Learn About Holistic Pain Management
Holistic pain management deals with the body as a whole rather than only focusing on the area of pain. There are many aspects of your health that contribute to the pain you experience on a day to day basis. Many sufferes of chronic pain don't realize that they have options outside the standard treatments. These natural pain relief treatments are effective regardless of what your MRI results show because they address the basic physiological process of the body. We will explore some of these holistic pain management approaches in this article.
Holistic pain management | How your diet effects it.
You know the old saying, you are what you eat? As you will see below, this is of particular importance when it comes to pain management. The cells of your body have membranes that seperate the cell from the sourounding environment. This cell membrane is made up of fatty acids. When damaged these fatty acids are broken and become messangers to other cells in the body like the immune cells. For example, if you twist your ankle the ligaments can get stretched and damaged. The cell membranes of the cells that make-up the ligaments are damaged. These damaged cells send signals to the immune system which create a cascade of inflammation, leading to swelling, pain, redness, and heat around the effected area. This is the immune systems way of walling off and imobolizing the damage. It gives the body time to repair the underlying damaged tissue. This is normal and good but something problematic occurs when these signals are sent to the immune system on an ongoing basis.
With chronic tissue damage like that seen with chronic back pain, knee pain, and others, the damaged tissue is under chronic repair. To decrease the pain you have to minimize the tissue damage and repair process. It tunrs out that there are two types of fatty acids that can send signals to the immune cells. The type will determine how much inflammation, damage, and repair occurs. Omega 3 fatty acids actually have an antiinflammatory effect and the omega 6 (like arachadonic acid) have a proinflammaroy effect. By increasing your omega 3 consumption, you can reduce the day-to-day inflammation in your body and thereby acheive a more holistic pain management.
It also turns out that most people in america (and throughout the world) are defficent in omega 3 fatty acids. The Standard Amarican Diet (SAD) consists of less than a 6/1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. The optimal for the human body is 3/1. So by changing what you eat, you can change the amount of pain you have from day-to-day. Consuming things like cold water fish, grass fed beef or bison, seafood, flax and other omaga rich foods will give you holistic pain management and natural pain relief. As the omega 3 fats replace the omega 6, you will notice less pain.
Holistic pain management | How your brain effects it.
Your brain plays a big role in your perceptions from happiness, to pain, to pleasure. The thing that is interesting is your brain has the ability to amplify or dampen painful events based on how it interprets the event. You may have experiecned this yourself. If you hit your toe and you are in a sad or frustrated mood already, that toe is going to hurt more than if you are in a good mood. This pain level has to do with your brain's ability to focus on events. With this focus it can amplify or subdue the signals it gets creating increased or decreased pain. The area of your brain that percives the pain is the cerebra cortex. This is the area of critical thinking. Before the pain signal gets to the cerebral cortex the signal passes through the limbic system for emotional processing.
When neurotransmitter levels in the limbic system are not balanced the signals traveling through there to the cortex will be amplified. The more out of balance the neurotransmitters, the more amplified the pain signal to the cortex. When the neurotransmitters are in balance the signals can be dampened. This amplification and dampening effect accounts for the subjectiveness of pain. A holisitc pain managemtent technique is to use meditation, acupuncture, and neutracuticals to balance your neurotransmitters and dampen the pain signal for natural pain relief.
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