The Natural Pain Relief Report by Chris Pickard DC
Why Paracetamol Will Wreck Your Health
My Current Top Recommendations For Natural Pain Relief
- Over 100 million people are suffering from chronic/persistent pain everyday!
- According to Web MD.com, in 2008, the US spent over 86 BILLION DOLLARS on neck & back pain plus BILLIONS more on arthritis, tendinitis, muscle pain etc.
- The fact that every 7 seconds someone is turning age 65, likely with chronic pain ailments, this figure is likely to go up!
- The money spent on pain relief is largely unaffected by the state of the economy meaning money is more likely to be pulled from other areas of government spending – like education and police
- There is no known “cure” for pain
“I love my job but the worst part is when I help people relieve pain I prescribe ulcers, liver damage and potential addictions at the same time.” Dr Tom D Wichita
I assume that the reason you have requested the report is that you are in pain and want an alternative to conventional painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, either because you have found they don’t work, or you have read the scientific studies showing just how much harm they are doing (see later).
A Guide in Two Parts – I want you to know that this report is (sort of) split into two. The first part is mainly for those looking to come to our natural pain relief clinic, just north of London in the UK, but it can also serve as a guide as to what to look for in a local pain relief expert.
The second part is about what you can do to help yourself, what herbs, supplements, creams, gels, and devices etc. that work for pain relief. There are some real gems that have helped even the most ‘untreatable’ pain disperse. Including the supplement that ended 15 years of hand and foot neuropathy in 5 days.
So, even if you suffer from chronic or constant severe pain; never despair. There is hope for natural pain relief.
Are You Sitting Comfortably because I want you to get out of pain as fast as possible, I’m going to share with you something I just learned, that you can do while reading the rest of this report:
Stand On Solid Ground for Natural Pain Relief – The first natural pain relief method I want to share with you is something so simple you probably won’t believe it, and in fact, you may not even try it as you may think ‘no way’.
Weather permitting, simply go into your garden, or a nearby park, take off your shoes and socks and plant your feet on the ground. You can take a chair and sit down and read if you like, as long as your bare feet stay in contact with the Earth.
At this point you may think this is some tree hugging hippy nonsense, but there is some very real science behind this, and a neat little trick to make it more effective.
You see our bodies produce electricity, and too much ‘positive’ charge can be detrimental to our health. Damaged and inflamed areas of our body are often oxidizing and too positive and need regular ‘grounding’ just like the electric circuits in your home. We would naturally be grounded most of the time if we lived as we did in the past. Being regularly grounded could have profound effects on your health.
“… Mounting evidence suggests that the Earth’s negative potential can create a stable internal bio-electrical environment for the normal functioning of all body systems. Moreover, oscillations of the intensity of the Earth’s potential may be important for setting the biological clocks regulating diurnal body rhythms, such as cortisol secretion.”
The Journal of Environmental and Public Health
In other words, being in physical contact with the earth is very healthy, and you can not expect to be fully healthy if you are not.
Grounding has been found to offer improvements in the following: inflammation, the cause of more than 80 chronic conditions
- reduces chronic pain
- improves sleep
- increases energy
- lowers stress
- normalizes the body’s biological rhythms
- thins the blood and improves blood pressure
- relieves muscle tension and headaches
- lessens hormonal and menstrual symptoms
- dramatically speeds healing and helps prevent bedsores, and
- reduces or eliminates jet lag.
Most of the scientists working in this area now believe that the beneficial effects are through reduction in inflammation and a thinning of the blood. In fact the blood thinning effect is so profound that if you are taking blood thinners it is recommended to immediately consult with your doctor, as most likely your blood thinner will need to be lowered.
Studies suggest that benefits such as pain relief and stress reduction may occur in just 30-80 minutes of barefoot time a day.
You can use a grounding or Earthing pad, which allows you to get the benefits of the Earth’s electrons even if you’re indoors
The research done to date supports the concept that grounding or earthing the human body may be an essential element in the health equation along with sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, and physical activity.
