SEPTEMBER – CHRONIC PAIN AWARENESS MONTH…

Pain Concern write that this month is dedicated to raising public awareness and understanding of pain. Many organisations around the world contribute, including the U.S. Pain Foundation, the International Pain Foundation and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

During September, the U.S. Pain Foundation will be sharing 30 stories of people living with pain over 30 days, while the AMTA has posted resources to inform people of the role of massage therapy in pain management strategies. Pain Concern, they will be posting regularly on social media.

Everyone can play a part during this month by using the hashtag #PainAwarenessMonth.

You can also get involved by ‘liking’/‘following’ Pain Concern on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date and share the cause.

Links:

When people say what is chronic pain? You can only describe Chronic pain as different to acute pain. Your body keeps hurting weeks, months, or even years after the injury. Doctors often define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more. Chronic pain can have real effects on your day-to-day life and your mental health.

Curable Health explain that everyday stressors have more of an impact on the body than most of us realize. Once stressors are identified, the brain begins to put the body into a state of fight or flight, causing real, physical effects in the body.

Over time, the brain and central nervous system learn to continue to put the body into a painful state, which repeats the pain cycle. The Curable team pulled resources from modern neuroscience to visually depict the stress-related chronic pain cycle. While neuroscientists are still working to understand all the details of this cycle, this visual can help you grasp the concept on a deeper level.

THE BEST HAND REFLEXOLOGY POINTS FOR LOWER BACK PAIN…

Most people know ‘reflexology’ as something that is done to your feet but hand reflexology is definitely another technique that is becoming just as popular.

Hand reflexology certainly provides some benefits compared to foot reflexology. The obvious example is that our hands are far more easily accessible compared to our feet, which makes hand reflexology the most usable self-help tool for both adults and children.

Hand and foot reflexology has actually been used as part of medical care since as far back as the ancient Egyptian and classic Chinese times. The basic assumption used by the reflexologist is that each organ, gland, and part of the body is reflected in both the hands and the feet. Stimulation of the so-called ‘reflex points’ promotes relaxation, improves circulation, and encourages the body to heal itself. This explains why hand reflexologists sometimes use the axiom: “Health is at your fingertips!”

Hand reflexology is also brilliant as a relief from the new stresses technology has placed on our hands.

For lower back pain press the point where the centre of your hand joins your wrist and stimulate it. Always take medical advice if you don’t know what the problem is. This is a perfect antidote to a backache caused by sitting at a computer for too long.

A great site Reflexology Map that explains in detail how to start a hand massage.

YOU CAN FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO START YOUR HAND MASSAGE:

Step 1:  Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet room.

Step 2:  Enter a state of relaxation using a few of your favorite oil hands. Oils and creams are normally not used in professional reflexology sessions, but will not hurt to use them in an informal session.

hand reflexology

Step  3: Rub the cream on your hands for several minutes until completely absorbed. This will relax your hands and increase flexibility in preparation for applying reflexology. Be sure not to use a cream or oil greasy your hands are not slippery.

Step 4: Close your eyes and focus on any area of your body where you feel an uncomfortable pain. Sometimes you just feel as if some part of your body feels misaligned.

Step 5: Consult a hand reflexology map to identify the points of reflection in your hands that correspond to the parts of your body you want to work. For example, if you have pain in your left shoulder, you have to query the map and see that the points of reflection for your shoulder are located on the little finger of the left hand.

Step 6: Firmly press the reflex point. You can gradually increase the pressure to make sure you’re “activating” the reflex, but loose a little if you feel some pain.

Step 7: Hold the pressure for 30 seconds and release.

Step 8: Wait a few seconds and repeat. You can press either 30 seconds or you can press and release the point of a pulsed for 30 seconds.

Step 9: Use your thumb to apply light pressure technique pressure if you are uncomfortable. To do this, use a circular motion over the same point of reflection for about 5 seconds, then rotates in a circular in the opposite direction for 5 seconds. Repeated several times for each point of reflection.

Step 10: Reflexology applies to all areas in both hands, but lend him more attention on problem areas.

Step 11: When you’ve finished your reflexology session sit quietly for at least 10 minutes. If possible, lie down and rest well for half an hour.

Step 12: Drink several glasses of water after applying reflexology. Water will help to drain the toxins released from your organs and muscles during the session.

 

Hand Chart

Shine Holistic says that “Reflexology is known to be of use for both chronic and acute back pain, but it is also good for reducing stress, which can sometimes exacerbate people’s perception of pain. Reflexology reduces stress and increases emotional well-being. This is related to back pain because it can cause stress which leads to an increase in the pain level experienced. By working on both fronts reflexology can greatly decrease the symptoms of chronic back ache.

Conditions such as sciatica and arthritis are optimally treated by having twice monthly sessions. Other treatment plans, such as for osteoporosis and herniated discs, will vary depending on the level of pain experienced and the severity of the condition.”

