cheap + easy + relaxing =
Epsom salt baths

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

Epsom Salt BathsHolistic pain relief can take many forms. In my years as a massage therapist, I’ve explored a wide variety of alternatives. By explored I mean both tried these methods myself, and recommended them to clients. Lately I find myself recommending Epsom salt baths to friends and clients on a regular basis. There are so many options for pain relief, but taking a warm bath with naturally pain relieving stuff in it is one of the most satisfying options. No side effects, just relief!

What’s the best way to try this? You only need a few ingredients:

  • Epsom salts (2 cups)
  • Baking soda (1 cup)
  • Tub with warm or nearly hot water (to your own temperature preferences)

The following ingredients are optional, but can be wonderful if you’d like to try:

  • Essential oils
  • Bentonite clay
  • Powdered ginger

So what is it about Epsom salt that’s helpful for pain relief? They’re actually magnesium sulfate. As I’ve mentioned before, Americans are woefully deficient in magnesium. While getting enough magnesium from food sources is ideal, that’s not the only way. You can absorb magnesium through your skin, including while soaking in the bath.

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, plus it’s anti-inflammatory—both positives for holistic pain relief.

Simply fill up your tub with water (as hot as you can safely enjoy), adding the two ingredients and soak for 15-20 minutes. There’s no real benefit in a longer soak, plus the water starts to get chilly.

About the optional ingredients—you may find some benefits but it’s up to you whether you add them to the bath. Essential oils like lavender will add to your relaxation and possibly help you sleep. Bentonite clay can up the detoxification effects of the bath. Powdered ginger spice (yes, I got mine at the grocery store) is also anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.

While these are all readily available ingredients and likely to have no side effects, if you’re living with any chronic or acute conditions you should discuss regular use of Epsom salt baths with your health care provider.

Happy soaking and here’s to pain relief!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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oxytocin (the love hormone)
conquers all

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Holistic Pain Relief, Women in Pain | 0 comments

My friend and fellow author Aubree Deimler wrote today’s blog. She’s taken everything she’s learned from living with endometriosis, and from her training as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and created PeaceWithEndo.com. You may not have pelvic pain, but this information about oxytocin applies to all of us looking for holistic sources of pain relief.

The Healing Powers of Oxytocin

Puzzle of LoveI listened to Dr. Christiane Northrup speak awhile back and something that she said made my ears perk up. She mentioned the hormone oxytocin and how it is the true fountain of youth hormone.

“Pay attention to this”, she said.

How had I never heard of oxytocin a.k.a. the love hormone?

I found out that oxytocin is produced in your hypothalamus and stored and secreted by your pituitary gland. It acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain.

Turns out this molecule is super powerful and arguably all healing. Here’s why…

Oxytocin has anti-inflammatory properties. So when it is released in your body it helps with cramps, headaches, and overall body aches.

Oxytocin has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone, which can cause all kinds of havoc in your body. The release of oxytocin follows with feelings of calm 🙂

Oxytocin is also helpful in overcoming depression and anxiety.

Interestingly enough, oxytocin receptors have been found in your digestive tract. Therefore, it helps improve digestion through improved gut mobility and decreased gut inflammation.

More oxytocin means less cardiovascular stress and an improved immune system.

As I gathered this information I could definitely see why Dr. Northrup spoke of oxtytocin with the suggestion to pay attention to this hormone!

How to Get More Oxytocin

Inevitably the question follows…. So how do we get more oxytocin?

Turns out its pretty simple. Your body releases oxytocin when touching is shared. This can come in the way of a hug, kiss or a simple handshake.

This touch causes your brain to release low levels of oxytocin both in yourself and the person that you are touching. With this connection, oxytocin levels help create a sense of trust.

When your body is sexually aroused or excited then oxytocin levels increase in your brain significantly. With orgasm your brain is flooded with oxytocin!

I understand that for many of us with endometriosis that sex and/or orgasm can be painful. But no need to fret, there are plenty of other ways that we can increase our oxytocin levels.

