Every human on this planet has experienced some type of physical pain in their lifetime. One of the great equalizers, pain knows no race, gender or creed.
It is often billed as an unfortunate occurrence to be avoided at all costs, but pain is actually quite useful— in the right amounts. Pain is here to warn us when things are out of balance – from an acute injury like a cut or sprain, to a chronic underlying condition like rheumatoid arthritis or a digestive disorder.
No matter what type of pain it is, one thing is for certain – there’s no reason for you to be in constant pain. Its primary function is to help our healing process and it should go away on its own or be easy to soothe with the right lifestyle practices… this is the focus of today’s piece.
Below are 3 rituals that you can easily implement into your everyday life that alleviate inflammation and pain.
Ritual #1 – The Body Scan Meditation
In 1999, doctors declared pain to be the 5th vital sign, along with: temperature, blood pressure, pulse and breath rate.
This meditation ritual will help you gain awareness of the location and intensity of pain throughout your body. Once you know the specific origin and underlying sensation of the pain you feel, it becomes much easier to dissolve.
Here’s how to do it:
Start by laying flat on the ground or sitting in a cross legged position. The goal of this practice is to quiet your mind and focus on the sensations of the body. You may find it helpful to grab pillows to support your tailbone, lower back or head.
Once you are situated in your desired position, take at least 5 deep breaths and begin to focus on your body.
Allow the trunk and branches of your body to grow heavy.
Relax any immediately noticeable tension.
Now, start by noticing your face and head. Are you clenching? Do your eyes hurt from staring at your phone all day? Is there aching anywhere? Throbbing?
If any of those things (or any other sensations) present themselves, take slow, deep breaths and focus on releasing your energy into that area.
Once you feel like that area is relaxed, move on to your neck. Then to your shoulders and arms. To your torso. To your legs. And finally to your feet and toes.
*I find it helpful to practice this ritual right before I start work in the morning, and then again before bed. Starting and ending with physical awareness helps you stay in tune with your body throughout the day.
Ritual #2 – Self Care: Epsom Salt Bath Soak
Self care is another term that has been trendy lately, but for good reason! Living in modern times means constant exposure to fear-based news media and all the other pitfalls that come with constantly being plugged in. This has led to a surge in mental illness and stress.
We need to take care of our physical and mental health now more than ever. And, for me, the pinnacle of self-care for pain and inflammation is an epsom salt bath soak.
Long practiced by the sports industry, an epsom salt bath relaxes your muscles, calms inflammation and helps you sleep more readily– which gives your body more time to recover.
If you incorporate herbal remedies, like essential oils or dried petals, you also gain those healing properties through the pores of the skin.
How to Draw a Pain Relieving Bath:
- Run hot water into a plugged bathtub
- Mix your bath soak blend: add 1 cup of salts and any desired herbs
- I suggest the following herbs for maximum analgesic and relaxing actions: lavender, chamomile, clove.
- Pour mixture into the tub and shut off the water when it’s full
- Wait 5 minutes: allow the salts to dissolve and herbs to release their medicine
- Jump in and relax!
Ritual #3 – Lifestyle : Anti-inflammatory Foods
Food is medicine.
If you’ve been following us for a long time, you know that this is something we stress to everyone.
But when you’re in chronic pain, it might be time to make bigger changes and focus on eating nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory foods.
Inflammation is the body’s way of trying to repair itself. When something is damaged, your immune system often releases white blood cells to begin repair. However, the extra blood traffic to a particular area pushes against nerve endings which is often what causes the pain.
Having a proper diet is often the best medicine.
Try to plan your meals to include:
-turmeric (a powerful anti-inflammatory)
-snacks like berries and nuts
-olive oil, instead of butter
-onions, garlic and ginger
Incorporating even one of these rituals can ease aches and pains, with very fast results. As we go into the holiday season where emotions are heightened, be sure to add these simple adjustments to your self care routine.
Host of Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness
& Founder of The Sacred Science