Friday, July 16, 2010

Chronic pain and herbs that help...Part3

Written By FaithRMichaels
Relaxing and Exercise

The next important thing for sufferers of chronic pain is relaxation.

By being able to stay in a relaxed mood the adrenaline flow subsides.

When the body is relaxed pain levels are down..this is why antidepressants work and are part of the conventional treatment program for Chronic Pain conditions.
Anti-anxiety medications are also used.
Aromatherapy,massages,homeopathic remedies, meditation, and hypnotherapy are all tools that can be used to relax.
St,Johns wort,Kava kava,chamomile,passionflower and lavender are herbal help in many cases.

Of course each person is unique so what will work for one will not work for all.

For people in Chronic Pain restful sleep is not something they get a lot of, so a comfortable bed is very important.

Waterbeds,airbeds,tempurpedic, or something along those lines can greatly assist those in Chronic pain.

Try to avoid things with springs that will create pressure points.

You will have to find what works best for you.

Intimacy is also important. Sometimes you can have that with your life partner sometimes you cannot and when you cannot or do not have that... then that creates extra stress which creates tension. People who have any chronic condition are not having the condition alone if they are in a relationship or have a family. This condition effects the entire family unit.

So expressing what is going on with you is a important thing.

So developing some kind of intimate relationship with someone that you trust to talk with and share with relieves a lot of stress and tension which in turn reduces pain.
I am not talking about physical sex here but something entirely different.
However humans are sexual beings by nature and often Chronic pain patients just do not feel like the excercise sex brings because it brings pain as afterplayso I would suggest for those people who wish too... a form of Tantric Sex which is not all about the act but about intamacy.
In short lots of hugging ,stroking and touching. which can produce a deep relaxation all by itself.
Any thing that brings comfort ,encouragement, emotional and mental support and a good thing .

Exercise can be a very difficult thing to do when one deals with Chronic Pain.
But yet it is vital to stay active in some form . So one has to find something they love to do.
Set yourself up things to do when you are having a bad pain day..something that is creative for you to do.

A person might take up building ships in a bottle, painting,pottery,working with metals,fishing,photography,jewlerymaking,candlemaking,Bosai,music, ...well you get the idea. Tinkering with something that you enjoy creating is very important.

This kind of creative gentle activity is very peaceful and keeps tension down in the body by keeping the mind and body active.

Odds are that what a person used to do is a very active lifestyle physically that for the time being is no longer an option for them.

Gentle stretches... Tai Chi has been reported to work wonders.
Then there is floating in a pool,or using a pool to exercise in.

Many YMCAs have programs for people who have these kinds of physical situations.

If a YMCA pool is not available to you there are always the 3and 4 ft.pools that are around and that will work just as well to exercise in. One can stretch out and work the muscles without the resistance and problems that exercising in conventional ways often brings.

Hot tubs with a herb bath sachet also works well for many.
Last in this series

Chronic pain and herbs that can help... Part 2

Written By FaithRMichaels

Chronic Pain and nervine herbs

They are many herbs that assist in many types of pain.

Chronic pain sufferers often suffer from nerve pain.

Nerve pain has many different causes and a WebMD article states this:

"In past generations, people often heard that chronic pain was "all in their heads," says Rollin M. Gallagher, MD, MPH, director of pain management at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
Today's pain specialists understand how the sensation of pain occurs -- how the nervous system, including the spinal cord, interacts with the brain to create that sensation, Gallagher says.
Insights into the neurotransmitter system -- the chemical messengers that pass nerve signals -- have opened the door for important new modes of chronic pain relief, he explains. In recent years, scientists have learned how to manipulate those chemical messengers to change the way they interact with the brain's signals.
That's led to use of antidepressants and other drugs that work with specific brain chemicals that affect emotions, and help with perception of pain. "We now have a whole new host of medications that are very effective" for chronic pain relief, Gallagher tells WebMD.
And with advances in MRI imaging, researchers can clearly demonstrate that the changes are very real in the brain, he says. "We can show exactly where the sensation of pain is occurring in the brain when it is activated by stimuli. We can see the effects of pain on emotion -- and emotion on pain."
There's new understanding, too, of a process called "central sensitization," says Kwai-Tung Chan, MD, a pain specialist and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "If initial pain from an injury is not adequately treated, those pain signals are sent repeatedly -- which leads to changes in the central nervous system, making it more and more sensitive. Over time, even the gentlest touch can become very painful."

A lack of all the nutrition elements especially the EFA's (covered in Part 1) effect brain chemicals and the creation thereof.

Diets strong in one area or another of certain things determine what kind of brain chemicals the body produces in abundance.

A lack of proper nutrition means the body cannot repair itself effectively from an injury.

In many injuries nerves are damaged and then cannot heal themselves properly because of the lack of certain elements that are required to do this.
In the cases of chronic pain that is caused by such things as shingles keeping the immune system at it's best is vital.

Nervine herbs are herbs that sooth the nervous system.

These herbs nutritionally support and act upon the nervous system in a unique way.

The herbs I have found to be the most useful for chronic pain and in different combos are: cayenne, skullcap, passionflower, lavender, arnica, comfrey, peppermint, ginger, lobelia, basil, lemon balm, mullein, eucalyptus,and wintergreen.

(Another herb that is very useful but at this time illegal in most places is marijuana.)
A excellent herbal tea for chronic pain is skullcap, or passionflower, with peppermint.

Each person is unique in what herbal combo helps their body come forth into healing from chronic pain.


Some people require cooling herbs for their pain.

It is easy to tell if cooling therapies are for you.

