Simple Ways to Reduce Chronic Pain

If you are one of the many people who deal with pain on a daily basis, there are a few options available that might reduce your dependence on painkillers, and even herbs! And not just simple, they could almost be considered free.

waterThe first is water. Being properly hydrated can have a huge impact on chronic pain level. When tissues are hydrated, they make such better cushions/padding than when they are shrunken and dessicated.

I imagine you know this, but I also know sometimes life gets hectic, and we don’t always do the good stuff for ourselves. So this is just a reminder.

Also water, being the “universal solvent” also helps rinse out toxins, allowing your body to function at a higher level. (Toxins pretty much always cause problems)

How much water does a person need to drink each day? There’s an easy math formula for that.

Take your weight in pounds, divide it in half, and that’s the number of ounces of water you should drink each day for good health.

For someone who weighs 100 pounds: half of 100 is 50, so 50 ounces a day. Not so hard.

Well, that 50 ounces is actually a base line. If the weather is hot, or if you’re doing anything physical enough to break a good sweat, you’ll want to add on a bit more water.

And if you drink any diuretic-type beverages, like soda, coffee, tea, or alcohol, you’ll need to drink and extra 12 ounces of water to make up for a 12 oz soda, etc. Just to bring yourself back up to that baseline.

The effects most likely won’t be immediate, but most people will begin to see good results within a week or two.

Another pretty easy thing to address is pH, or just how acid or alkaline your body is running. You can buy pH testing strips to check your saliva and/or urine if you’re the type that likes to know the whole scoop.

But if you have chronic pain, the odds are very good that your body is too far over into the acid side of the chart. Seriously, being over-acid is associated with most every malady. Being too alkaline isn’t good either, but it’s way less common than too acidic.

What makes you acidic?

Stress is a biggie, also caffeine (which makes your body produce adrenaline, just like stress. Hmmm). Sugar, starches, alcohol, and interestingly, an over-abundance of protein will also make you go acidic.

So what’s left to eat? Fruits and veggies, of course.

I’m not recommending you become a vegetarian. Far from it – it can take a lot of work to be a really healthy vegetarian. I believe most things in life are all about the balance.

But Americans in general eat far too many starches and sugars and not enough fresh produce; we are a nation of wheat eaters, and drinkers, too. (I knew that beer is made from wheat for years now, and vodka. Recently I learned they are using wheat to make tequila, too. Very strange. But I digress…)

Most any food you eat raw will help you move to the alkaline side of the chart, though if you like very rare meat or eggs, you should really be sure of your sources in these days of E. coli, Salmonella, and parasites.

Most raw vegetables and fruits – even citrus fruits that are acidic themselves – will bring up your pH to a more alkaline level. Some common exceptions are tomatoes and cranberries.

So try to have at least one good sized vegetable/green salad every day (the fiber aspect is good, too – helps clean out those pesky toxins). Even better if you make your own salad dressing.

Raw apple cider vinegar is alkalizing; so is fresh lemon or lime juice. Add a little olive oil and you have a nice simple healthy dressing for your salad.

For more flavor, add some chopped fresh or dried herbs, some soy sauce (I prefer Bragg’s Liquid Aminos) and maybe some minced garlic. OK, now I’m getting hungry…..

If you just don’t like to eat salad, maybe you’d be willing to supplement a green drink. (Am I fantasizing here?)

One of my favorite Green Superfood supplements is from Garden of Life – they named it “Perfect Food.” I enjoy the taste just mixed into water; some like it better mixed into fruit juice. And it is a great alkalizer.

I want to quickly touch on the alcohol aspect again. When you live with pain, it can be very tempting to dull that pain with intoxicants. And it might work OK in the short term.

But please know that alcohol and drugs move you into that acidic realm, so may not be your best choice for the long haul.

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