If there’s one thing people fear in life, it’s being in a situation where they are facing chronic pain with no healthy recourse for relief. Our medical science has created incredibly powerful painkillers, and one would hope that such medicines would be the end of pain, and in the physical sense of the word, they do mean the end of pain. However, the side-effects and potential for addiction means they can’t just be doled out to anyone who wants them.
This reality has forced countless people to seek alternatives to pain medication, remedies that are more natural and don’t come with added side-effects. The following examples may not all relieve one of pain permanently, or even immediately, but they’ve all been shown to benefit those who are suffering from chronic pain.
1. Medicinal Cannabis
It’s known to many simply as a drug, but what is medicinal cannabis? Cannabis for medical use and pain relief comes in different forms, but its active ingredients like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are part of what give it its pain-relieving properties. To address a limited range of medical complaints, doctors around the world have started looking more at prescribing patients with medicinal cannabis products as a more natural way to help.
People suffering from glaucoma, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions have found a great deal of pain relief from medicinal cannabis. It is still very strictly regulated, and despite many people wishing it were more freely available, it’s only prescribed in more extreme cases where alternatives are not really an option.
Acupuncture is a practice that is as old as civilisation itself, tracing its roots back thousands of years to ancient China. For those not in the know, acupuncture is the practice of puncturing the body at various key points with special needles, the goal of which is to restore the body’s “Qi” (life energy) to its proper flow and balance.
When the Qi is flowing properly, practitioners believe that it will help to relieve pain and other symptoms that present themselves during times of illness. To some it all sounds rather far-fetched, but there’s a growing body of evidence and opinion that acupuncture does have real application as an alternative treatment to chronic pain.
This alternative is likely the most familiar on the list; something that people may have even tried in some context before. We tend to think of massages as just a way of relaxing ourselves after a stressful day, perhaps while enjoying other great facilities at a hotel or spa. However, there’s a real science behind massage techniques that work to resolve muscle and joint pain, and restore the body back to equilibrium.
Even a single session of massage can do wonders for the body, delivering many hours and even days of comfort. What’s more, it’s a popular alternative because it’s widely available, and affordable as a service, even when engaged privately.
Special tea drinks derived from pure kava root — a special plant that grows in Polynesia — have long been used in the Pacific islands as a method for relaxation and recreation. Kava contains active ingredients that have a similar effect on the mind and body to alcohol, but without spells of blacking out or a dreadful hangover the next day.
It has been used by some in their quest for a less harsh and easy-to-prepare form of stress relief that’s also far less addictive than medication. It has been shown as especially useful for those who are looking for a way to relax properly before getting a good night’s sleep.