Natural Pain Relief – Can it Work For You?

What do you use for pain relief? Most of us reach for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like aspirin and Advil or acetaminophen (Tylenol) when in pain.

With over 13 million regular NSAID users in the US and at least 30 billion over-the-counter tablets sold each year, you might say we’re “sold” on NSAIDs and acetaminophen for pain relief.

Yet, these drugs aren’t as friendly as their advertisements suggest. They help relieve pain, but their side effects can kill!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that NSAID-induced disease causes at least 103,000 hospitalizations per year and every year 16,500 arthritis patients die from NSAID-related gastrointestinal damage.

These drugs increase the chance of a heart attack and stroke. They cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Worse yet, these side effects can happen suddenly without warning symptoms and may cause sudden death.

Acetaminophen, another potential killer, likely lurks in your medicine cabinet too. This common over-the-counter (OTC) drug found in Tylenol, cold medicines, and prescription drugs like Vicodin and Percocet is widely used for pain relief and fever.

Though generally considered safe when used according to the directions on its labeling, acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death according to a FDA 2009 consumer update. Unfortunately, overdosing is easy as many drugs use acetaminophen in combination with other drugs in their formulas.

Fortunately, you can avoid these risks by using simple and effective natural pain relief methods like these:

Ice. Ice is a well-know pain reliever especially in the early phase of injury. “Try to ice the area as soon as possible after the injury and continue to ice it for 10 to 15 minutes four times a day for 48 hours. If you use ice, be careful not to use it too long, as this could cause tissue damage,” reports Mayo Clinic staff on their website. After 48 hours, try heat.

Heat. Heat promotes pain relief and it increases blood flow to the area bringing nutrients and specialized cells to speed healing.

Fish Oil. An April 2006 study in Surgical Neurology found that after seventy-five days on fish oil, 59% of patients who were taking NSAIDs for chronic spinal pain and who had degenerative spine disease were able to discontinue their prescription NSAIDs. Eighty percent stated they were satisfied with their improvement, and 88% stated they would continue to take the fish oil.

Zyflamend. This preparation contains a synergistic blend of 10 specially processed herbs including ginger, rosemary, turmeric, holy basil, green tea, Hu Zhang, Chinese goldthread, barberry, oregano, and skullcap. Laboratory cell studies found it inhibits the COX-2 enzyme that triggers inflammation.

If you’re already taking NSAIDs for your pain, “Take Zyflamend at half the recommended dose along with your prescribed medication; after 1 month, cut your NSAID dose in half and increase Zyflamend to full dosage; a month later, drop your NSAID and see if your symptoms are controlled. If your pain returns, you may need to resume taking your NSAID again,” recommends natural health expert, Andrew Weil, MD in Prevention magazine.

Proteolytic Enzymes. These enzymes including papain, chymopapaine, bromelain, and pancreatic preparations can “fast forward” the healing process, support the removal of damaged tissue, and reduce swelling, report natural health experts Ross A. Hauser MD and Payson Flattery, NP, DC, in The Cure for Chronic Pain: End the Pain of Arthritis, Sports Injury and Other Joint Problems.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). An analysis of the 2002 National Health Interview published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that a majority (60 percent) of survey respondents who used CAM therapies for back pain perceived “a great deal” of benefit and they reported improved health status. Here are the most commonly used therapies with their percentage of usage:

  • Chiropractic (66 percent)
  • Massage (56 percent)
  • Yoga/Tai Chi/Qi Gong (56 percent)
  • Acupuncture (42 percent)
  • Herbal Therapies (32 percent)
  • Relaxation Techniques (28 percent)

These CAM therapies count as side effects potential improvement in all aspects of your life: body, mind, and spirit.

This is only a partial list; there are many other natural pain relief methods like physical therapy, meditation, and more. Ask your health provider about natural pain relief.

Before you decide to take drugs like NSAIDs and acetaminophen, try natural pain relief methods. You can use them in place of these drugs or along with them, in order to decrease the amount you need to take.

Natural pain relief methods can work and without the nasty side effects of drugs!

Natural Weight Loss For Good Health and Well Being

Weight loss is becoming an unhealthy obsession dealing with body images, but in some cases can improve health and fitness. When weight loss is a result of eating healthy, exercising and/or taking natural weight loss supplements in contrast to synthetic prescription drugs with the risk of harmful side effects, weight loss can be effective, rewarding, and greatly improve overall health.

Extra weight, especially extra fat on a person’s body, applies significantly increased stresses on the heart, joints and back. These stresses can be extremely detrimental to one’s health. Healthy weight loss can reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, arthritis and other health problems, as well as generally extending an otherwise average life span. Recently, the scientific root cause or explanation of obesity has been revealed as being part of one’s physiology. The internal functions of an obese person are different than those of a healthy person, and cause intense hunger pains and food cravings.

Natural weight loss supplements can help counteract this constant hunger and lead to healthy weight loss. Unbalanced hormones are a common cause of weight gain, therefore taking natural hormone balancers and herbal supplements would help to create a healthy weight loss regimen. Restoring your health allows you to lose weight naturally, without excess frustration and effort. It’s all about losing weight from the inside out.

Emotional issues always accompany change, especially changes in our bodies e.g. natural weight loss. Weight loss affects our perception body image, our sense of identity i.e. who am I?, and how we feel about ourselves in general. Weight loss also effects our social relationships in that there may be people in our family or social contacts that are emotionally invested in our remaining the same i.e. overweight with all that it symbolizes e.g. friendliness, non-threatening, protective, jovial, helpful, etc. Beyond our physical health, it can be said that “size matters” cognitively and emotionally to ourselves and others. Eating and food have come to symbolize being accepted, being cared for and comfort. Having the support of others in our efforts to naturally lose weight and regain our health is a huge advantage.