Dr Randolph Stone Used Grounding – Something that I read by the founder of Polarity Therapy – Dr Randolph Stone, now makes even more sense than when I first came across it. Dr Stone’s method of cooling down an inflamed joint, or body part was not to ice it or put on a cold compress, but to bandage a copper plate to the painful inflamed area and then attach it to some wire with a rod at the other end stuck into the ground. He thought this worked as it gently conducted heat away from the area (maybe it does) – little did he realise the true cause of relief!
Information on Grounding for Natural Pain Relief came from:
1 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2007 Nov;13(9):955-67
2 Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012; 2012: 291541
My thanks also to Dr Mercola at www.mercola.com for further information on grounding.
I get my Grounding devices from Groundology (I use the grounding mats and personal grounding kit)
Now on With More Natural Pain Relief – What is ‘natural pain relief’?
Natural pain relief means pretty much any form of pain relief that promotes the body’s own natural pain relieving mechanisms rather than trying to artificially override them with drugs. Natural pain relief, as far as I’m concerned though, can include anything that’s safer than drugs and surgery!
What’s so wrong with drugs and surgery that you should choose natural pain relief?
Most people know that surgery is often the last result, and can carry great risks, but often take painkillers like aspirin and paracetamol for granted. The truth however is that ALL drugs, including nurofen, aspirin and paracetamol (calpol) carry risks, especially for children.
Known side effects for these various pain killing and anti-inflammatory drugs include:
- abdominal pain
- ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding
- increased problems in patients with mental depression
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- weight gain
- swelling in the lower extremities
- changes in eyesight or hearing
- Parkinson’s disease
- hair and fingernail loss
- damage the liver and kidneys
- increase the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), especially when taken in large doses
The US Food and Drug Administration’s own best estimate is that 200,000 cases of gastric bleeding occur with these kinds of drugs each year, including 10,000 – 20,000 deaths.
In the UK, an estimated 4000+ people die each year from these drugs – twice the number of deaths caused by asthma, and many, many more than those killed in road accidents (including drunk driving)
You can find more information at Pain Killer Awareness
What are the natural pain relief alternatives? There are many forms of natural pain relief from physical therapies such as chiropractic and osteopathy to herbs and nutrients and techniques that leverage the brain’s remarkable healing powers. Nature offers many pain relieving and healing treatments for conditions such as arthritis, back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, whiplash, sports injuries and even some stomach and chest pains.
Chiropractic and osteopathy work by directly moving stiff joints, improving the mechanics of the area and via stimulating/soothing effects in the brain, working on muscles and more. For more information read my article here:
Although it talks mainly about chiropractic it applies to osteopathy too (except in the USA where osteopaths rarely get hands on).
I will get into more that can be done at a Natural Pain Relief Centre later, for now I will cover things you can do at home.
Natural Pain Relief at Home
When to use Ice and Heat – The use of ice and heat is very common, but there is much confusion and controversy about which to use and when.
I’ll start with the conventional advice first.
Ice, or at least cooling an area of pain for 5-10 minutes per hour (no more than 15 minutes) can help reduce acute inflammation. Heat helps increase circulation, ease muscle tension and decrease chronic inflammation. You can heat up to 20 minutes or more per hour.
Acute inflammation means that caused directly by an injury within the first 3 days.
Chronic inflammation is anything lasting longer than about a week.
This generally means that ice is good for the first 3 days, then alternate between the two for the next 7 days, and then just use heat after 10 days.
However, you may find heat is good from the start, and ice good for soothing chronic pain. Rule of thumb for ice and heat – use what feels best, and never ice longer than 15 minutes. Some say you should only use ice when the swelling is so great that the skin is stretched and shiny!
You may also find that even in the acute phase of pain heating around the area of pain, or just above or below it, will help relax muscles and ease some pain.
A further note on heat: A recent study found simple heat was more effective than drugs: Of 371 subjects with acute, non-specific low back pain, 113 were assigned to continuous, low-level, heat-wrap therapy (40º C, for eight hours daily), 113 received 4000 mg of acetaminophen (paracetamol) daily, 106 took 1200 mg of ibuprofen daily, 20 had an oral placebo, and 19 used an unheated back wrap.
