Pain motivates us to seek treatment more than any other symptom. It can be debilitating and cause us to react to various circumstances in a way we normally would not. Our brains register pain by stimulation of particular nerves. Essentially, a nerve is an electro-chemical channel or an electro-chemical pumping vessel in which an electro-chemical reaction occurs; sending a chemical message for our brain to interpret. These chemical
messages can say pain or pleasure, hot or cold, soft touch or rough touch etc. depending on the chemicals released. When a neuron isn’t sending a message, it is said to be at rest. When a nerve is active it is electrically excited and an electro-chemical reaction occurs. A protein cell enters into the nerve and the nerve releases enzymes which bind ions onto the protein cell and is then pushed through the channel. That is the message.
Generally speaking, there are three types of pain which we experience. There is nociceptive pain, pathological pain and inflammatory pain. Nociceptive pain is caused by stimulation of peripheral nerve fibers such as thermal – too hot or too cold stimulation, mechanical – crushing, tearing or shearing stimulation or chemical – chemicals stimulate nerves. Pathological pain is caused by damage or disease which affect any part of the
nervous system and involve bodily feelings described as burning, tingling, electrical, stabbing or pins and needles. And then there is inflammatory pain which occurs with tissue damage or infiltration of immune cells and is described as squeezing, pulsing, pounding and/or hot.
Each of these types of pain has degrees and each person feels degrees of pain differently, commonly referred to as one’s “pain tolerance”. Okay, this is a lot of medical garbled-gook, but I think we all get the idea.
So, to stop excessive pain, or pain that is more than our tolerance allows, we can:
- Calm the nerves, putting them into a resting state
- Disrupt the electrical reaction and cause the nerve to send a resting state message
- Disrupt the chemical reaction and cause the nerve to send either a resting state message or a pleasure message
- Stop the source or cause of the pain reaction
4 Natural Pain Relief Options
- Massage or apply heat to the affected area which calms the nerves and puts them into a resting state.
- Acupuncture, essential oils or TENS treatment (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) disrupt the electrical reaction within the nerve and realigns and regulates the nervous system or changes the message. If you would like to use essential oils, consider lavender, chamomile, peppermint and damask rose.
- Probably our most common reaction to pain is to take a pill which disrupts the chemical reaction. Turmeric, gingerroot, white willow bark, devil’s claw, capsaicin, black currants, arnica, boswellia, clove oil, fennel, feverfew, licorice root, oregano and valerian are all herbs which disrupt the chemical pain message and/or decrease inflammation.
- Acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic treatments or physical therapy may stop the source of the pain all together.