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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bright, N.D.

Heal your pain the natural way

As a Naturopath, who works closely with women in my clinical practice, I’m passionate to share how natural health care can be used to address many types of physical pain, including female pain, as well. Naturopathy is a discipline in natural health care that encompasses a whole-body approach to health which offers food, supplements, herbs and lifestyle suggestions to ease or resolve one’s health issues. Please note, consult with a qualified health care professional while taking any supplements to delve deeper about other possible imbalances in your body that could be contributing to your pain.

As it has been said time and again, “you are what you eat.” To break this down further, the food you ingest is used as fuel to repair and support your body. With this in mind, give your body the right type of fuel! In terms of pain, it’s best to avoid certain foods that have been shown to contribute to inflammation, which only increases feelings of pain. Therefore, my top food non-negotiables: Canola oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, partially hydrogenated fats, white sugar, all gluten grains, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks.

Naturopathic Suggestions for these types of physical pains:

Arthritic pain- We know that arthritis is the country’s number one crippling disease, affecting over 40 million Americans. That’s a staggering number! Natural health care support can provide relief without the harmful side effects from the typical over the counter drugs.

1. Dietary suggestions: Eat an alkalizing diet. Add in artichokes, cherries, cold water fish, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, garlic, onions, olive oil, salmon, sardines, pasture-raised eggs, and parsley. AVOID: The foods mentioned on the “Non-Negotiable’s” list, with the addition of the foods in the nightshade family and these are: White and Red potatoes, eggplant, tobacco, every variety of peppers and their derivatives, tomatoes and their derivatives and although not a food, the drug Motrin® contains nightshade foods.

2. Herbal suggestions: A combination of turmeric, ginger, celery seed fruit and boswellia. Suggested brand: Mediherb Boswellia Complex.

3. Supplement suggestions: Ester-C®24-Hr Immune Support 500mg with bioflavonoids, Barlean’s Organic Lignan Flax Oil.

4. Lifestyle suggestions: Try massage therapy, hot and cold hydrotherapy, Epsom salt baths, and chiropractic treatments. Apply Bioforce® Arnica Rub to the painful sights as needed.

Menstrual Pain - Your menstrual period (in terms of rate of pain and PMS severity) can act as a type of health report card - showing how you dealt with stress, your eating habits, sleep quality, and exercise habits the previous month.

Special Note: Balancing hormones naturally takes a bit longer than a one-punch pill. Within the first month you’ll start to see some changes – ideally sticking with this program four to six months will show significant improvement.

Dietary suggestions: Follow a low-glycemic Mediterranean-style diet. Eat carbohydrates from gluten-free grains, fruit, land and sea vegetables, wild-caught salmon, trout, sea bass, shrimp, stevia sweetened vegan protein powders, organic and antibiotic-free turkey and chicken, one to two servings a week of lean grass-fed beef, along with raw nuts and seeds, olive oil, flaxseed oil, olives, avocado oil and coconut oil. Herbal suggestions: A combination of hormone-balancing herbs like chaste tree (vitex), wild yam, white peony and crampbark are excellent to take all month long. (Note: these herbs are not suitable for pregnant or lactating women). I’d also recommend consulting with an herbalist to make a personalized blend. Supplement suggestions: Get in essential fatty acids. Take Barlean’s Essential Woman® Oil Blend daily (healthy sources of fat to help balance inflammatory Prostaglandins) Magnesium! The most absorbed form is magnesium glycinate. A good brand is Pure Encapsulations® Magnesium Glycinate). Take this at night time, as it will relax you and enhance quality of sleep. Whether you want to hear this or not, caffeine can contribute to menstrual cramps. So it’s best to avoid or greatly reduce your intake of coffee and caffeinated teas (green tea included). If you must, always opt for organically harvested!For the onset of pain: Mediherb’s Cramplex. Follow the label for dosing instructions. Ideally, you’ll want to start taking this blend five days before. To lessen the severity of cramps.

(Please also rule out any possible structural causes that could be contributing to your menstrual pain, by seeking the guidance of a gynecologist while adding in these suggestions).

May you begin to live a life free from pain and experience more joy!

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Board-Certified Naturopath Rachel Bright, unless otherwise noted. The information in this article is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Rachel Bright She encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

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