Pain relief and stiffness were significantly improved in the heat-treated group compared to those taking drugs or placebo, or wearing a non-heated wrap. Those taking ibuprofen reported the highest rate of adverse effects (Spine, 2002; 27: 1012-7).
Rest and Sleep – Adequate rest is absolutely necessary if you want to heal, so we need to cover this. While it is true that sometimes ‘working through the pain’ does cure the problem, it is usually prudent to rest the injured area for at least a day, to a maximum of 3 days. If you have not tried complete rest then you really should.
More important than merely resting is proper sleep. Most of our healing happens when we are asleep, and then only if we are asleep between 10pm and 2 am. So if you are going to bed after 11 you are seriously cutting down on your chances of ever getting better.
If you have a chronic health problem you want to be asleep by 10pm every night!
This pattern is related to our internal body rhythms and is set form birth, so if you were born in a different time zone from where you now live, you may need to adjust the time you sleep.
What fits your busy schedule better, exercising 1 hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?
Stretching and Exercise for Pain Relief – Many, many health issues arise from being too stiff and too sedentary, so in most cases some form of exercise will help. It is impossible to just simply prescribe the correct exercises and stretches without a physical examination but I can give some general advice and guidelines.
Tai Chi has been found to help relieve pain in various forms of arthritis and back pain.
A good Pilates or Yoga teacher can help with back issues.
If you are local to our clinics then I can recommend good people for all 3.
A more specific program for back pain, some sciatica, and disc problems is available from www.loosethebackpain.com. This is actually one of the systems I use with my back pain patients.
I also have some videos on YouTube, you can watch them here – Spinal Hygiene Exercises
Gels – Rub On Pain Relief – There are a range of herbs and other natural compounds that are found in various gels and creams:
Capsaicin is the active component of chili peppers, which are plants belonging to the genus capsicum. It is a stimulant and has a wide variety of uses throughout the medical world. It has been known to stimulate circulation and enhance blood flow. In 1939 a scientist discovered that this active ingredient is the only effective method to reduce substance P, but only if applied topically. Real Time Pain Relief contains a powerful and yet gentle form of capsicum in order to prevent burning and irritation of the skin.
MSM (Methylsufonylmethane) is a compound which occurs naturally in some primitive plants. A clinical trial concluded that MSM significantly reduced discomfort and improved physical functioning for those with osteoarthritis of the knee. This is done by lowering inflammation, warming the muscles, which will prevent and relieve soreness as well as assist in healing.
Arnica Montana reduces inflammation and soothes muscles. It is commonly used on sprains, bruising, muscle aches and rheumatic pain. Also, Arnica Montana has been known to significantly decrease swelling due to fractures and trauma to soft tissues.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are essential components of cartilage production and joint function. A variety of studies indicate that supplementation aids in resisting cartilage degeneration, diminishing joint discomfort, and preventing functional impairment.
Menthol is an organic compound found in mint plants. It works by stimulating the skin’s cold receptors and producing a refreshing cooling sensation.
Aloe Vera is widely used in the treatment of a large variety of dermatological conditions. Eczema, skin infections, minor and severe burns, and many other conditions have been treated using the Aloe Vera plant. It has also been known to treat wounds of many kinds helping to clean and protect the cut or sore.
Emu Oil is a fast acting skin penetrating oil. Because of this, Emu oil is an excellent trans-dermal carrier. We use a pharmaceutical grade Emu Oil to reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, and heal wounds. Emu Oil is an effective anti-inflammatory. The potency of the anti-inflammatory effect is to ibuprofen without the negative side effects commonly found with traditional prescription or corticosteroid based anti-inflammatory medications.
There is only one gel I have found that contains all 8 and that is Real Time Pain Relief, you can try it here, often on special offer from this site – Real Time Pain Relief
Bio-freeze, more commonly available than RTPR in the UK, is a good menthol gel.
