Chronic pain and natural relief solutions: Guest contributor Kayleigh-May shares 6 alternative ways to manage chronic pain and how CBD may help.
Those who read my blog often will know that I suffer with a chronic pain condition called hEDS (Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome).
What this means is my connective tissue is defective, causing a domino effect of other problems in my body. While I have been prescribed a slew of medications for the pain, such as Gabapentin, Celebrex, and Tramadol, the issue is that these medications are not a daily solution, unless I want to do a lot of unrepairable damage to my kidney and liver. They have terrible side effects, such as fatigue, nausea, mood swings, and constipation. Thus I have compiled a list of natural things that I try first, leaving medication as a last resort.
1. Hot Bath in Epsom Salts, and Essential oils (Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Lavender)
- Lavender has both antiseptic as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
- Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Peppermint is an analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. This not only relieves the pain, but also calms spasms that cause muscle cramps.
- Rosemary contains bioactive compounds believed to help with pain.
Tip – Make bath bombs, or bath salts ready to go with the above oils.
2. Take natural pain relievers, like Curcumin (turmeric pills) and Ginger.
Turmeric, contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties. The main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. To be fully absorbed into the blood stream, this should be taken with black pepper. Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory properties. Add ginger to fruit waters, or teas accompanying turmeric for an added boost of pain relief.
3. MASSAGE THERAPY
One of my favourite things to do for myself is book a massage. Massage therapy was found to increase quality of life by increasing the quality of sleep, and decreasing anxiety levels, as well as all over pain. Your RMT will work with you to develop a plan specific to your needs.
TIP : Check with your work benefits to see if they cover a few massages a year.
Physiotherapy much like massage therapy is designed for you by your physiotherapist. My physiotherapist works with me to build muscle to support my joints and increase strength, which will help with proprioception, as well as reduce subluxations and dislocations. Your physiotherapist will design a plan for you and send you home with exercises to do to help. Physiotherapists are great, as long as you listen, and do the homework.
5. CBD OIL
Cannabis has two well known parts, THC – the psychoactive compound, and CBD – the therapeutic compound. CBD has been found to be an anti-inflammatory, as well as calming [agent].
Some of those who use Marijuana, have found that the THC compound does not agree with them, like myself, I don’t like the brain fog, or “high” feeling. However I quite like the lack of pain, and calming feeling. If you want a THC free CBD oil, like me, look into a full spectrum CBD oil.
“Full Spectrum CBD includes all the natural cannabinoids found in hemp, whereas CBD isolate is CBD separated from all other compounds found in the plant. A 2015 study found full spectrum CBD to be capable of offering greater levels of relief without the dosing caps encountered when using CBD isolate. “ – Full Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate
If you are looking for CBD oil of your own in Canada with convenient micro-dosing, I use feelcbd.ca. They offer many different essential oil infused vape pens as well as oil drops.
Perhaps one of my favourite ways to control my pain. While researchers are unsure how meditation works exactly to decrease pain, Mindful meditation has been proven to reduce pain in trials. If you have a restless mind, try starting off with 1 minute guided mediations and increase to longer. This will help teach your brain to let go or ignore the current pain that you are dealing with. Reducing the over all pain level.
Tip: Create a peaceful environment to meditate in & Pay attention to your senses.
What sounds will you be hearing?
What sounds make you feel comfortable, for me it is ocean waves, however it may be anything from rain to traffic for you.
What scents will you be smelling?
Look into calming essential oils such as lavender.
What will the temperature be that your skin will be touching?
If you want to be warm, there is nothing wrong with meditating under a fuzzy soft blanket.
What will your surroundings be?
While you will be meditating with eyes closed, be sure to put things in your special area that will make you comfortable before and after you close your eyes, as well as feel safe in your surrounding area.
What will you be tasting?
As taste lingers in our mouths long after eating, I like to drink some tea before meditation so that I am not too focused on the odd after taste that lingers in my mouth while meditating
Love, Light, and Brightest Blessings,
This blog post was originally posted on Everyday Kayleigh-May. To see more of Kayleigh-May’s work, check out her author’s bio below for links to her blog and Instagram.