Mar 29, 2012
I wanted to start this for all chronic pain patients and people who want to learn to naturally manage their pain.
I am in the process of trying the following:
Helichrysum Essential Oil - this reduces muslce pain when a few drops are mixed with carrier oil and rubbed into affected area. I had some neck pain (which I usually have every day) and I rubbed some in and I did find quite a bit of relief with this oil. Purchasing Helichrysum ITALICUM is what you want, it is the oil that has the proper constituency to manage pain. A good oil will cost you between $25-30 for a 5 ml bottle. You use only a few drops at a time so although it is a small bottle - it should last a while.
For Sleep: Currently trying "Restful Sleep" from Whole Foods (see sleep journal) - which is one big factor in helping me overcome my lack of sleep. Also working hard at keeping myself relaxed in the evening by doing some relaxation techniques. - I have a sleep journal which gives specifics.
California Poppy Extract for pain - can't find this right now - will update once I find and try.
I just started Transdermal Magnesium Chloride therapy - did you know that magnesium deficiency is on the rise? Did you know that Transdermal Magnesium Chloride is the #1 non medicine, nutrutional supplement for people suffering migraines? Also helps with muscle cramping. I purchased magnesium oil off swansonvitamins.com (8.99 for 8 oz) (you can also get it at Whole foods or you can also make your own if you buy the mag chloride flakes. I do 4-5 sprays 4-5 times per day until I get my levels back up. This also helps with insomnia and anxiety. MOST fibromyalgia symptoms could also be caused by low magnesium levels. By absorbing it into your skin you bypass the tummy troubles oral supplements can cause and you ensure better absorption. It is a cheap EASY thing to try and what if it works??? I'll update this at 30 days on the therapy but I highly recommend reading up on this.
I use DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide which I will apply topically. (DMSO is used for horses but people have long realized the benefits of this and used on themselves.) This is used in Europe and it comes in a tube of ointment we buy in spain - we always called it the "magic cream" as when my back hurt and I put this on the pain disappeared - when reading the ingredients in the ointment it contains DMSO. Research it and if you purchase make sure you ONLY purchase in a glass bottle - do not buy products such as roll ons or creams or anything that comes in a plastic container of any kind. Also make sure to always clean the area you treat with alcohol and work in clean conditions. Please do your research on this but I'm finding it SO effective. PM me if you want further details.
I tried White Flower Oil which can be purchased from places that sell asian products. White Flower oil is a blend of camphor, menthol and methyl salicylate (wintergreen oil) and seems very similar to ben gay smell. It is very smelly and might be good to distract you from pain or if you had a new sprain or strain but not really finding any perceptible relief for long term chronic pain here. Gotta give this a thumbs down but might feel good for overall minty rub down. Same thing with Kwan Loong Oil - same exact thing as white flower.
Reading The MindBody Prescription by Dr. John Sarno - have an open mind, it isn't for everyone in every situation.
My staples to manage my pain are:
Positive attitude and getting out of the mindset of hopelessness of chronic pain - it sucked me down for a long time and it wasn't working so I've really tried to readjust my attitude and expectations.
Kundalini Yoga - a gentle form of yoga where you honor your body and what YOU can do, it isn't about pushing and is perfect for people who want to exercise but have restrictions due to Fibromyalgia or other conditions. You can learn more by going to: http://www.yogibhajan.com/ - a window will pop up to donate but just close it out. Do a google search of yoga studios in your own area and call to see if they have "kundalini" classes. Seriously this changed my life, breathing and spirit.
See a Doctor of Oriental Medicine for: Gua Sha, Accupuncture, Cupping, Herbal Plasters, Herbs - my body only marks in the areas I have pain with Gua Sha & cupping, other areas of my body that are cupped but don't hurt do not pink up - it's pretty interesting.
Supplements: Water soluble coq-10 (great prophalactic treatment for migraine sufferers, anxiety & insomnia
- Schizandra extract (helps with insomnia, natural antidepressant, helps headaches and provides mental clarity, - detoxifying for liver) called an adaptogen because you DO "feel" better when taking it.
- Eleuthero Root (fights stress and works well with Schizandra also considered an adaptogen)
- Potassium (helps with RLS)
- 5HTP - for fibro, headaches, insomnia - increases seratonin levels also helpful with depression
- Copper (the more copper you have the quicker you fall asleep - need 2 mg/day)
- Evening primrose oil - It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches, it contains gamma-linoleic acid. This fatty acid also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches
- The SuperBs - (containing B6 (50-100 mg per day to help insomnia - helps you make seratonin; B12 (25mg/day); B5 (100mg/day) helps relieving stress/anxiety and burning feet which I have and is a sign of deficiency; folic acid (400mg/day) most of the super B mixes contain the folic but not adequate doses of B5 and 12 so I take those separately. I also do the transdermal magnesium supplementation referenced above.
- One last thing Malic acid increases production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is compromised with many fibro patients, I supplement over 1700mg/day, this complements the magnesium therapy.
I found a great website where vitamins are reasonable: www.swansonvitamins.com - MUCH cheaper than gnc and other super stores.
Don't feel overwhelmed by the above - start slow, pick your main issue to address and try introducing some supplements into your routine. Magnesium is a great place to start if you suffer headaches, muscle spasms along with coQ10 and 5HTP.
For Fibro sufferers I would start with the Magnesium therapy, malic acid (also try cutting out sugars, WHITE foods, processed eating as low carb as you can; I would integrate in gradually CoQ10, 5HTP, the Super Bs as well as trying the Schizandra.
Insomnia - try the magnesium, coQ10, 5HTP as well as the Whole Foods Restful Sleep supplement (see sleep journal for specific ingredients to look for in case you don't have a whole foods but Wild Lettuce is the primary ingredient that is different from most supplements)
Because of my Fibro - I have switched over to using only Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to cook with, also use it for hair, body etc. (you can google the beneficial effects of EVCO), I also recently started oil pulling with evco (again google this if you want more info). Again lifestyle choice which improves my health.
Various aids - Hot/Cold Packs of every size and shape; "Backnobber II" to help me do home trigger point therapy on my back (purchased off amazon), TENS unit, Tiger balm, Aspercream, Biofreeze, Capsaizin creams, Herbal Plasters (search amazon), Neck traction inflatable collar, soft collar for stabilization if necessary, BC Powder, motrin, tylenol, back pillows, braces for my wrists hands when carpal flares.
Lots of hot baths with magnesium oil and hot showers. Aromatherapy baths.
I googled PT exercises for areas my body that hurt and found a ton of great info on youtube from chiros, PTs who share their knowledge
I use guided meditation, visualization, breathing to help calm me when I'm anxious, before bed, when I go to bed - you can also find a ton of this stuff on youtube.com.
I use binaural beats to help me sleep at night and so far the effects are amazing. Look on youtube, amazon and do a little research on this - This was the final key in my normal sleep returning.
I also do a lot of therapy and home remedies with essential oils that help with insomnia, anxiety, menstral cramping etc.
So as you see - it isn't any one thing, it is a lot of little things that make up relief for me - lots of them require time and dedication (yoga, better lifestyle choices) but I found in taking back my power from the doctors and seeking other options I am transforming myself in the process.
What works for me may not work for you but I would like to encourage anyone in chronic pain to keep seeking natural remedies and alternative treatments that provide relief. Keep an open mind. A lot of this stuff seemed foreign to me initially but I researched and asked questions.