I’m in a Family Circle article
on chronic pain relief

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Holistic Pain Relief, Kick Pain in the Kitchen, Wellness | 0 comments

Big excitement over here in my world!

Barbara in Family CircleI’m honored to be included this April in a wonderful article by Rachel Rabkin Peachman  about pain management. More importantly, the article tells inspiring stories of four different women’s journey from pain (fibromyalgia, migraines, scoliosis and arthritis) to pain relief. You can find it in the April 2015 issue of Family Circle – on the stands now. (I’ll add a link when it’s available online.)

Rachel does a great job of capturing my story of living with chronic pain and arthritis, but there are always more details to tell. Here’s a bit more about me:

When I decided to get certified as a massage therapist, I wanted to leave the stressful world of advertising behind. I thought my favorite clients would be people who “just wanted to relax.” It wasn’t long before I learned that what really connected me to my clients was the chronic physical pain I’d experienced. Because they asked for my help relieving their pain, they were glad to know I understood how it felt to hurt.

It wasn’t long before I realized that helping people relieve chronic pain was my true career thrill. Holistic pain relief coaching combines three elements:

  • My own experience
  • Working with clients as a massage therapist
  • Health and nutrition knowledge and certification

Last year I decided to capture all this stuff and move it from my brain (and my heart) to a book. That’s Kick Pain in the Kitchen: Holistic Pain Relief You Can Eat, published last October.

I hope you’ll also take advantage of my free offer. It’s a report on my favorite 17 ways to start relieving your pain TODAY! It’s a lot of small, easy changes you can make that will start adding up to gains in pain relief. Did I say it’s free? Just fill in the form in the upper right corner of this page.

If you’re finding me because of the Family Circle article, why not look over some of these blog posts to start understanding my coaching approach?

7 holistic changes that improve pain relief

nutrients for holistic pain relief: a 3-part series

3 skills you can learn from 
living with chronic pain

anti-inflammatory diet for holistic pain relief

three reasons why resolving chronic pain is challenging

relieving chronic, systemic inflammation (a 4-part series)

using recovery days to help relieve chronic pain

Welcome to our community – please comment and join in the conversation!

 

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

I’m not going to “unlove” you

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Ask the Coach, Healthier Choices, Wellness | 2 comments

I'm Not Going to "Unloved" YouLast year at this time, I was struggling with my health. It was hard to feel like myself at work, at home, and there was no “at play” in my life then. Physically, I was dealing with unexplained vertigo, hearing loss, and disequilibrium. While not actually painful, it made me nauseous, irritable, and was accompanied by deep feelings of fear and depression. (If you’ve read my book, you may remember some of this story.)

One day, I was trying to explain to my husband Cris how sorry I was that I couldn’t be the wife he married and the wife who had enjoyed nearly two decades of togetherness. Of course, I was crying and it both hurt and made me mad to be in this situation.

And my best friend, companion, and husband just looked at me and said, “I’m not going to ‘unlove’ you because you’re sick.” His words still brings tears to my eyes as I write this. I can’t tell you if he thought about those words much before he said them. I can tell you that his words lifted my soul in that moment and chased some of the fear away.

Now imagine you’re a person with chronic illness or chronic pain. You might not really have to imagine – this could be you already since over 100 million people in the U.S. have experienced chronic pain. And according to one study in 2013, nearly half of all Americans have at least one chronic illness. This means many of you have felt what I was feeling that day last winter.

Has my health improved since then? Well, yes and no. Have I cried more tears? Definitely. Have I had some priceless moments of joy and happiness? Absolutely. And every SINGLE day I think of that one precious phrase, “I’m not going to unlove you.”

I realize this is a unique and amazing gift from my spouse. And so are all those nights when he’s not only cooked dinner but also done the dishes – all because I needed to get off my feet and rest. It’s not uncommon for a spouse to feel burdened by the challenge of their partner’s chronic pain. Many relationships and marriages struggle and even fail because of it.

Do Cris and I have the secret to a happy marriage despite chronic pain or illness? Well that bin of magic fairy dust was empty at the store this month, so I have no fail-safe secret. I will however, give you my top three strategies for enriching your loving relationship even when you have chronic pain or illness.

  1. Choose to be happy and find happiness in all the little ways you can. Each of those little choices add up to a big difference in how you approach each day. And research shows that optimism and a sense of hope (which go hand-in-hand with happiness), play a big part in improving your health. What makes you happy will be completely individual­—maybe it’s a child’s laughter, a bright sunny day, or some yellow roses. It could be the comfort of a warm meal shared with someone. Or bubbles in the bathtub. You choose!
  2. Let them know how much it means to you! Don’t forget the “thank you” moments, even if you think you’ve already said it a few times today or this week. Do what you can when you can. When you have a good day, use some of your energy to do something nice for your partner even if it’s just emptying the dishwasher. But most of all thank them more than you think necessary.
  3. Hug your partner every single day—more than once! Being heart-to-heart in a hug is healing for you both. It improves blood pressure, lifts your mood, and generates pain-relieving endorphins too. It reminds you both that you’re the most important people in each other’s lives, no matter what pain and health challenges your family is dealing with.

Love them because they love you. Face the challenges together, hand in hand, heart to heart.

 

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!

 

Read More

think you can get away with eating wheat?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Gluten Free, Holistic Pain Relief, Why Organic? | 1 comment

I’m back from a wonderful vacation and I am PISSED. Not at you, dear readers. I am angry at Monsanto, Roundup, and all the farmers using it. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way and it’s probably not the last.

Wheat 300 pxRoundup is so noxious that it changes our produce INSIDE, not just on the surface. That’s the reason why I encourage you and everyone to eat organic produce. But there’s more to it than our produce choices!

As I talk with clients, friends, and you about how holistic pain relief relates to gluten people ask me WHY? Why has wheat and gluten become a problem in the last 10-15 years? Just like these folks, don’t you also wonder why wheat-based foods didn’t bother you as a kid, but now you’re sensitive to gluten and wheat?

I’ve always answered that it’s because today’s wheat isn’t the same as the wheat from 30-50 years ago. That’s not wrong, but now I see it’s incomplete.

You can read the whole article (with links and sources at the bottom of her page) here:

Let me summarize briefly for you:

During the 1990s, conventional (non-organic) wheat farmers started drenching their crops with Roundup (a common pesticide called glyphosate) just before harvest. This practice increases yield (makes them more money) and makes the harvesting process easier.

Roundup and glyphosate are banned in quite a few countries in Europe. Not just on wheat but on all crops.

In 2013 a study was done connecting glyphosate and the incidence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The increase in use of glyphosate is followed exactly by the incidence of these two health conditions. (And remember they are connected strongly to chronic pain!)

If that doesn’t make you mad enough. Here’s the next consequence:

“Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms,” says The Healthy Home Economist.

When your gut bacteria is out of balance, you’re more likely to have a variety of medical issues including those related to chronic pain. (Here’s just one study as an example: http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/8/1223.short)

Again quoting The Healthy Home Economist, “The effects of deadly glyphosate on your biology are so insidious that lack of symptoms today means literally nothing. If you don’t have problems with wheat now, you will in the future if you keep eating conventionally produced, toxic wheat!”

Are you pissed now too? Please visit the entire article and read the details, as well as her suggestions on how to avoid glyphosate in your food choices. And definitely share this information with family, friends, and in social media.

 

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!

Read More

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!

Read More
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Youtube