I have a nice long list of things to do when you are suffering from pain. I'm as big a fan of an over-the-counter analgesic as the next person...when you need it. OTC drugs, or prescription pain meds, have their place in our world, that's for sure. But there is no doubt that they are (1.) overused, (2.) only masking symptoms and not actually getting at the cause of the problem, and (3.) full of unwanted side-effects that make them not a good long term solution.
So here's the first item on my list...I'll share more in coming weeks.
#1 Arnica Montana
When to Use it Arnica is great for any kind of trauma. Good to use before and after surgery, birthing, accidents, bumps, bruises, cuts, burns, etc. Arnica is an absolute essential to keep on hand with small children. Also, keep it handy for sporting events, practices, workouts, hikes, bike rides, or anywhere accidents are more likely. If there is any head trauma or possibility of concussion, use Arnica immediately! DO NOT LEAVE HOME without this one.
Why it works Arnica is a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like,” the same idea that vaccines are based on. So the plant, arnica montana, is one that if ingested in large quantities would cause bruising, muscles soreness and trauma to the system. So this is a “hair of the dog that bit you” remedy. But in this case, the substance that is used to stimulate an immune response in the body has been hyper diluted. In fact, at the most common dosages, there is not an actual molecule of Arnica Montana left in the whole bottle. So it works on an energetic level. Before you scoff and toss this (my #1 favorite) suggestion out, check out my story below!
Links Susan Kramer at www.earthways.com is an amazing herbalist & homeopath. If you want to know more about Homeopathy, Arnica, and how to use it, she’s a great resource! (404) 248-1784
Boiron is a trusted brand for homeopathy http://www.arnicare.com/about/arnica-montana/
Good info on homeopathy in general as well as dosing recommendations. http://www.homeopathycenter.org/
Story I have a million stories about successful use of Arnica. There’s a reason it’s #1 on my list... From the time that I dropped a Big Ole TV on my big toe and took Arnica which prevented me from not only not losing my toenail, but also from bruising AT ALL....to the many times I know that this remedy prevented concussion in my small child after nasty blows to her head... to the time I used Arnica as my pain relief method after having all 4 wisdom teeth removed. I didn’t need the pain pills at all...
But I’ll focus on the one with my mom. My mom had brain surgery for an aneurysm many years ago. We filled her prescription pain pills of course, but we never used them! I gave her Arnica Montana 30C sublingual by mouth before and after her surgery. During her 2 week recovery period, she stayed with me at my house. Every time she said that she had a headache, a symptom indicating brain swelling from the trauma of the surgery, I gave her a dose of Arnica. Generally, she would then fall asleep and wake up from her nap pain free. This remedy is a Must Have for pain relief!
Stay tuned for more tips on how to get out of pain drug free in future blogs. Need pain relief now and tired of masking symptoms? Jump over to my Book Now button and make an appointment today!
This happened to me today… twice actually. Clients come in and say to me that the thing that had been hurting when they came in before is better…a lot better…but there’s this new thing that hurts now in a different way.
[Hint, they are not super excited about this]
Then I say, “Wonderful! That’s great.”
[And they give me the look that says, “That’s easy for you to say.”]
And they are right, it is easy for me to say because I know that this phenomenon is a signal that their body has been working hard at changing the pattern that was causing their pain.
Let me give you an example. Many years ago I first saw a client named Bill. Bill is a long distance runner who was experiencing low back pain. Nothing will get a runner’s attention quite like low back pain. I did my assessments, did some techniques and scheduled him to come back in 2 weeks.
Two weeks later Bill says to me, “My back is feeling so much better, but now my knee is hurting.” To which I responded, “Wonderful! That’s great. Have you ever had problems with that knee before?” Bill thought about it and then said that he had indeed suffered with knee pain on that knee several years before.
So what is happening here? It’s basic body physics. When Bill’s knee began to bother him, he did like many of us, he waited it out to see if it would get better. And it did get better. It gradually stopped hurting on its own and Bill kept training for and running marathons. His body figured out a way to take the pressure of his knee, and it probably accomplished that by shifting the balance in his hips. It took a while, but eventually that change in the hips became back pain that wouldn’t just go away.
So when I did my assessment and found Bill’s hips out of alignment and I mobilized those joints to get them in better balance, it worked great and his back felt better. [Yay!] But as a result, the compensating pattern that Bill’s body put in place to take the pressure off his knee was undone, leaving the knee vulnerable again to the pain from years ago.
Don’t worry; next step was to take care of Bill’s knee. But what I want to impress upon you is that I celebrate these changes because this is your body’s way of showing me what’s next. It’s proof positive that the Work is Working!
The point of all this is that when dealing with chronic pain, the road to recovery often winds through areas of old injury. We revisit those places in order to support the body in its journey back to balance. Connected Body Therapy takes clients through the process with gentleness, effective techniques, and supportive energy. It’s a process, so I try to celebrate each step of the way with my clients, even when those steps are sometimes painful.
Want to start your journey toward better today? Go check out my 15 Minute Pain Free session on the Book Now button. It's free and takes about half an hour of your time altogether. It might just change everything!
Are you in search of the perfect pillow?
You know the one I mean… the one that will support your neck at just the right angle and pressure so that your neck doesn’t hurt in the morning when you wake up. It’s gotta be the pillow, right? Well, don’t worry; I’m going to tell you the perfect pillow for you in just a moment, so Keep Reading.
But before we get to the best brand and style of pillow for you, let me just throw out some info on your neck and head to consider.
So we know that sleeping with a pillow that is too high or too low can stress out your neck. And we know that side sleepers have different pillow needs than back or stomach sleepers.
But you know what I’ve noticed? You can get a good night’s sleep one night and then not the next, even with the SAME pillow! I’ve also seen client’s who go through a lot of market research and trial and error with pillows, and yet their neck is still stiff.
Here’s what I’m getting at. It might be your pillow… we can talk about that if you want. I’ve got some ideas and suggestions for you…but my guess is … Shhhh…don’t tell anyone…
It’s probably not your pillow…
Sorry. I know I promised you the perfect pillow. But I fibbed.
I know it’s tempting to point fingers at the pillow (or your mattress or your desk chair or…) but there are so many other factors at play. For example:
Connected Body Therapy is all about assessing the body to pin-point the causes of our pain and/or dysfunction. Only the tissues of your own body know the “why” behind your pain, but honestly, I really don’t think it’s your pillow.