9 HERBS TO FIGHT STRESS AND CALM YOUR MIND…

According to a report, over 90 percent of all doctor visits in primary care are due to stress and anxiety. A small amount of stress can be beneficial by improving concentration and alertness. However, constant exposure to high levels of stress can lead to chronic diseases and leave lasting scars on your mental and physical health. Stress can also lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, premature aging, and heart disease.

Many people around the world are turning towards calming techniques such as meditation and herbal remedies to counter stress. These natural remedies using herbs are a natural and healthier way to deal with stress and anxiety issues in everyday life.

Through this article, let us look at the nine herbs that can help you fight stress and calm your mind.

1. Tulsi Or Holy Basil

Tulsi is a common herb that you can find in almost every Indian household, and it is renowned from ancient times for its plethora of medicinal properties. Tulsi is a member of the mint family and is an ingredient in Indian cuisine. Consuming the Tulsi leaves can help balance blood sugar levels and digestion and boost the immune system with its antimicrobial and antioxidative properties.

 

green basil leaves
Photo by monicore on Pexels.com

 

Excessive stress causes the formation of free radicals and inflammation in the body due to oxidative stress. The antioxidants in Tulsi leaves can neutralize the free radicals and fight stress and anxiety when you consume it regularly. Tulsi even protects the internal organs and tissues from chemical stress emanating from industrial pollutants. You can make Tulsi tea by boiling Tulsi leaves in a cup of water and stirring two teaspoons of lemon juice in it.

 

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a powerful rejuvenating medicinal herb that has a profound place in Ayurveda and in use as medicine for treating a variety of ailments for over 2500 years. Ashwagandha belongs to a group of herbs called Adaptogen, which can regulate the hormone levels and systems in a human body synergistically. Ashwagandha also promotes endurance, stamina, and energy while improving ease and quality of sleep.

 

According to a study by the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, there is a significant reduction in the levels of the primary stress hormone, cortisol, while administering Ashwagandha. High cortisol levels are usual while experiencing stress, and it can cause the neurotransmitters and other hormones to unbalance in the body. Ashwagandha can significantly reduce stress and anxiety in the short term, and it is useful in fighting chronic anxiety and stress with regular daily intake.

 

3. Cannabis

The Cannabis plant is extremely effective in fighting stress and anxiety due to the presence of the active ingredient Cannabidiol or CBD. The CBD molecules directly interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system leading to relief from stress and anxiety.

 

img_0655

According to a study by Washington State University, there is a significant reduction in depression, anxiety, and stress among people who smoke different Cannabis strains at home. There are also a wide variety of CBD products without THC, such as topical cream, vape liquid, and tablet, allowing you to enjoy the anti-anxiety effects. You can easily find a good source to buy cannabis online or at a dispensary, to help treat stress and anxiety disorder with the use of the herb at home.

4. Valerian

Valerian is a herb that finds application in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia throughout the world. The herb grows commonly in most parts of Europe and Asia, and it is a primary ingredient in making a remedy that promotes peace and tranquility. The Valerian herb roots find application in making medicine in the form of tinctures, tablets, and tea.

alternative-906136_1920

You may consume the herb by making a tea with its root or in the capsule form as a supplement. However, there is a lack of sufficient scientific studies on the effect of Valerian to prove their effectiveness, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has an exquisite flavor and citrusy scent that makes it soothing upon consumption. Drinking lemon balm tea can relieve stress and anxiety within minutes of drinking it, and they also help in treating mood disorders while promoting alertness and calmness. According to researchers, lemon balm reduces insomnia by 42 percent and anxiety and its symptoms by 18 percent in participants.

 

The GABA receptors in the brain are responsible for maintaining harmonious balance and avoiding excitement. Lemon balm increases the GABA receptors’ activity in the brain, thus aiding sleep and keeping stress levels low. Lemon balm also has a long history in treating intestinal colic and flatulence.

6. Chamomile

Chamomile is a flowering herb used by Romans and Greeks from ancient times to treat a variety of ailments and their calming effect. Chamomile tea is the most popular form of herb consumption, and it cures headaches and loss of appetite that originate from stress. Chamomile contains several antioxidants, phenolic acid, quinones, and flavonoids. These compounds help relieve anxiety and stress, relax the nerves, calm the muscles, and improve digestion.

7. Lavender

Lavender is most popular in the form of essential oil in its use for aromatherapy, and the herb is in use as a remedy for nervousness and anxiety from times immemorial. You can also use the oil while preparing baths or as a base oil for massaging. The lavender essential oil contains linalyl acetate and linalool that acts on the chemical receptors in the brain, producing a calming effect.

photo lavender flower field under pink sky
Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

According to a study in Florida, the students who smell Lavender before entering an examination experience less anxiety than those who do not. Another way to enjoy the medicinal effects of Lavender is by making tea with its leaves. Lavender aids in

 

8. Kava Root

The roots of the kava plant may be the most effective remedy in fighting anxiety and stress. The medicinal shrub originates from the islands in the Pacific ocean, and unlike other medicinal herbs that fight anxiety symptoms, the kava root also removes anxious thoughts. Kava binds itself to the GABA neurotransmitters in the body and promotes calmness and relaxation immediately.

