At one point or another, we will all find ourselves on some form of pain relief medication. It’s a staple in our first aid boxes and bathroom cabinets, and as a result of the wide use of these opioid painkillers, opioid-related hospitalisations are on the rise in Australia.
It seems as though opioid pain relief is the double-edged sword of modern medicine. So what else can you do to aid in your recovery from injury, surgery, and a wide range of physical and mental illnesses? Here’s a small guide to some stellar drug-free pain relief options.
The practice of acupuncture was formed on the basis that one’s physical and emotional ailments can be attributed to a broken flow of energy (or Qi) throughout the body. For around three thousand years, acupuncturists have been using their practice to heal a myriad of concerns, from surgical recovery to insomnia and virtually everything in between.
You can even use acupuncture for fertility and hormonal balance, making acupuncture the perfect complementary therapy for women undergoing IVF treatments across the globe.
The most impressive aspect of this drug-free treatment, however, would have to be the fact that it’s not uncommon for patients who’ve received acupuncture treatments to experience positive impacts in more areas than just the one they were originally being treated for!
As this holistic treatment seeks to facilitate the flow of energy through the body, chances are immensely high that patients will walk out of regular appointments with improved emotional health and wellbeing, with reduced stress and better quality sleep being two of the practice’s most common positive results.
Many holistic clinics consider chiropractic treatment to be a more hands-on alternative to acupuncture. The primary reason for this is that whilst acupuncturists strive to facilitate the body’s ‘vital energy’ with the gentle and precise insertion of delicate needles, chiropractors use their hands to really engage with the body’s inner musculoskeletal system and nervous system.
Chiropractors assert that our musculoskeletal systems are far more sensitive or at least impressionable than we’re led to believe and that pain is usually the last indicator of a neuromusculoskeletal disorder.
As the purpose of pain is to alert us to external dangers or potential damage in the body, it’s very common for patients to seek out chiropractic treatment as a response to muscle pains, the most common being neck and back pains triggered by sedentary office work or sports-related injuries.
Once these pains are eradicated, continued chiropractic treatment can aid in supporting the integrity of sensitive neurological tissue, and effectively strengthening the body’s whole musculoskeletal system from the inside-out.
Deep tissue massage
It goes without saying that deep tissue massage is definitely cut from a different cloth compared to acupuncture and chiropractic treatment.
Where the latter two are concerned more with progressive development and prompting the body to heal itself, deep tissue massage sets out to push your body back into shape with a set of firm, unyielding hands and elbows, and some rigid discipline on the part of the patient themselves.
When undergoing a deep tissue massage, a patient will usually be asked to follow verbal prompts delivered by the masseuse, like breathing in and out with specific motions or techniques or letting their masseuse know when the pressure of their touch turns to pain.
And that increased likelihood of experiencing pain during treatment is the primary reason why a lot of people tend to shy away from deep tissue massage.
Even so, there’s no refuting that this treatment boasts it’s fair share of positive results, with the practice being praised for its ability to loosen even the tightest of knots and provide impeccable pain relief for even chronic conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Whilst it’s still incredibly common for physicians to prescribe heavy painkillers to patients recovering from major injuries and invasive surgery, a growing majority of physicians will also support the use of these holistic treatments as a tool for recovery. Be sure to seek these treatments out with the help of your GP.