Pain is something that everyone will deal with several times in their lives. It can be something short and simple, like stubbing your toe or hitting your elbow on a hard surface. It can be something more serious, like recovering from surgery or being in a serious car accident. However, it can also be a chronic condition, something that an estimated 50 million Americans deal with on a constant basis.
Regardless of the source or severity of your pain, there are many tried and tested methods to help manage it. You can visit a physical therapist, you can get therapeutic massages, or you can take medication of varying strengths. However, there are newer techniques you may not have heard about that can also help.
There have been studies in recent years into how yoga can be used to manage pain. It can be therapeutic for people recovering from a bout of acute pain, but also chronic issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, and more. The studies have found that yoga helps in a few ways:
- Improves range of motion, mobility, and general bodily function
- Improves joint health
- Prevents the breakdown of cartilage
- Improves posture
- Increases metabolism
- Increases physical relaxation
There are even some signs that practicing yoga may alter your brain’s anatomy to better handle pain; especially for people with chronic pain.
There is also new research that suggests that mindfulness meditation may be able to train your brain to ignore pain to a greater extent. Mindfulness meditation is a mental technique where you practice focusing exclusively on the present. You acknowledge your thoughts and whatever physical sensations you feel or hear without any judgment or following thought.
This practice has been shown to potentially alter how our brains and bodies process subjective pain. By training your brain to acknowledge pain without having any type of thought or judgment on it; you ignore that subjective association. As a result, you can experience pain less intensely overall.
Another method lies in a safe, natural supplement called cannabidiol (CBD). It is a natural chemical compound found in cannabis plants, such as marijuana and hemp. On its own, CBD does not make you high, which is why it has been legal to purchase, use, and cultivate since the 2018 Farm Bill. Now, you can get it in several forms, such as CBD oil, edibles, skin creams, and more, from dispensaries like Joy Organics.
CBD has been shown to reduce pain by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is found in the human body’s nervous system. It binds to the receptors in the ECS that are responsible for the production of various neurotransmitters that regulate bodily functions, such as pain and inflammation. When you are experiencing pain, CBD is able to reduce pain signals, so you do not feel it as intensely. It also reduces inflammation, which can be a contributing factor for pain and discomfort.
These three methods are relatively new to the world of pain management and still lack fully comprehensive scientific research to understand how they work and how much. However, what clinical trials that have been done all show promise for their ability to help manage the pain of all types.
More importantly, they are all safe to try and can be combined both with each other and with more traditional methods of treating pain. You can practice yoga and mindfulness meditation and take a dose of CBD; all while going to physical therapy, getting a massage, taking a hot bath, or taking prescription pain medication. Combining them all together may take up more time, but in the end; they will help you manage your pain better than ever before.