Healthy Regulation of Inflammation and Pain Through Nutrition – Now we get into some detail about natural pain relief –
Contrary to popular belief, both inflammation and pain are healthy, necessary parts of healing from acute stress and injury. Inflammation and pain can however become chronic and “hyper” when the body is in a chronic state of imbalance or toxicity or deficiency.
Sufficiency of EPA and DHA Omega 3 EFAs (this means high quality fish oils) plays a major role in regulating inflammation via substances called prostaglandins. EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins while Omega 6 fatty acids produce pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
Having a diet that is toxic with Omega 6 or deficient in Omega 3 EFAs creates a pro-inflammatory state within the body. This is very significant because inflammation is at the root of virtually all of the common chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression as well as the autoimmune and a topic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, fibromyalgia, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Inflammation is also a major factor in dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain and/or cramping), headaches, and back and neck pain.
The best source of these essential fats is pharmaceutical grade fish oil and also krill oil.
Fish oil for joint pain from arthritis or autoimmune disorders In one study, about 40 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients who took cod-liver oil every day were able to cut their NSAID (like nurofen and ibuprofen) use by more than a third, Scottish scientists recently reported. People with neck and back pain have fared even better: After about 10 weeks, nearly two-thirds were able to stop taking NSAIDs altogether in a University of Pittsburgh study.
How to try it: Taking 1,000 mg is proven to help your heart, but you should up the dose for pain. For osteoarthritis, try 2,000 to 4,000 mg daily; for rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases associated with joint pain (such as lupus), consider a much higher dose of upwards of 8,000 mg daily — but ask your doctor about such a large amount first.
It is important not to take any old fish oil due to the pollution now found to contaminate most of them. Here at the Pain Relief Centres we recommend a filtered fish oil, also known as ‘pharmaceutical grade’ fish oil. This is my recommended company:
Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D3 is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as it is produced in the skin when we are exposed to the Sun.
When I was at college in the early 90’s studying nutrition as part of my chiropractic degree D3 was ‘the vitamin that helps you absorb and use calcium’, so was therefore good for bones. That was about all that was taught. However it now seems that this previously neglected vitamin is far more important than was first thought.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found:
78% reduction in Type 1 diabetes in children taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D in the first year of life
200% increase in Type I diabetes in vitamin D-deficient children
33% reduction in Type II diabetes in those taking 800 IU/day of vitamin D plus calcium
30-50% more cancers in vitamin D-deficient people
42% reduction in multiple sclerosis in women taking more than 400 IU/day of vitamin D.
And it gets even better, as vitamin D3 has a positive effect on over 200 genes and:
- Manages critical mineral balance in the blood and bones.
- Improves absorption of calcium
- Promotes strong, dense bones
- Reduces the number of falls and consequent skeletal fractures
- Improves muscle strength and neuro-muscular function
- Provides important immune and autoimmune support
- Nourishes gums and teeth
- May reduce coronary plaque
- Improves joints and range-of-motion
- Promotes lung function
- Supports colon, breast and prostate health
- May improve cognition
More recently it has been shown that D3 has an anti-inflammatory effect in doses of 4000 IU or higher. IU is short for International Units and is the most common measure of D3. This dosage is safe for a week or more. Even higher doses of 10,000 IU a day for indefinite periods may be fine when you consider that a good day in the sunshine will produce 20,000 – 30,000 IU!
If you choose to get D3 the purely natural way – sunshine – then remember not to wash the area you have exposed to the Sun for 48 hours as soap will absorb the D3 from your skin. One of the very things that has prevented infectious disease, namely washing with soap, may now be adding to many other health problems as we use it too much!
Other Supplements for Arthritis, Pain Relief and Joint Healing
Essential fatty Acids 3,000 – 6,000 mg of Evening Primrose or Black Current Seed Oil
Glucosamine Sulfate or Hydrochloride 500mg 3xday for 3 months, then reduce if desired results maintained.
Niacin (vitamin B3) 100mg daily, slowly increase to 1g, 3 x day if tolerated. Essential for tissue repair.