 

9. Passion Flower

Passionflower is a herb belonging to a family of 550 different species of plants that provides a safe and effective treatment for stress, nervousness, and anxiety. Passionflower works by increasing the production of GABA in the body, which aids in calming the nerves. According to a study, the herb is as effective as the prescription drug, Benzodiazepine, in treating anxiety.

 

Conclusion

The modern work culture puts individuals in a constant state of overwhelm and overwork, leading to chronic stress and anxiety. Prescription medications such as Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin can quickly resolve your anxiety and provide a calming effect. However, you will experience several side effects, and the symptoms return once the effects of the drug wear off in a few hours.

Reference Links – 

 

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/6-natural-herbs-for-anxiety-to-calm-you-down-1674389

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/home-remedies/5-herbs-that-can-help-you-fight-stress-and-anxiety/photostory/72886201.cms?picid=72886267

https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/feeling-anxious-here-are-5-powerful-herbs-that-can-help-you-cope-with-stress-improve-mental-health/607183

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180419100110.htm

https://solisbetter.com/feeling-stressed-out-how-cbd-can-help-with-stress/

https://wisdom.thealchemistskitchen.com/8-herbs-for-calm/

https://www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/n/7-natural-remedies-stress-and-anxiety

https://drmaryskataylor.com/2018/07/5-calming-herbs-to-reduce-stress-and-soothe-the-mind/

 

ARE THERE WAYS TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN WITHOUT SURGERY?

Did you know that back pain may be the leading cause of disability worldwide? Back pain affects your quality of life in plenty of ways. It can:

  • Interrupt your sleep at night
  • Limit the types of exercises you can do
  • Take a toll on your mood
  • Reduce your productivity

For someone who has lived with back pain for quite some time, a common question would be, “Do I need to undergo surgery?” 

NHS

 

The answer is that surgery isn’t always necessary. There are certain factors to consider such as the origin or cause of the pain. Also, surgery would often be the last option after all other options have been exhausted. 

This is especially true if back pain never goes away and interferes with your life. 

In that case, YES – there are non-surgical ways that relieve back pain. Some of these strategies require a doctor’s prescription while others can be done by yourself at home. 

img_3417

7 Ways to Relieve Back Pain Without Surgery

Here, you’ll find effective back pain relief techniques. Use these as the first interventions for back pain before considering surgery.

1. Physical therapy

There are two approaches to physical therapy. One is passive, in which a physical therapist (PT) applies heat or ice packs or uses transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to reduce the feeling of pain. The other approach is active, in which exercises such as stretching are incorporated in a patient’s life. The UK Guidelines recommend exercises such as tai chi and yoga. 

2. Yoga

There’s a ton of research on the benefits of yoga, which is why more and more doctors recommend it. Back pain can be related to mental and emotional stress. Stress causes back pain by tightening the muscles in your shoulders and spine area. 

The right yoga poses will enable your body to relax. Poses that are known to help with back pain are the following: Cat-Cow, Downward Facing Dog, Sphinx Pose, and Supine Twist. 

pexels-photo-2294354

3. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet

Not everyone is aware of this, but you can actually eat for back pain relief. The key is to eat foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties. 

Good food choices include avocados, nuts, and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts). These foods are also beneficial for you if you are trying to manage your weight through a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet

4. Try swimming

For a zero-impact workout, swimming is a great option. Unlike running on a treadmill or jogging, swimming does not hurt your muscles thanks to the buoyancy of the water that lets your body float. As you move about in the water, your shoulders, back, and legs get a good stretch.

5. Over the counter medication

If you are wondering whether there are medications that relieve back pain, the answer is yes. NSAIDs and acetaminophen are one of those options that relieve pain caused by stiffness. 

But this is very important: Make sure to speak with your doctor before taking any of these medications since they’re contraindicated in certain medical conditions. Liver and kidney problems, for example. 

pexels-photo-3850790-1

6. Listen to your body

As someone experiencing back pain, it’s important for you to listen closely to your body. Feeling tired from mowing the lawn or preparing meals? Do not force yourself to exert more effort. Take a pause for a couple of minutes or rest your body completely. 

Here’s a helpful tip: Keep a journal where you can write down situations or activities that trigger back pain. 

7. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil

People with chronic back pain may consider CBD oil for both pain and inflammation. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in your brain that are involved in pain sensation and mood. While it is sourced from marijuana, it does not cause a “high.” 

In the World Health Organization’s Critical Review, they state that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” Before you consider CBD, just make sure to check the CBD legislation where you’re from. Ask your doctor about it too. 

Final Thoughts

You may need to explore different strategies for back pain relief, like the ones above, in order to find what works for you. Get an opinion from your healthcare provider as well because it is important that you identify any underlying cause of the pain. I hope this article helps! 

Add a heading