If ice or cold allieves/assists your pain then a cooling herbal oil and herbal baths would be perfect for you.

This therapy is used in flare-ups or intensive reoccurring of the Chronic pain on extra severe days.

If heat helps you then warming herbs would be used.

Warming herbs would be helpful on days or situations where more bloodflow to the area is required. Warming herbs are also soothing and relaxing.

Such a situation would occur on days that pain is steady and tension is high.

I know this sounds like alot of stuff but in the end it will be simple to implement I promise.

I have found that both therapies are required in assisting those with chronic pain .

A simple aid for Chronic pain sufferers is cayenne. High in Capsicum which is a known and clinicly tried pain reliever. Cayenne eases the pain in a very effective way.

To create this warming oil for yourself:

One 6 to 8 oz.bottle of olive oil.

Empty oil out of bottle into a clean glass.

add powdered cayenne to the empty oil bottle till you have about an inch or more in the bottom of bottle. Return the oil to the bottle. Cap and set aside.

Oil is ready when the oil turns to a red oil. This usually happens pretty quickly

WARNING: Always remember to wash your hands after applying oil because if you forget and rub your eyes or other sensitive areas you will remember it for along time.

apply oil as needed to pain areas or get someone to give your back and legs a massage with it.

To create a simple cooling oil you will need:

One 6 to 8 oz, bottle of olive oil.

(also Emu oil or straight menthol gel will work as a base instead of Olive oil.)

peppermint , Eucalyptus,wintergreen, Camphor,

add 20 drops each of essential oils into the olive oil. Shake... you can use it immediately

Same Warning as above applies.

get a massage or apply yourself as required.

herbal Soaks:

To soothe and relax while also providing pain relief there are several aids.

A simple and inexpensive way to ease deep muscle pain is the tried and true Epsom salt.

This very simple but often overlooked element has worked wonders for many.

A method many have found useful is to apply oil of choice get in tub with the epsom and soak..Not to hot ..bath should be warm and soothing ..extra hot water often defeats the purpose.

the apply the oil of choice again. This is usually helpful right before retiring for the evening or can be used as a therapy on severe flair-up days.

Part 3 tomorrow

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chronic Pain and herbs that can help.. Part 1

Written By FaithRMichaels
Chronic Pain Overview

Chronic pain is experienced by more than 50 million Americans ,about that many Canadians and is the number 1 reason for doctor visits.

Traditional treatments of pain are pathetically useless as a long term treatment for chronic pain sufferers.

Pain clinics are still rare in many areas , to the point of non-existent and often do not accept medicaid,other state insurance programs or medicare.
Then of course there are the Doctors themselves who have little to no understanding regarding Chronic pain and effective treatments for that condition.

Chronic pain is not only a physical condition but a neurological one has well.
In people who have Chronic Pain certain areas of the brain do not ever shut off.
New pathways in the brain are created by the constant pain to the brain signals.
These new pathways change how a person views the world and this change effects every portion of their lives.

For a person who suffers from this condition their whole life becomes intimately connected to the pain.

So how can herbs help where narcotics and other medications for pain often fail?

Many people who suffer from Chronic pain have developed overactive nerves.These nerves over time become hypersensitive, respond to adrenaline and adrenaline as the fight or flight body responce is activated by pain. This creates a vicious cycle within the body.
Also many pain sufferers are suffering from a mineral and EFA(Essential fatty acids) deficiency of some sort or a Chronic whole body inflammation state beyond the pain source.

This deficiency can actually ramp up the pain signals in strength and frequency.

Herbs can and do supply many micro minerals and other elements the body is lacking. but most importantly over time herbs used in conjunction with other health restoring treatments can reduce the nerve transmission intensity and frequency of pain relays to the brain.

Herbalists and healers have long known that relaxation within the bodies (emotional,mental,subconscious) are very important when dealing with pain of any kind, whether it is emotional,physical mental ect.and in Chronic pain sufferers all these levels are active.

So as a herbalist I come from the perspective of restoring balance to the body and to the whole person. As a herbalistic healer I am not only trained in herbs and their uses but I am trained in a persons whole being responce to a dis-ease condition.

Assisting Chronic pain conditions or a chronic condition of any kind is a process.
I call it a journey. There is no magic formula,or pill cure.
One reads about these "magical cures " all of the time..My mailboxes both snail and E are full of Potions and plant stuff that will "cure" it all.

I investigate all new potion... miracle substance... plant claims.
I find the same results over and over again.
Works for a few but not for all and when I investigate these substances deeply I find that many of the plants in the potions are high in mineral,amino acids or EFA content.
All this with a very pricey price tag that many cannot afford.

There is a simpler less expensive way.

I will be outlining this and giving tips and how - to's that will assist in empowering ones-self .
Ultimately it is up to the person who is suffering to understand what is going on with their bodies so that they can help themselves and know what is helpful for them in that regards.

The first step in treating any dis-ease and/or Chronic pain is complete nutrition.
Most important are the Essential fatty acids
Flax seed oil,Olive oil,Acai berries, Avocados,Evening primrose oil, are rich sources of ALL the EFA's in synergistic balance.

Just as Important are ALL the minerals.Trace included.
Organic Alfalfa, Spirulina, Acai berries, or any whole food or Liquid/Chewable Vitamin Mineral supplement
NO PILLS! You are wasting your money and your body is not getting all that is there and /or using it.
(that's a whole other connected subject)

In the next articles on this subject; we will be covering herbs, herbal baths, herbal oils, meditation,and other stress reducing tips along with gentle exercise that will enhance the life quality of anyone, but most especially for those that have chronic pain.

This article continuation part 2 will post tomorrow.