SAMe or TMG – naturally occurring amino acids that act like NSAIDs but without the side effects. They also help improve mood and energy. Take on an empty stomach. SAMe up to 400mg 3 x day; TMG up to 1200mg 3 x day
Boswellia – an anti-inflammatory herb, it also repair damaged blood vessels. 300mg 3xday, just before meals.
Devils Claw – particularly useful for low back and leg pain. 150mg 3xday, just before meals
Turmeric extract (curcumin) – apparently as strong as hydro-cortisone, 450mg 3-24 x day (yes, you can take lots very safely). Improved effect if taken with bromelain 20 minutes before eating.
Bromelain – when taken with food it acts as a digestive enzyme, when taken on an empty stomach it act as an anti-inflammatory. Useful for arthritis, sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, scleroderma, pancreatic insufficiency, and respiratory disease. 80mg-500mg 1 -4 x day.
Other plant and pancreatic enzymes play important roles in anti-inflammatory pathways. These include papain, trypsin and chymotrypsin. Amounts needed may vary.
DL-Phenylalanine – a naturally occurring amino-acid (protein), can act as a painkiller and mood enhancer. 1,000 – 4,000mg 2 x day, on an empty stomach. Its effectiveness can be enhanced by taking a second amino acid, L-glutamine, 500mg 2 x day. L-glutamine is good for the liver, the brain and the intestines.
Two Special Supplements
1) Immunocal – If you have been in a lot of pain for a long time, and especially if you have taken health-sapping pain killing drugs for years then your whole system is probably toxic, you are probably fatigued and quite literally rusting from the inside.
“No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the body. Low levels are associated with early aging and even death” The Immune System Cure, Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe & Patrick J.D. Bouic, Ph.D.
“It is well known that aging is accompanied by a precipitous fall in glutathione levels. Lower glutathione levels are implicated in many diseases associated with aging, including cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, atherosclerosis and others” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 47: 1021-26 1994
“Raised glutathione levels fight the oxidation of circulating fats in the bloodstream, including cholesterol, retarding the process of plaque formation in the arteries – the underlying cause of for most heart disease and stroke.” Nutrition reviews 54:1-30, 1996
“Your life depends on glutathione. Without it, your cells would disintegrate from unrestrained oxidation, your body would have little resistance to bacteria, viruses and cancer, and your liver would shrivel up from the eventual accumulation of toxins” Glutathione: Essential Health AID, Antioxidant. Immune Booster. Detoxifier, Dr, Jimmy Gutman, M.D. FACEP
“Diabetes is prone to infections and circulatory problems leading to heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. Glutathione protects against the complications of diabetes.” Clinical Science 91:575-582, 1996
“Immune depressed individuals have lower glutathione (GHS) concentrations. Healthy people also drop their glutathione levels when fighting diseases. Lymphocytes cells, vital for your immune response, depend on GHS for their proper function and replication” Immunology 61: 503-508, 1987
“Glutathione protects the body from the inflammation of gastritis, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.” Gut 42:485-492, 1998
“Glutathione (GSH) deficiency contributes to oxidative stress and therefore appears to play a key role in the pathology of many diseases…” Glutathione in health and disease. Dr Patricia Kongshavn, MSC, Ph.D. January 2005
If you search online for glutathione you will find that there are glutathione supplements – but unfortunately they are not absorbed so you have to take the things that the body needs to make glutathione. Immunocal is the most natural, proven and safe way to boost glutathione for prolonged periods. It is safe for babies, people on kidney dialysis, pregnancy and interacts with no drugs.
In the USA and Canada you may be able to get your health insurance company to pay for Immunocal!
Immunocal is not cheap, but I know people who owe their life to it and I would gladly introduce you to them.
I have more information available from www.thesecretsupplement.com
If you are in a country that does not have Immunocal then contact me.
2) Red Tea with Cordyceps and Ganoderma Lucidum
This sounds like a horrid concoction – tea mixed with 2 Chinese medicinal mushrooms, but it’s actually very nice. The good news is you can try both of the mushrooms in pill version, just remember to take them with a hot drink.
