“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”- Bob Marley!
That quote certainly says a lot about the relationship between mind and body. In our busy lives where we hear so many different notes of music and agony; we overlook a lot of times what our own body has to tell us, and hence our body has learnt to utilise different sensorial tool which is better perceived by us and which we call in other words as “PAIN”. Pain is very innate to our human system and it draws our immediate attention to ourselves and makes us wonder what must have gone wrong.
Apart from the pathological pains which are probably caused by an infection or inflammation, I am talking about pain which has become a part of your life, pains which you might have started living with on a regular basis caused by stress, exhaustion, being sedentary, physiological pains, ageing, or hereditary. Pains of these origins can use a bit of your healthful indulgence in order to make you feel better. To put it in better perspective for others; examples of the kind of pain I’m talking about are chronic conditions like Fibromyalgia, chronic sick headaches, stress and tension headaches, chronic backache, chronic idiopathic pain syndrome, Arthritis, gout and so on.
The Nerve Physiology of Pain
Pain receptors are the real helpful bunch who are responsible for all the tweeting.
“A pain receptor or in the better term the nociceptor is a sensory neuron (nerve cell) that responds to potentially damaging stimuli by sending signals to the spinal cord and brain. This process, called nociception, usually causes the perception of pain.The peripheral terminal of the mature nociceptor is where the noxious stimuli are detected and transduced into electrical energy.When the electrical energy reaches a threshold value, an action potential is induced and driven towards the central nervous system (CNS). This leads to the train of events that allows for the conscious awareness of pain. The sensory specificity of nociceptors is established by the high threshold only to particular features of stimuli. Only when the high threshold has been reached by either chemical, thermal, or mechanical environments are the nociceptors triggered”.(Source: Wikipedia)
What are these potentially damaging stimuli?
Stimulus is the change in the external or internal environment, It can be anything like insomnia, tension, stress, depression, internal pressure, inflammation, trauma or even idiopathy. Each of us has susceptibility and sensitivity levels, when the stimulus goes beyond our threshold it causes the “reflex”. Pain is a concern whether it is intolerable acute pain or just a chronic dull backache or usual sun headache in school girls; diagnosis and proper treatment is important but being on constant pain-killers or NSAIDS is also not a very healthy option for better sustainable quality life.
“Handling pain in a natural healing way is a great option for the longer run, Since pain has a lot to do with your own threshold and tolerance, it is advisable to strengthen yourself physically, and mentally”.
Homeopathy & Nutrition for pain:
I read somewhere that ideal painkiller should be “Safe, Effective, and free of side effects”, And it encouraged me to write how nicely can we combine homeopathic support with food to make daily support harmless yet effective. Treatment for the root cause of pain and pain alone can be two different things; however, Homeopathy deals with the patient as a whole, here I talk about remedies specific for pain.
I have witnessed Homeopathy’s curative abilities, as a child too I have seen my father treat so many patients with chronic headaches and chronic MSK pains. The individualistic approach portrays specific remedy which if given with supportive complementary Homeopathic medicine then it can bring steady improvement. Food plays a significant role too. Although to write a list of top ten homeopathic medicines for aches and pain would be unrealistic as the most well-indicated remedy might be the least expected one. But I would still share the most running remedies for pains in general.
Headaches in general:
- Belladonna : very acute robust pain, throbbing with congestion and hyper-excitability.
- Glonoine: aggravation from heat, suppressed menses, sun resulting in throbbing mostly temporal.
- Sanguinaria: right sided worse, pain like flashes of light, sick headaches, marked respiratory symp.
- Iris V: A headache from stress, frontal pain, with nausea
- Ignatia: emotions as marked stimulus.
- Gelsemium: dull dizzy drowsy with muscular weakness and heaviness of the head
- Lac can: vision blurred, nausea, erratic pains alternating sides.
Aches and pains in general:
- Actea spicata: rheumatism of smaller joint, wrist.
- Bryonia: the Mother of all rheumatism remedy(in my opinion).
- Rhus tox: the maternal sister of all the rheumatic remedies; really !!
- Bellis P: sore muscular pain, especially in larger muscles, old traumas hurt.
- Arnica: Elixir for old traumas, arthritis esp degenerative and so much more.
- Mag Phos: The homoeopathic painkiller
Food elements which can help you if included in the diet in the naturally available form. Although there are so much more you can have in your daily diet to ease that pain, but here are few which are easily available.
- Capsaicin: The capsaicin compound in capsicum can block the transmission of pain to the spinal cord from the skin. This is why there are various heat patches or capsaicin patches available in the market to ease that pain, including this in the diet can help you with pain in general, unlike the external patches which can mostly deal with only muscular soreness and pain. Found in “sweet” bell peppers.
- Allicin: Found in garlic, its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties makes its use effective in many ways. It boosts the immunity and helps reduce cholesterol. Conditions like thrombophlebitis, where the ache is due to the inflammation in the vein and the formation of the clot; both can be benefitted by the blood thinning and anti-inflammatory properties of allicin.
- Curcumin/Turmeric: ancient use of turmeric has proven itself time and again, its use as a pain reliever is very well known. Few papers suggested that the active ingredient curcumin/ is best absorbed when taken with piperine which is found in black pepper.
- Piperine: found in black pepper, anti-inflammatory and has ability to eliminate toxins and enhance absorption of nutrients by the gut.
- Gingerol: found in ginger is effective against muscle pain, menstrual cramps, along with with its anti-inflammatory action it can be useful for osteoarthritis and other inflammatory MSK diseases.
- Asafoetida: very effective pain reliever.
Things to avoid in your diet:
Ice-cold drinks during the stage of pain, unless otherwise indicated cold in general can aggravate. Alcohol, High Sugar, refined carbs, trans fats, and anything else which can trigger inflammation should be best avoided. Also as a Homeopath I believe understanding yourself that what typically causes or increases your pain is helpful, and to control over that might help you to control the aggravation,(for example Morning aggravation with stiffness and ache of the joints in old age, where before sleep you can have warm turmeric milk and massage the affected area before sleep).
Mild or Moderate physical activity increases your stamina; which helps you not only to strengthen your body but also to introduce your system higher threshold of tolerance. Including that slowly to a level which is easily attainable is a clever way to kickstart, e.g. A 15-minute walk is easier to continue longer than promising yourself a goal of an hour each day. There are also other forms of additional management like massages, exercises which are specific for each condition causing pain. To plan treatment sessions with such specialists also help manage holistically.