November 21, 2021
Everyone suffers from physical pain at least once a month. If you’re like me- it’s more like once a day! My research shows that pain signals our bodies when we are in pain to alter something to get us back to normal. No wonder Tylenol doesn’t work after a while! For example, I’ve had chronic neck and back pain since middle school. The pain developed from multiple car crashes, pushing my body through gymnastics, and not dealing with life stressors.
Since middle school, I’ve gone to chiropractors, which helps, but I didn’t listen to my body. Unfortunately, I got into more car crashes, pushed my body through volleyball without proper training, and ignored the stress in my life. Since then, I’ve done many things to alleviate my chronic pain, including breast reduction, diet and lifestyle changes, meditation, Hatha yoga, and educating myself on what my body needs to keep me healthy and happy. Here are three ways I’ve been able to manage my pain:
Every morning, I usually have a stiff neck and back. Instead of just rolling out of bed and getting ready for the day, I take 5-10 minutes for neck and shoulder rolls and forward folds. If my back is tight and forward folds are complicated, I clench my fists and partially flex my elbows. This inversion helps me ease into the stretch with greater confidence. The flexing and clenching of my arms help alleviate the tightness in my back and allow me more mobility (Coulter, H. D.,2012). As for my neck, I follow this video to guide me through neck stretches. Adriene guides you through stretches that carefully extend tight neck muscles and prepare you for the day.
Before bed, my neck is aching and burning with pain. I’ve created different essential oil recipes for my neck, back, and sometimes calf muscle pain. My go-to is my Rose Healer, a mixture of shea butter, vitamin E, lavender, and rose oil. I self-massage it into my skin. It alleviates not only my pain but also tones, tightens, and brightens my skin. I love applying this mixture in the morning after I shower and at night when the pain is killing me. I also use what I call Calming Eucalyptus, a mix of eucalyptus and lavender oil. I recommend combining a carrier oil such as argan, vitamin E or coconut oil. Essential oils can irritate when used alone. Even for a few minutes a day, massaging yourself gets you more in tune with your body and where your pain is stored. Here are some ideas for self-massaging to get you started. Try one, two, or follow the whole routine for added benefits!
Nerve pain has a lot of triggers; inflammation, stress, misalignment of joints or bones, pinched or damaged nerves, poor posture, and lack of essential nutrients such as good fats and B vitamins. Chiropractic care is a great way to align your bones and get back into balance. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor since childhood, reducing my risk of degeneration and immobility. While chiropractors align our spines, patients can still feel pain in the process. Pain is common and treatable with proper nutrition, strength training, and massage therapy. An easy way to start is by incorporating healthy fats into your diet. A simple way to get healthy fats is by eating walnuts, adding flaxseed to your yogurt, and even eating eggs. For more instantaneous results, a topical application of St. John’s Wort oil, derived from fresh buds, can be used to soothe aggravated nerves. When looking for this oil, note that the red color will indicate its strength. Poor quality oil will have minimal impact (Groves, M. N., 2016).
Coulter, H. D. (2012). Anatomy of hatha yoga: A manual for students, teachers, and Practitioners. Body and Breath.
Groves, M. N. (2016). Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. Storey Publishing.
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