Cordyceps is being investigated by the UK Arthritis foundation as a means to help painful joints without the side effects of normal medicine.
Ganoderma has a range of properties that help bring down inflammation – most notably by helping the body create helpful Nitric Oxide, and destroying harmful Nitric Oxide. (Nitric Oxide is needed for brain, heart and sexual health)
You can find out more about this on m blog:
Do not start any nutritional supplements until you have consulted with a healthcare professional well versed in nutrition, especially if you suffer from any medical condition and are on medication.
Natural Pain Relief Centres – At the Pain Relief Centre we use a wide range of techniques, therapies and procedures to aid pain relief and healing. In the clinic we use chiropractic, osteopathy, massage, craniosacral therapy, physiotherapy, medical acupuncture, ultrasound, acupressure, cranial laser reflex technique (CLRT) and cold laser. There is information about most of these on our main website www.thepainreliefcentres.co.uk but I will cover some of them below for the sake of ease.
We also use nutrition, and tools such as the Braverman Nature Assessment to help determine the biochemical balance of your brain and body which in turn pinpoints specific nutritional and dietary needs to aid your natural pain relief.
Cold Laser – Cold laser treatment also goes by several other names, most commonly low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and low intensity laser.
LLLT dates back 40 years and is actually incorporated into astronauts space suits – real Star Trek stuff!
Cold lasers are completely safe, non-toxic and non-invasive. The Q-1000 laser we use is even safe if accidentally shone into the open eye. In short, LLLT is the application of controlled light over injuries and painful areas to stimulate natural healing within those tissues
How does cold laser work? All pain – in fact all human health problems – originate in some way at the cellular level and that is exactly where Cold Laser therapy works.
The wavelengths of light used can penetrate the skin and 2-5 cm into the body (possibly more).
The laser light is then absorbed and interacts with the light sensitive elements in the cell in a process that can be compared to photosynthesis in plants – sunlight is absorbed by plants, which is then converted to usable energy so that the plant can grow.
When cells absorb this light energy, it initiates a series of events in the cell that is theorized to eventually result in normalizing damaged or injured tissue, a reduction in pain, inflammation, edema and an overall reduction in healing time by increasing intracellular metabolism.
It is claimed that by using the Q1000 laser on a regular basis you will find that it provides your body with an overall general well-being because it can be used on various areas of your body to reduce stress, improve sleep habits, strengthen your immune system, improve your digestion, and renew your skin’s appearance to help you look years younger.
Health Advantages Of Low Level Laser Therapy
- Reduces pain by producing endorphins
- Reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes and helping with the release of anti-inflammatory enzymes
- Increases blood circulation by enhancing lymphatic drainage
- Increases cellular ATP production by providing cells with useful energy
- Releases tight muscles both smooth and striated muscles
- Speeds bone repair by stimulating fibroblastic and osteoblastic proliferation
- Reduces Inflammation
- Relieves both acute and chronic types of pain
- Speeds up tissue repair
- Increases the quality and tensile strength of tissue
- Increases blood supply
- Promotes faster wound healing and clot formation
- Stimulates your immune system
- Stimulates nerve function
- Develops muscle tissue and collagen
- Helps generate new and healthy cells and tissue
My thanks goes to http://www.qlasersofcalgary.com/
CLRT: Cranial Laser Reflex Technique – This is completely different from cold laser therapy as it does not require an expensive therapeutic laser.
This is short for Cranial Laser Reflex Technique, and was developed by Dr Nick Wise, a chiropractor in the USA.
This is a really non-invasive, completely gentle, safe for all technique. It makes use of various points around the head known to be associated with other parts of the body.
Until Dr Wise came along I don’t think anyone understood how these points on the head related to other parts of the body, but now we have a theory.
Every part of your body – muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, bones, organs – has a nerve supply. All these nerves are covered in a fibrous sheath which is continuous with the covering of the brain and spinal cord called the meninges. Every cell in the body has something called microtubules which are like bits of scaffolding that help the cell retain shape, but they also conduct light, just like fibre optics and in some cells these microtubules continue from one cell to another – especially in fibrous tissues I would think. So in the fibrous covering of the nerves and brain it is possible that there are literally fibre optics conducting light from the head down into the body.