Simply watching an emotional movie can compel oxytocin release as can singing in a choir, doing karaoke with a crowd or dancing! Playing or cuddling with pets can cause oxytocin levels to increase too.

Another way to increase oxytocin is by verbally expressing your love for all the ones in your life: “I love you!”

Oxytocin is the love molecule but part of its evolved biology comes from the fact that you have to put it out there to get it back.

Because of this energy exchange, giving gifts to others can increase oxytocin levels.

Another way to give to receive is with focused meditation on others. Putting forth positive, focused energy to those in our life that we care about creates a ripple that returns to us with increased oxytocin and yes…. LOVE 🙂

On the Positive Side? 

I shared with my husband the power of oxytocin, and its become something we joke about now and again. We both recognize just how powerful this hormone is to calm down tension between the two of us.

Have you ever paid attention to how sometimes a hug makes the stress and anxiety melt away (at least for a moment)? Sometimes all it takes is my husband’s arms around me to make everything better.

I love how oxytocin spreads with the spread of the “L” word. When we give, we truly do receive. Oh by the way I LOVE you dear reader 🙂

I hope this information inspires you to give up some hugs today and share some love.

Yes, love indeed conquers all.

 

More about Aubree:

When Aubree was 29 years old she was officially diagnosed with endometriosis. She realized that she did not want to treat it with drugs or surgery. Instead she took an alternative road on a journey to whole healing – on a physical, emotional and spiritual level… and the rest is history.

As a certified holistic health coach and founder of Peace With Endo, Aubree is deeply passionate about wellness and inspiring other women with endometriosis to reconnect with a life filled with love and positive rhythms. 

Aubree is available for speaking events on the subjects of nutrition, healthy lifestyle, stress management, and overcoming suffering.

 

 

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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nutrients for holistic pain relief: part three

Posted by on Nov 3, 2014 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

A few weeks ago, we talked about the benefits of magnesium for holistic pain relief. Last time we discussed the role Vitamin D plays in pain and pain relief. Today’s post is all about the benefits of turmeric for holistic pain relief.

If you’ve lived with chronic pain for long enough, you probably heard someone talking about turmeric. Getting advice (whethTurmeric Root and Powderer you asked for it or not) is a big part of living with chronic illness and pain. You might ignore the latest great idea, but don’t ignore turmeric. Because, hey, even doctors are talking about turmeric as a natural remedy for pain relief.

In fact, a physician writing for Time Magazine recently quoted a study conducted at the University of Arizona. The researchers investigated the way turmeric works with joint inflammation, and found that turmeric turns down inflammation by blocking production of the protein that turns on the gene that tells tiny blood vessels to grow.

My first experience with turmeric was when I started doing massage for athletes. Some of my clients told me about Tissue Rejuvenator, a product that contains turmeric and many other natural pain-relieving substances. I used this product for a few years, and still think it’s terrific! (And I receive absolutely no compensation from Hammer Nutrition to tell you this.)

Turmeric may be new to you, but it’s been used medicinally for over 4,000 years. Its active ingredient is called curcumin and is a relative of ginger (another great natural pain-reliever). You can buy turmeric in capsules, in tinctures (liquid) and also in its whole root form. You can take powdered turmeric and make a tea. I know some folks who grate fresh turmeric root into their cooking, and even add it to smoothies.

Be aware that more turmeric isn’t always a good thing in cooking. The flavor it imparts is quite earthy, and can overwhelm other elements in the dish. If you really want to ingest a large quantity, you may find it easier to do in a capsule form.

As with all supplements, please have a conversation with your health care professional before beginning a turmeric regimen. Turmeric has some capabilities, including blood thinning, that need to be assessed in light of your body and your life.

But if you’re looking for a well-researched natural supplement for pain relief, turmeric is a good place to start!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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nutrients for holistic pain relief: part two

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

Sunflower

Photo credit: www.chuckgoodenough.com

Last time, we talked about the benefits of magnesium for holistic pain relief. Today we’ll discuss the role Vitamin D plays in pain and pain relief.

