Everyone will suffer pain at some point in their lives. Grim as this may sound, some pain is necessary – it’s a signal from our brain that something is wrong in our body, something we need to address to protect our health and well-being. It can be caused by anything from a dental cavity to a broken bone to a disease. Once we determine where the pain is coming from, we can diagnose and address the health problem, thus alleviating the pain.
Sometimes, however, pain isn’t done away with so easily – it remains with us despite all efforts to banish it. This is called ‘chronic’ pain, distinguishable from ‘acute’ pain by its persistence. Common examples of chronic pain include backaches, migraine headaches, and arthritis.
The most popular treatment for chronic pain are prescription medications, but these often have adverse side effects ranging from nausea to fatigue, and can cease to be effective once a patient builds a tolerance. Acupuncture has been used as a form of natural pain relief and cure for many chronic conditions for over two thousand years. Originating in China, acupuncture involves piercing the skin with thin needles on specific points of the body. Patients have claimed acupuncture has proven effective in treating ailments such as neck pain, migraine headaches, arthritic pain, and even depression.
Herbal remedies offer another time-tested alternative to conventional therapies, providing natural pain relief to sufferers without many of the unwanted side effects of conventional medicines. There usually several herbal treatments for a particular condition; popular herbal remedies include emu oil, which can alleviate the pain of arthritis, and good old Vitamin E, which helps minimize scarring. The downside of herbal treatments is that they often take longer to achieve noticeable results; the upside is that you aren’t introducing man-made foreign compounds into your body, and run less risk of side effects or damaging your overall health.
Although it may sound like well-worn advice with little glitter or pizzazz, perhaps the best advice is to take care of yourself – get proper nutrition by eating fewer processed foods and more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Take care to get enough sleep each night, and take time out of each day for exercise – even simple activities like taking the stairs at work or a walk around the block go a long way towards improving your health.
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