Updated: Feb 15
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A holistic guide to manage pain naturally through whole foods & lifestyle practices. This article is intended for educational purposes & does not replace the advice of your personal health care adviser. Always seek medical advice before trying any supplement. Are you someone who relies on conventional pain killers to relieve daily aches, pains or headaches? You are not alone. Nearly 8 million Canadians, 25% Americans and 34% of the population in the UK live with Chronic Pain. What is pain? Pain involves unpleasant emotional or physical sensations. The World Health Organization no longer looks at chronic pain as a symptom, but as a disease. Pain becomes chronic when it lasts longer than 3 months. Pain can be a result of healing, treatment, and inflammation to the inflicted area. This guide provides natural strategies to help cope with pain naturally. This article is intended for educational purposes & does not replace the advice of your personal health care adviser. Always seek advice from your health care provider before trying any supplements. Everyone experiences pain differently. Lifestyles factors and barriers can impact the way we experience pain. These factors range from socio economical barriers to factors in mental health. This article will suggest remedies that work to satisfy different experiences of pain.
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Ginger has demonstrated through human studies and randomized controlled trials to have a pain reducing impact. Ginger was found to modulate pain via several different mechanism. Studies experimented with gingers impact on dysmenorrhea, delayed onset muscle soreness, osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, and migraine. Although further studies are needed to provide recommendations on the correct dosages, ginger has shown promising results for pain relief.  Ginger has the herbal action of increasing circulation and reducing excessive fluctuation. Ginger soothes digestive pain and disturbances associated with bloating.
An easy way to benefit from the effectiveness of ginger is by drinking ginger tea, adding raw ginger to your smoothies or boiling ginger in water for 20 minutes and drinking the water. Ginger also makes a great addition to vegetable soups such as my pumpkin soup here.
Turmeric is popular for being a great source of the polyphenol known as curcumin. This polyphenol has been noted to aid in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, metabolic syndrome as well as anxiety. Curcumin is also effective for exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness. In fact, low doses can have beneficial results for pain relief. The absorption of curcumin can be difficult because of bioavailability. A component of black pepper has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%.  Combine Turmeric with Black pepper, or shop products that combine ingredients that boost bioavailability. Try one of the best Curcumin supplements for absorbability (at 4000%) here. Use the Code AMERA . Learn more; watch this video.
D-Mannose is a remedy specific to individuals struggling with urinary tract infections. Symptoms of urine infections tend to come on suddenly and involve bladder pain, cramps, lower back pain, burning sensations of the urethra and frequent urges to urinate. D-mannose not only provides some promising results in the treatment and relief of UTIs but is also fast-acting. D-mannose is a monosaccharide, found in numerous plants, and fruits such as cranberries. Research suggests that free D-mannose in urine has the potential to saturate and block E. coli adhesion to urinary tract epithelial cells. This could be a potential mechanism involved in the prevention of UTI development. Since D-Mannose works best in supplement form and dosages are determined by body weight & individual health factors; seek guidance for dosages and instructions on whether the supplement is right for you.
Boswellia & Extracts (Indian frankincense)
Boswellia is resins from a tree that grows in dry mountainous regions of India, Northern Africa and Middle East.[i] The properties in the resin are noted for anti-inflammatory enzymes. A meta-analysis, with data from randomized controlled trials found Boswellia and its extract may be an effective and safe treatment option for patient with Osteoarthritis (OA). For the most effective pain relief, its important to talk to your health professional for duration, dosage and safety information. Boswellia has also been suggested to help with inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
Bromelain is an extract from the pineapple plant and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Human studies have shown that bromelain is effective in managing pain associated with osteoarthritis however, more definitive studies are needed especially surrounding dosage and duration.
Essential Fatty Acid Supplement
EFAS are fats that are bodies do not product on their own; thus, humans need to acquire EFAS through their diet. EFA's have an anti-inflammatory effect and promote tissue healing. EFA's are also important for mental well-being and cognitive health, which also greatly impact how one experiences pain. Consuming 2 tablespoons of flaxseed or ingesting an excellent quality fish oil is an effective way to increase your daily EFA consumption.
Consuming foods rich in vitamin C or a Whole Food sourced vitamin C supplementation is effective in increasing healing time. Vitamin C is important for the formation of connective tissues and has anti-inflammatory effects.
Arnica has been used traditionally for pain relief. Some studies have found Arnica to have similar activities to standard medications, such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, for pain management under different medical conditions. Arnica can be used for acute and chronic pain management. Tap the above image to try Valhalla Vitality Infuse Roll on made with Arnica and a faster delivery system. Use Code AMERA.
Decreasing Headache Pain Naturally
(Speak to your health care provider prior to usage of any of these supplements)
· Increasing magnesium rich foods and using a magnesium and Calcium supplement
· B vitamins: Riboflavin and B6
· Vitamin D
· Peppermint Tea
· Chamomile Tea
· Passionflower Tea
· Sinus drainage
· Ice massages on upper back and neck
· Sinus headaches: practice tension and allergy relief massage here. Lay over your sink, bringing your face downward to allow sinus to drip.
· Aromatherapy: lavender and Peppermint in carrier oils are used for head pain and stress. Headaches caused by sinusitis benefits from steam inhalation using eucalyptus.
Stress reduction methods that reduce pain
· Deep Breathing
· Hot and cold therapies. Cooling for muscle spasms and hot therapy to relieve muscle tension.
· Observing scenes of nature. This can include being outdoors, indoor imagery and sounds of nature, or inhalation/exhalation of air from a window.
· Yin Yoga (speak to your health provider before trying any new health practice)
· Light therapy: rising a little before sunrise. Watch the sun set. Dim the lights a few hours before bed.
· Good quality sleep. Take naps. Sleep and awake around consistent times everyday.
Daily Movement & Pain Prevention
Daily physical movement is a key component in reducing accelerated age-related pain. Not only does a consistent exercise routine increase your stamina, flexibility, muscle & bone health but also cognitive health; an overlooked contributor to the way pain is experienced. In fact, Aerobic exercise improves cognitive health & bone health. For guidance on how to incorporate physical movement into your daily life you can find a Global Online Health Coach here.
Diet Practices for Pain Relief
· High Fibre Foods such as complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and a variety of colored fruits. Try to identify high histamine or common foods known to trigger headache. Take note of what you consumed on the days where you experienced a headache. Drink plenty of water and increase water consumption by two cups after every diuretic beverage such as coffee. Maintain an adequate daily intake of proteins and EFA rich food.
There are many different factors that can contribute to pain. Health is truly individualized. See your health care provider if you believe any of the solutions or causes of pain may apply to you.
Amera is a Nutritionist who is dedicated to helping individuals optimize their health through nutrition and wellness practices.
Sources  (Clinical trials on pain lowering effect of ginger: A narrative review, 2020 May 20)  (Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, 2017)  (Role of D-mannose in urinary tract infections – a narrative review, 2021)
[i] (Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview, 2011)