According to Medicine.net, there are two forms of vitamin D, known as D2 and D3. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, comes from fortified foods, plant foods, and supplements. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, comes from fortified foods, animal foods (fish, eggs, and liver), and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Also what makes vitamin D unique compared to other vitamins, says the Vitamin D Council, is that when your body gets its vitamin D, it turns vitamin D into a hormone. This hormone is sometimes called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol.”

In general, Americans are quite deficient in Vitamin D, as levels have plummeted over the last two decades. Part of this is due to our consciousness about skin cancer and sunscreen use. And it’s also because we just aren’t outside as much as a society. We’ve begun to exercise inside, drive instead of walk, and to spend hours in front of computers. These habits have all changed our natural exposure to sunlight and thus, our bodies’ ability to make more Vitamin D.

In a study published in 2003, 150 people with chronic pain-related symptoms were tested for Vitamin D levels. 93% of them had barely detectable amounts of Vitamin D in their bodies.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that Vitamin D “deficiency is an under-recognized source of diffuse pain and impaired neuromuscular functioning.”

What does this mean for you? It means that increasing your body’s vitamin D levels may help manage or relieve your chronic pain. The best ways to increase vitamin D are supplementation and some time in the sun.

You may want to ask your health care provider to test your vitamin D3 levels before you start, so you have a baseline (and just in case you may have enough already).

According to the Vitamin D Council, the amount of vitamin D you get from exposing your bare skin to the sun depends on:

  • The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
  • Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
  • The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
  • The amount of skin you expose – the more skin your expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.

In terms of supplementation, the recommended amounts vary depending on who’s setting the standards. For adults, they vary from 600 IU (international units) to 5,000 IU each day. Some experimentation and testing along the way can help you determine what works for you.

When you do take vitamin D supplements, be sure to buy D3 not D2. And you may want to get a capsule with oil or even just drops in oil. When the vitamin D is taken with a higher-fat meal or with oils, your body will absorb it more effectively.

Here’s to holistic pain relief!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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nutrients for holistic pain relief: part one

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Holistic Pain Relief | 0 comments

Kale ChipsFor the next few blog posts, I’ll be focusing on nutrients that may provide holistic pain relief. Today we’re starting with magnesium.

Some studies have found that magnesium can help with pain caused by conditions like fibromyalgia, migraine, muscle tremors, weakness, and spasms. Most of us are magnesium deficient, partly because we don’t eat enough foods with magnesium and partly because we do and eat things that remove magnesium from our bodies.

Here are some foods high in magnesium to add into your diet:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Dark chocolate
  • Brown rice

Examples of habits that remove magnesium from our bodies:

  • Medications, including antibiotics, blood pressure medicine, acid blockers and more
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Excess coffee consumption
  • High sugar diets

Certain health conditions can inhibit magnesium levels as well, including Type 2 diabetes, celiac disease, and other digestive disorders.

So what’s a person in pain to do?

You can supplement magnesium fairly easily. Definitely discuss this approach with your healthcare provider. When you’ve decided it’s a good idea for you, be sure to choose one of these types of magnesium:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium lactate

If you see magnesium oxide on the label, put it back on the shelf. This type of magnesium isn’t very bioavailable, meaning your body won’t absorb very much of it. Save your time and money and use one of the other types listed above.

Be aware the excess magnesium supplementation will cause loose bowels and gastrointestinal disturbance. Magnesium works in balance with other nutrients and minerals, so if you take too much it can be less help than harm. But if you build slowly, you should be able to figure out (with your health care provider’s guidance) the dosage best for you.

Aside from food choices and supplements, I enjoy two other methods to gain magnesium. If you’ve ever soaked in an Epsom salt bath, you’ve absorbed magnesium through your skin. Soaking in a tub of warm water with 1-2 cups of Epsom salts can relax your muscles and also may improve your sleep.

Another simple way to get more magnesium is by rubbing in a few drops of magnesium oil to your skin. Coaches in a sports environment sometimes use magnesium oil, so it seems natural that the same benefits could apply to people living with pain and inflammation.

Next time we’ll look at other nutrients that can enhance holistic pain relief.

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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