As the season changes, many of us will feel our aches and pains start to magnify during the cold and damp weather. While its important to seek outside help when the pain is encroaching on our quality of life, there are many ways that we can help ourselves.
- Wintergreen Oil
Wintergreen oil is one useful tool to fight pain. Methyl salicylate, the primary ingredient of wintergreen oil, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, a drug category which also includes aspirin, Advil and other well-known pain relievers. Therefore, wintergreen oil should be used with some discretion and should be applied topically, not internally. It creates a gentle tingling and cooling sensation on the skin. Combined with other oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptis, wintergreen oil can be a very powerful pain reliever. This combination can be found in the product, White Flower Oil. I use this oil as a part of my treatments and you can buy it online. As well, wintergreen essential oil can be used on its own with a carrier oil, such as safflower oil. If you are allergic to aspirin, don’t use this product.
2. Infra-red Heat Lamp
If the pain you feel gets worse during cold and damp weather, a heating lamp may be a good investment for your home. I use an Infra-red lamp in my office. You can buy one at various online stores. Simply put the lamp about 3 inches above an area of pain for 30 minutes. Generally speaking, heat is a great way to increase circulation to painful spots. While ice will numb the pain, it isn’t going to help heal the underlying condition. Make sure to use discretion with the heat if you have numbness in a nearby area.
A simple meditation technique is to take a breath in, count to four, and then breathe out. Another meditation practice is to focus your attention on the feeling of your breath as it moves in and out of your nasal passages. Just focusing on your breath can help settle the mind and can be a great technique to decrease the severity of pain.
Acupressure is also a great tool to help with pain. LI 4 (shown above) is a great acupressure point for headaches. ST 36 and GB 34 are wonderful points for knee pain. LI 11 is a great point for elbow pain. UB 23 is good for back pain and GB 21 is good for neck pain.
Stretching can be a powerful tool to fight pain. However, you don’t need to be a contortionist in order to get results. A simple daily routine can really make a significant change over time. The video below is a great demonstration of some Qi Gong stretching exercises, but any low intensity stretching practice will work.