We have been “conditioned” to fear any kind of loss, including weight loss. Especially if what we may lose is something with which we identify i.e. use to tell us who we are.

The emotions of fear, anger, anxiety and depression effect our weight. We often tend to “stuff our feelings” or numb these emotional feelings or stress by overeating. We may even overeat, thinking that will ease the physical discomfort caused by excess weight e.g. physical pain, lack of sleep, and lack of energy caused by moderate depression. To improve our overall health and support us through the process of natural weight loss and the emotional dynamics around it, we can take advantage of natural sleep aids, natural depression relief and natural pain relief health care products.

Our weight and health is greatly dependent upon our having a healthy digestive system or metabolism. Our digestive system converts, on a cellular and muscular level, the foods we eat, eliminates toxins, and uses and stores glucose for energy. Natural enzymes trigger hunger signals and facilitate absorption of nutrition. Good digestion with the help of natural enzymes aids in the conversion of fat to muscle.

Allergy and sensitivity to food, parasites, yeast overgrowth and emotional stress are signals of digestive disruption and inflammation. Natural essential fatty acids work to reduce intestinal inflammation, decrease harmful acids, help the liver process proteins that grow muscle, balance hormones and facilitate the elimination of toxins. Natural essential fatty acids help clear our digestive system of heavy metals, harmful bacteria, pesticides that we are increasingly encountering in our environment. Essential fatty acids along with natural fiber help us clean out the intestinal debris that harm our health and often lead to weight gain. Essential fatty acids also help our brain’s neurotransmitters to function properly in order to deal with stress, emotions, and cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain.

Natural amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Next to water, protein makes up the greatest part of our body weight. Amino acids help increase metabolism, build muscle, ease moderate depression, and help burn fat. Natural antioxidants help carry more oxygen to cells and muscles to help increase energy, burn fat, build muscle and process the foods we eat.

Hormone balance is essential for natural weight loss. Our metabolism slows as we get older because of the decrease or imbalance of hormones. This contributes to weight gain. Hormone balance also helps us deal with stress that leads to weight gain. Proper hormone balance helps to decrease cravings and binge eating. There are many natural hormone balancing products available, e.g. natural progesterone, promensil, soy isoflavones, essential fatty acids and hormone balancing formulas.

Our metabolism’s primary task is to nourish our brains. We need healthy neurotransmitters to help us curb craving, ease depression, and deal with stress that lead to weight gain. Balancing our natural brain chemistry has a calming effect and allows us to feel a sens of well being and safety. There are many natural health care products to help balance brain chemistry, e.g. essential fatty acids, natural depression relief products, natural products to increase serotonin, and more. When our brain feels well and safe, it is prone to change our metabolism from calorie saving to calorie burning.

Our bodies were designed to move and be active. Movement requires muscle activity. Muscle activity uses the glycogen supply found in our muscles. When this glycogen supply stored in our muscles is used, our body is forced to use stored fat as an energy source. Using this stored fat through movement and exercise, results in natural weight loss. There is no reason for us to become athletes to accomplish natural weight loss. Low impact exercise like swimming, walking, etc, can be done slowly and without strain. In order to lose real weight rather than “water weight”, it is important to drink extra amounts of water when exercising. Drinking more water will also help our digestive system and metabolism to use and eliminate extra weight.

Remember, the first objective, accomplished through natural weight loss, is to improve our physical and emotional health. This involves having a healthy digestive system, a healthy emotional system and a healthy nutritional system. We can build these healthy systems with natural vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, natural digestive aid, pain relief aid, natural sleep aids, natural emotional and mood aids, essential fatty acids and many more helpful natural health care products. We need to concentrate on improving our general health, feeling good, and living well through natural weight loss, rather than constantly comparing ourselves to someone else’s idea about appearance from some magazine. Physical and emotional health is primary. Appearance may be important to us, but it is secondary. Through natural weight loss, we can live well and live long.

What Oprah Magazine, Web MD, NY Times and More Have to Say About Mineral Makeup

How natural is mineral makeup? Oprah’s beauty director, Valerie Monroe, is well informed about how natural it is. “I asked James Hammer, director of research and development at Shuster Laboratories, about it. He informed me “mineral makeup is formulated with mixtures of very fine, micronized mineral powders.” That is as natural as it comes.

“Traditional makeup is generally made with similar mineral pigments; it may also contain dyes, oils, and fragrances.” The minerals are free of unnatural pigments, and do not contain dyes, oils, or fragrances. Without these trace chemicals, it is so natural that it floats on the skin. It is a lightweight, chemical free product that every woman can wear, no matter what skin type. People love the lightweight properties of love the blendable properties it has.

Maria Picapito of Women’s Health magazine says, “Chances are, you’ll feel like you’re not wearing a lick of makeup, and hear plenty of comments about your healthy glow. It is the closest I’ve seen to wearing no makeup.” The healthy glow comes from the natural mineral property of mineral makeup, which does not clog pores or cause rashes of any kind. The lightweight property of it allows people to wear it for extended hours with no adverse side effects.

Collette Bouchez of WebMd states, “Many dermatologists report that because mineral makeup frequently eliminates classic irritants like fragrances, binders, synthetic dyes and preservatives, it is considered “purer” and can be kinder to the skin.” “Its non-comedongenic, so it wont’ clog pores, and it’s not going to aggravate an acne condition or cause a flare-up as easily as some traditional makeup’s can,” says Fusco, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. From coast-to-coast, the positive views of it are tremendous, and women have more healthy options for their skin type when mineral makeup is worn.