Natural Ways to Ease Pain

2010-07-29 10:07

Pain is our body’s way of saying something is not right. Over half of Americans suffer from some sort of pain. The dependency of pain-medication abuse-skyrocketing-400">pain medications are on the increase by 400%. Many of these medications have severe side effects and can be very addicting. Americans do not have to run to harmful medication when nature has provided us with such a variety of natural ways to ease pain.

SAM-e (S adenosylmethionine)
SAM-e is made from a naturally occurring amino acid. Doctors aren't entirely sure why it tamps down pain, but it reduces inflammation and may increase the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine. A study at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the University of California, Irvine, showed that SAM-e was as effective as some NSAIDs in easing osteoarthritis aches; the researchers found that SAM-e stopped pain by 50 percent after 2 months, though it took a few weeks to kick in.

Fish oil
For joint pain from arthritis or autoimmune disorders fish oil really can help. Digested fish oil breaks down into hormone like chemicals called prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation. In one study at the University of Pittsburgh, about 40 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients who took fish oil every day were able to cut their NSAID use by more than a third. After about 10 weeks, nearly two-thirds were able to stop taking NSAIDs altogether.


Tai Chi
The movements of tai chi s one of many alternative therapies that can provide relief from pain, possibly letting you cut back on pain medications. Virtually all major health organizations - including the Arthritis Foundation -- recommend tai chi as an activity for seniors because it provides balance of body and mind. "The movements of tai chi keeps the body fresh and allow the person to find a freer range of motion in the joints, greater flexibility, better balance," says Cate Morrill, a certified tai chi instructor.


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