There certainly seems to be something to this as shining an ordinary laser pointer at specific parts of the head produces consistent pain relief in specific body parts.
Physiotherapy – A good physiotherapist – or if you are reading in American – Physical Therapist – should also be able to help. In the UK the NHS physios may not be much help as they often have little hands on experience – you nearly always have to go private.
There are of course other therapists to try, including massage and acupuncture, but my guess is by downloading this report you want to know what you can do at home, so lets get on with that.
Other Therapies – I already mentioned chiropractic and osteopathy. We also have an acupuncturist at the clinic and a hypnotherapist.
With hypnotherapy let me move onto something else you need to consider when in pain:
Emotions and Stress – It is very important to realise that pain is not just down to physical injuries and causes, but a complex interaction of thoughts, feelings, habits, lifestyle, posture, diet, biochemistry, and for some people even things like atmospheric conditions.
This is why we at the Pain Relief Centres also use various techniques to work on emotions, such as Emotional Freedom Technique and Thought Field Therapy, and why we teach the basics of Human Needs Psychology.
Calming the brain can have great effects on even physical injuries and conditions, for instance, 40 rheumatoid-arthritis sufferers were helped by a form of meditation called ‘mindfulness’. As they reduced their stress levels, their pain decreased (Ann Rheum Dis, 2004; 63: 923-30; BMJ, 2004; 329: 324-6; MSNBC News, 13 September 2004 [online]).
Fight or Flight: the Origin of Stress – It is the physiological response of the body to real or perceived threat. This is important to realize as your body chemistry will react the same to a real tiger jumping at you, or just imagining one (very vividly). Threats today come to us from work, food, the air, our own minds and lifestyle.
When your body senses a potential threat – physical, chemical or mental – it responds by activating part of your nervous system called your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS for short). The SNS then sends messages to your adrenal glands and your brain. The short term effects are to release immediate energy reserves and heighten your senses, to get you ready to fight or run. This means blood is diverted from your vital organs to your muscles, muscle tension increases, blood sugar and blood pressure increase. At the same time your repair mechanisms, digestion and immune system shut down as they require a lot of energy that would be put to better use in your muscles.
Now this is all very well for short term survival, but if stress continues it becomes very harmful. Our bodies are now under constant stress from the food we eat (processed fat and sugar, covered in man made chemicals), the air we breathe (smoke and fumes from cars and factories) and the way we live (no exercise, lots of TV). Even sitting down is an unnatural position that stresses the body. This makes sitting down watching the news (normally a very negative mental/emotional experience) one of the worst habits you can have on a daily basis.
Chronic, repeated stress produces a set of responses, that however necessary at the time, ultimately impair our health and well-being Medical research over the past 20 years has clarified how stress can produce illness, and it is known that heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety and most cancers are all preventable and lifestyle related. So, if you know anybody suffering from any of the effects of stress then please get them to a holistic chiropractor who deals with stress, as soon as possible.
Effects of Chronic Stress
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- increased blood glucose
- increased blood lipids
- increased blood cholesterol (increased LDL, decreased HDL)
- increased clotting factors
- increased muscle degradation
- insulin resistance
- increased feelings of stress, fear, anxiety and depression
- decreased short term memory, ability to concentrate and learn
- increased sensitivity to pain
- decreased immunity
- decreased levels of growth hormone, testosterone, luteinizing hormone
- decreased sex drive
- accelerated aging
- bone loss
- decreased muscle mass
- weaker connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons
- poor sleep
The best way to beat stress is to engage in regular exercise, as all the ‘stress chemicals’ from the fight/flight mechanism are geared towards and burned up by – physical exertion. When you are in pain however, exercise is often off the agenda, so meditation, deep breathing or gentler exercises like Tai Chi and some forms of Yoga may help.
