Alternatives to Pain Medications

Our family uses aspirin but has stopped using other OTC painkillers due to side effects. I have all too much experience with severe pain and we all deal with more common ailments like muscle pain, headache, and bothersome minor injuries or bug bites.

The most used painkiller in our home is a blend we call pain oil and keep in a small roller bottle at the bedside. Pain oil can be used for headaches rubbed on the temples and back of the neck. It is almost star trek fast in relief and often referred to as “magical” especially to a first time user. Add a couple drops of eucalyptus oil for the best sunburn relief ever. It works on any and all kinds of pain and is a simple 3 oil blend of lavender, peppermint, and basil. (CAUTION if you are pregnant leave out the basil it can cause premature labor. Peppermint is debatable.  If you prefer extra caution try spearmint or use half as much peppermint. Lavender oil is safe) mix 20 drops of each essential oil and a dropper full of vodka or perfumers alcohol with about 1 ounce of a carrier oil, I like olive oil.

Lavender used full strength as a single drop or two on a bruise when it first occurs will almost instantly stop the pain and bleed under the skin.

Peppermint oil as a single full strength drop on the tongue can eliminate many stomach discomforts or one drop on the thumb pressed to the roof of the mouth can help with a headache and congestion.

Clove oil is very effective for short-term dental numbing.

Our next line of defense is acupoints that can be stimulated by pressure, massage, laser, acupuncture needles, and cupping. This is what we reach for in times of acute pain or for ongoing problems as a preventative measure.3 common points we use frequently for pain are;

LI4, or Joining of the Valley, on the hand for pain about anywhere on the body but especially intestinal cramping, menstrual cramps, and headaches. Locate this point between the thumb and index finger in the middle of that muscle. If you close your thumb to your fingers and follow the line or crease in the skin it ends at this point. This point is not safe for pregnant women unless in labor it will bring on contractions.

B7, or Penetrate Heaven, on the top of the head for sinus headaches or stuffy congestion. Locate these two points by drawing a line from the top of the ear over the head and two lines from the center of each eye up to intersect with this line. Feel for tender spots and you will have located the point. My husband was told he needed to consider sinus surgery due to frequent sinus infections. Since we began using acupuncture needles on these three points over five years ago, he has not had another sinus infection.

A series of points encircle the upper arm for toothache or jaw pain. About midway down the upper arm look for sensitive spots and grasp firmly pressing until the pain subsides. If the tooth bothering you is at the back of your mouth then at the back of the arm on the same side of the body as the pain you will find the point. If the pain is more to the front of the mouth then look for the point on the front of the corresponding arm.

Do not underestimate the relief an ice pack can bring to inflammation due to injury. RICE or Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. If you sprain your ankle or wrist or any joint, stop using it get off it or rest, ice it, wrap or compress it and elevate it, put your foot on a pillow for example. Ice can reduce joint inflammation when you are out of alignment and then proper posture, use of an exercise ball or simple yoga stances can help to realign and bring an end to the pain and discomfort.

For long-term inflammation problems try a good fish oil supplement or cold pressed flax oil. Many people find joint relief with a glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM supplement.

 There are several other herbs and or supplements that I have not covered here that others may mention as the first thing they would recommend or reach for themselves, however if you didn’t see it on here it wasn’t an oversight I have probably left it off as I think the risk, complicated preparations or directions for proper use make them best for other problems or I think they simply are ineffective and after months of use and talking to others who have tried them found limited to no pain relief. I will only recommend what I have found to be something I wouldn’t know how to live without after using them. Acupoints are numerous and will help with any kind of pain or problem you might be dealing with and I highly recommend you order a copy of Acupressure’s Potent Points by Michael Gach. His book is the best resource for the beginner or those who never wish to become experts and only want to look up what point to stimulate for the current ailment.

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