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Monday, May 25, 2015

Natural Products Tool Kit Part Two

Doctors come up with some of the strangest solutions to pain. I've been told by doctors:

Exercise more, and you won't hurt so much.

Drink your water room temp instead of cold, so you won't hurt so much.

Let me stick needles in you, so you won't hurt so much.

Let me pump you full of steroids and then send the nurse in to give you a suppository.

Let me take your X-ray so I can figure out how to help you not hurt so much.

Let me give you a colonoscopy, MRI, CAT scan, and ultrasound so we can figure out why you hurt so much.

Let me run tests on you so we can confirm that you're hurting for other reasons.

Let me inject your gums with Novocaine so the drill won't hurt.

And the only one I really liked: Let the anesthesiologist give you an epidural so giving birth won't hurt so much.

So, aside from having Asperger's Syndrome and bipolar disorder, I also have had fibromyalgia for at least 13 years. That kind of chronic pain and fatigue sent me into a search that spiraled from primary care to sleep study to CPAP to tonsillectomy to treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome to acupuncture to chiropractic to Oriental medicine, to special diets and on and on.

So what works? First of all, for my manic-depressive symptoms (which come and go) I am on two antipsychotic mood-stablizing prescriptions, as well as a prescription to alleviate symptoms (named drowsiness) from the other drugs, and an antidepressant which I take as needed.

I also take numerous vitamins and minerals, especially those that have showed up on blood tests as being in insufficient quantities.

What I am going to give you now is a list of ways I cope with physical and emotional pain. Please understand that not all of these products will work for you, but the prices are generally low enough for you to give them a try if you are suffering from pain.
  • Stopain (from the pharmacy) is a spray containing menthol, eucalyptus oil, and peppermint oil. I carry it with me at home and out of the home. I can slip into a handicap-sized bathroom stall and raise my shirt to spray Stopain on my back and to stretch alone. 
  • T-Relief (formerly named Traumeel) (purchased at Vitamin Shoppe) is a homeopathic pain remedy in which the active ingredient is arnica. I just stick a tablet of T-Relief under my tongue and let it dissolve. 
  • Emu oil (from cleure.com) treats burns and insect bites. This stuff works better than calamine lotion, better than aloe, and better than hydrocortisone. 
  • Triple antibiotic for cuts and scrapes? I still keep that around.
  • Sometimes what I really need is a warm bath in which I dissolve epsom salts with fragrant essential oils that are safe to apply to skin. I currently like peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils for bathtime. Dr. Teal makes an amazing Himalayan pink salt with added oils that makes me feel wonderful, even though I have to drive to my parents' house to use their bathtub first!
  • My favorite essential oil fragrances for emotional distress are honeysuckle and sandalwood / cinnamon. Also, have you ever tried cedarwood oil? The aroma is very soothing.
  • Sunflower oil and safflower oil make great carrier oils, and you can buy huge bottles from Wal-Mart. Ours is a gallon jug, and it's so much healthier than canola oil, which is usually GMO. 
  • I currently DISLIKE lemongrass essential oil. It smells and tastes like soap.
  • I add 3 drops orange or peppermint essential oil (one or the other) to a jug of apple juice, just for fun. The kids love it!
  • I make orange syrup from brown sugar, hot water, and orange oil. Delicious and just as healthy as 100% maple - much cheaper.
  • Hyland's #8 magnesium phosphate (purchased at the health food store) works great for menstrual cramps. 
  • For tummy aches, I used to have a warm pac that is filled with clay (bought at Wal-Mart, I think). It is called a ThermiPaq. Since we don't have a microwave, I set the oven to 170 degrees F, and heat it for about 10 minutes. 
  • It's important to put heat only on soft places of your body. The spine and neck should be treated with cold only. I use an All-Temp Comfort Pack (bought at a chiropractor's office), which I keep in the refrigerator and pull out almost every day for about 20 minutes on low back and another 20 on neck / shoulders. 
  • My husband and I exchange back rubs, and we use Nubian Shea Butter Body Lotion with myrrh and frankincense (from Vitamin Shoppe). There is also a similar, thinner lotion by Shea Moisture. It goes on as smooth as butter and smells heavenly! 
  • Lastly, I have a Conair handheld massager that I use on myself (from Bealls Outlet for $9.99). 
I hope these recommendations will help my readers. Please share this post to those of your friends who suffer from chronic pain.

Lots of love and best wishes to you all!
Sharon Rose

P.S. I almost forgot! To alleviate pain, I do some really thorough stretching of the specific places that hurt the most at any given moment. I hold stretches for a quick count to 40, instead of doing lots of reps. Stretching is a powerful tool, as are walking, swimming, and drinking lots of cold water.

"HEAL ME, O LORD, AND I SHALL BE HEALED; SAVE ME, AND I SHALL BE SAVED: FOR THOU ART MY PRAISE."

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