Pain, wherever it is in your body, can be, well, a real pain! Here, Gemma Hurditch, naturopath and lecturer at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, shares helpful lifestyle tips on how to reduce pain in your body.
Pain can come from a variety of sources: toothache, headache or migraine, joint issues and gastrointestinal discomfort to name a few.
Getting to the root cause, be it food intolerances, structural issues or some other imbalance, is always the best option in securing long-term relief.
If you have a headache due to dehydration, a painkiller might get rid of it for a while, but you are still dehydrated and the headache will return unless you address the issue, which is that you need more water!
Another thing to consider: inflammation is always a factor, so addressing inflammation will have a beneficial effect on any type of pain, whilst you work to determine the root causes.
Beat pain with anti-inflammatory foods
Some people may react to foods normally associated with good health. Common allergenic foods include citrus, eggs, particularly egg white, pasteurised dairy, onions, garlic, soya, gluten grains and nightshades, such as tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines.
Try eliminating these foods for a week before gradually adding them back into your diet, one at a time; note your symptoms after the introduction of each food.
Food to help you
The Mediterranean diet is a great place to start with anti-inflammatory eating, focusing on plant foods, oily fish, nuts and seeds (pre-soaked), legumes (pre-soaked or fermented) and extra virgin olive oil. Limit red meat to once/twice per week. Avoid all refined sugars and white flours.
Food production and processing can produce inflammatory results so opt for minimally travelled/processed options. For example, choose wholegrain and brown grains, and foods that are local, freshly picked, in season, organic, etc.
Water-based cooking methods are also healthiest, including sautéing, steaming, poaching.
Pain can be caused by environmental factors
Also address mental/emotional and environmental factors as causes for physical pain. For example, feelings can produce chemicals that are inflammatory to the body.
Certain environmental conditions can too: EMF emissions, air/light/noise pollution, moulds, household chemicals. It’s important to understand that pain is the body’s warning that all is not well and you might need professional health support.