The great equalizer. The rich feel it. So do the poor, the happy, the sad, tall and short. It is therefore not surprising to note that since the dawn of time, humans have tried to find ways to reduce pain. In some respect, our ability to experience pain, and seeking ways to solve it, connects us more than anything else. But what exactly is pain and how we deal with it?
Pain is a message sent by the body to the brain, indicating the presence of disease, injury or stress. Without pain, you would be unaware of many problems - from torn ligaments to appendicitis. The pain is simply the way of Mother Nature to say that something is wrong.
Many of us kill the messenger with narcotics, antidepressants and tranquilizers that take care of symptoms, but not the cause of pain. This kind of treatment can not only mask symptoms of serious illness, but can also create a cycle of chronic pain.
Not all pain, however, a useful service. While acute pain, as described above may alert us to a serious, chronic pain may be delayed long after an ailment or injury has healed in the body. Examples of chronic pain include back pain, headaches and arthritis. In these cases, pain management, compared with a cure, may become the goal of treatment.
The psychological effects that accompany recovery from illness or injury increases chronic pain. A loss of confidence is often triggered by prolonged periods of rest and inactivity that cause a loss of physical strength, endurance and flexibility. If the injury has prevented you from doing their duties generally, you may succumb to frustration and depression. Impatience is chronic pain best friend as many individuals overexert before they have completely healed, thus triggering more pain.
Various treatments may help relieve chronic pain. Some treatments do so on a purely physical level by interfering with nerve signals to the brain or desensitizing the nerves. The following sections are meant to introduce you to some of the ways to deal with pain without relying on anti-inflammatory, narcotics, tranquilizers or antidepressants non-steroidal.
For many people, particularly those in the Western world, solutions for pain relief such as acupuncture and herbal medicine are novel concepts. However, the rest of the world are probably wondering what the fuss is about, because these traditional approaches to pain relief have been around for thousands of years traditional Chinese medicine, which relies on various techniques and herbs to balance body's internal energy, is over 5,000 years.
Acupuncture: ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture is based on the belief that health is determined by the level of chi (vital life energy) that is in t he body. This energy is thought to move through the body with pathways called meridians, which connect to specific organs in the body. Insert needles of Acupuncturists in points in the body that connect to these channels with the release blocked "chi" that might be causing the pain. During acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts thin needles for anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour at specific points in the body. This practice is thought to stimulate endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and is useful for treating a variety of disorders including backache, sinus pain, jaw pain, spinal disorders, withdrawal and mental disorders.
Herbs: another important part of traditional Chinese medicine is herbal medicine. Herbs have been used for centuries for its pain relieving qualities. Here are some herbs that are recommended for common disorders:
- Cramps and spasms: angelica, cramp bar, kava, rosemary, valerian root.
- Nerve Pain: capsaicin, chamomile, gotu kola, licorice, white willow.
- Back Pain: hops, wood betony, and passionflower.
- Migraine: feverfew, linden, skullcap.
- Headaches: peppermint, spearmint.
- Joint pain: ginger, sea cucumber.
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