by Dr. Kimberly Albarran, PT, DPT, CFNP, Hope, Health, Healing
Chronic pain affects one in three people in the United States; that’s more than 100 million Americans.
With today’s standard American diet of processed and fast foods, toxins in our bath, body and home products, and generally high levels of stress, it’s no wonder chronic pain is on the rise.
Pain is multifactorial and is not
just about tissue injury, trauma or illness, although they are important factors that can lead to chronic pain.
In this mix, also include our emotional, mental, spiritual, nutritional and overall state of well-being.
Pain does not have to be your destiny, and you can start healing today! This article will look at four pillars to start you on your health and healing journey today to create a happier and healthier you in the
Mindfulness: Be aware of your thoughts; stay present in the moment. Positive thoughts encourage release of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and beta endorphin, which improves motivation, mood and reduces pain.
One strategy for mindfulness is gratitude. One simple thing to do every morning and/or evening is to write down five things you are grateful and thankful for.
Nutrition: Eat real food. Reducing or eliminating packaged and processed foods, sugar, dairy and gluten can help to reduce pain. Increase your intake of omega 3 such as algae oil, wild caught salmon, cod, flax, chia seeds and hemp hearts to improve gut health, reduce inflammation and pain.
Drink water to reduce stiffness and pain, and reduce alcohol, coffee and teas with caffeine. Incorporate herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, rosemary, thyme and paprika that reduce inflammation.
Sleep: Seven to nine hours of sleep is needed for cell renewal, rejuvenation and detoxification. Sleep in complete darkness, wear loose-fitting clothes, keep regular sleep times, keep bedroom cooler; do not keep electronics that are emitting Wi-Fi signals or a TV in your room. Blue light reduces melatonin production and increases cortisol production.
Movement: Moving increases muscle and bone mass, energy, hormone balance, circulation, and it improves your body’s natural opioid production for pain reduction.
The best movements and exercises are the ones you enjoy and will perform consistently. Exercises, such as weightlifting, yoga, qi gong help to reduce stress hormone production and increases dopamine and immune system cells that fight infection.
Wishing you health and healing!