The message to take drugs to fix our problems in our society is ingrained deeply into our brains -- we expect immediate relief from drugs. There are many products that are successful for immediate relief. But I ask, "at what cost?" The answer is seen daily with people moving about with pain. The paradigm for me is Effective Non-Drug Choices.

The first choice for most people is NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. It removes the fiber of blockage around the painful areas causing pain and relieves the problem. Or does it? Like any other drug it as a profile. It is absorbed, distributed to the place of concern, metabolized to do its job, and is slowly excreted from the body, the A.D.M.E. pattern. The fiber does lessen but the poor red blood cells are handled roughly during that process. They come away dazed and misshaped. The first choice could be a protein enzyme for digestion taken 5 times a day on an empty stomach. It does the same miracle of eating through the fiber. The body knows well how to excrete it. The red blood cells that are freed in this natural process immediately give back oxygen.

Remember that even eating protein enzymes is a strong event for the body. Test any enzyme for its safety for any possible reactions. Do it for a week or two and give the body a rest. Try to get the body to lessen the pain on its own. Be sure and drink plenty of water and get rest. Remember to take it on an empty stomach or it will simply help digestion and not reach the blood stream where it can be effective.

Oxygen is another great idea for pain. All that blockage prevents all the red blood cells from being present in the system to exchange vital breath. So every hour (or thirty minutes) stop and take 10 slow, deep breaths. Breath deeply into the belly. It super oxygenates your system and puts the pain scale back in balance. It has a secondary effect as it calms and relaxes the body. Abundance of oxygen improves the rate of exchange of both nutrients and waste.

Balance is the key to pain control. If you feel pain somewhere then rub all around it like a clock. Slowly work outwards and then slowly work inwards. If it is swollen make the moves go counter clockwise to draw out the inflammation and swelling from the area. If it lacks redness and swelling then circle clockwise to bring in needed essentials to super NUTRIFY the area. Okay, so NUTRIFY is not a word but it should be ... give it tender care. As you work back inwards toward the circle take the time to gently press into the painful area. Notice the effect of lessening pain as the body moves back to a position of balance. Leave the area by finishing with a dispersing outward motions.

Why does rubbing make a difference? It is beyond this article to give a complete picture but imagine your brain receiving tons of messages with touch. Over time it says to the message layer -- okay, I understand and I'll listen a bit less. So the brain turns off the effect of pain as the rubbing overwhelms the brain with nerve impulses. And the brain with so many messages brings up the rear guard -- yes, different parts of the immune system to go have a look and heal in that area.

Pain is a way of the body signaling that the problem is here -- and it is here that it needs to be treated. Track this pain by location. Keep a journal of effective treatments in each area. Learn what works best for differing styles of pain.

And if you think rubbing makes a difference then I challenge you to warm soaks in the bath tub and even hot showers. The body removes 30 percent of its waste from the skin. It absorbs over a liter of water while showering or bathing. So add some Epsom salt and balance the pH of the water with a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It leaves the skin silky smooth and encourages a longer soak.

With some patients who have blockage at the skin, the effect of brushing the skin can relieve pain. It creates movement in various ways. A firm stroke literally helps the skin revitalize and removes waste. A light stroke in opposite directions on the limbs and body tends to move the lymph system. Moving the lymph helps bring in the troops (white blood cells) and strengthens the proper functioning of the immune system.

Another good way to move lymph is to use a re-bounder or mini-trampoline. This will flush the lymph enough to eliminate or cut in half the pain. Only keep the feet solidly planted on the surface of the trampoline. Let the body move up and down with a gentle up and down rocking for 2 to 3 minutes -- 2 to 3 times a day. That is all -- as the pain clears you can add more exercises but use extreme caution.

The Chinese love to make sweeping moves with their hands up and down in their Qi Qong exercises. In Tai Chi Chuan they often move their body from side to side while turning their waist. They absorb the difference in their height by sinking into each knee while straightening the other leg. And they let their arms relax and be turned like robes. This activity is equivalent to being on a trampoline. In essence, you form the trampoline motion with the ground. The same amount of time will flush the entire lymph system with about 10 minutes of activity.

Movement includes the integration of the muscles and bones as they glide together. Pain can be relieved with posture correction -- essentially the re-integration of proper movement and balance within the structural layer of the body. The body does effect the mind. Look to some of the great thinkers in this area like Pete Egoscue or Bob Cooley to name a few. A good therapist will usually have a set of exercises up their sleeve that re-bounds the body back to better form.

The mind effects our ability to absorb pain. Laughter and comedy can break up the struggle with pain. Sometimes we over think the pain and make it worse. Feeding our spirits with delight and awesome wonder releases endorphins and has a dramatic lessening effect on pain. As does many of the healing arts including acupuncture, qi qong, tai chi chuan, yoga, massage, energy movement, and many forms of exercise.

If my last breath promotes this concept it is not enough. There are so many non-drug choices that are effective. Most of them come to us through non-medical means. Many of them are common sense techniques.

Mmm, I'm smelling the crock pot of the day with potatoes, barley, lentils, beans, onions, zucchini, and red peppers. Now that is my kind of effect -- drugs wrapped up in a solution of chicken broth. Food is our first line of defense with pain.

Imagine throwing in fresh herbs like garlic and ginger. Now that is my kind of pain relief. It is wonderful that cinnamon enters into all the meridians of the body and creates a flow and yang energy which clears the channels -- it literally warms the heart. No wonder we all love cinnamon rolls. It warms us deeply within. Ah, but now I must go and find another topic to glow about. I wish you well on your journey for pain relief.

Author's Bio: 

David is an acupuncturist and herbalist treating the mind, body, and spirit as a healer, teacher, and songwriter. David practices in Wichita and Kansas City where he treats orthopedic problems as well as many auto-immune disorders like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.