Another natural way to beat stress is to stop frowning and start smiling – even if you don’t feel like it. In a recent experiment using botox to disable the frowning muscles they found that the very inability to frown actually improved people’s mood!
Stronger than smiling, is laughing – so go watch some comedy. There are various nutrients that help combat stress and calm the mind – fish oils, magnesium and B vitamins often help, but we use a questionnaire called the Braverman Nature Assessment to help us determine what may work best. You can find this test online. For a small fee we can send you a copy and interpret the results for you (this is free if you are a client at our clinic).
A Major Cause of Hidden Stress – Another reason why you may not be healing, or have developed various aches and pains is something known as Dental Distress Syndrome – shortened to DDS.
Most people are familiar with various protective reflexes – for example, unconsciously pulling your hand away from a hot stove, or quickly and unconsciously lifting your foot if you step on a tack. Very few people realize that the teeth and jaws are extensions of the brain and spinal cord, and that the most delicate proprioception in your body is between the upper and lower front teeth. This is partly because the tooth covering itself has no nerve endings, so the underlying nerves have to be sensitive enough to stop you breaking a tooth on a small bone, and instantly stop you biting.
Stress, as you have read, is a significant risk factor in all disease. Hans Selye, the ‘godfather’ of stress research, has called the Dental Distress Syndrome the worst stress or known to mankind.
It is a hidden stress or and is estimated to affect over 75% of our population. A 1986 Harvard publication studied the morbidity (cause of death) of 33,000 doctors. Like other Americans, the number one cause of death was heart disease and the number two cause was cancer. Surprisingly, the highest risk factors were not cholesterol, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, and obesity, but rather the loss of teeth. The loss of 10 or more teeth resulted in a 67% increase in heart attack and stroke.
Moreover, this type of stress cannot be treated by commonly known stress reduction techniques.
So why does dental distress syndrome have such a negative impact on your health? When the front teeth hit too soon, it activates or increases the signal to the sympathetic nervous system and decreases the signal to the parasympathetic nervous system. In plain English – it set off the fight/flight mechanisms of stress physiology.
The relationship of the maxilla (upper jaw) to the mandible (lower jaw) and occlusion (how they bight together) can affect over 50% of the body functions including motor and sensory controls, blood supply to the brain and electrical feedback to the brain
People with DDS typically may complain of one or many of the following:
- Pain or tenderness of the jaw area
- Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth
- Hearing loss
- Frequent urination
- Kidney and bladder complications
- Cold hands and feet
- Back and leg aches
- Body posture problems
So as you can see dental distress syndrome can pretty much cause anything, so you might well be asking yourself:
“How Do I Know If I Have Faulty Dental Proprioception or Dental Distress Syndrome?” There are several dental conditions, which practically assure that you will have faulty dental proprioception and/or dental distress syndrome:
- If you have lost all or part of your lower back teeth on one or both sides of the jaw;
- If you have a deep overbite with short back teeth; or,
- Anyone with excessive freeway space between the upper and lower jaws.
What are the treatment options? Many cases of DDS can be fixed or managed with some simple exercises and the proper use of Cold Laser Therapy with a Q-1000 laser. Sometimes corrective dentistry is needed.
Other forms of Pain Control – There are other devices that help control pain that are currently available, and often advertised in various newspapers and magazines. I can not review them all here, so my advice is if you see something maybe ring a few local natural pain relief experts. A good sign that a miracle device may work is that it comes with a 30 day free trial. Be cautious though.
Choosing the right Pain Relief Strategy for You – When it comes to solving painful conditions, especially chronic ones, I have found that working on it from multiple angles seems to work the best, but if you want to be scientific, don’t start more than one therapy at a time.
I can also say that sometimes the strangest things can work for one person, and not another.
My best advice is to go with your gut feeling as to what to start with, but make sure you consult with a healthcare professional before trying anything new – especially if you are pregnant, have a medical condition, or are looking for something to help your child.
Finally no matter how long you have had the pain, and how many doctors have told you ‘there is no cure’, no matter how many therapists you have seen or how much surgery you have had, there is always hope.
If you would like our help call us in the UK on 01707 662 704