.
Talk about finding the silver lining!
If you are interested in the research about NSAIDS:
If you are interested in natural and nutritional ways to relieve pain: