Do you suffer from pain in the joints and body that you can’t seemed to explain? Perhaps you have already been diagnosed with having osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis and wanting to find other ways to relieve the condition. Or you don’t have these conditions but wondering why you seemed to have chronic aches in the body.
If you suffer from any medical condition, please seek appropriate treatment from the doctors. However, I would like to recommend some holistic methods that may help you to relieve your discomfort:
Theory of Inflammation
Due to unsuited diet and inactive lifestyle, the body- fascia, joints and muscles may be inflamed. You could have eaten something that results an allergic reaction to your body- and that could escalate or cause the onset of autoimmunity diseases such as RA.
There are 4 lifestyle changes you can make to reduce pain and inflammation on your body:
1. Drink lots and lots of water
2. Reduce sugar intake as much as you can
3. Reduce intake of deep fried (even BBQ) food (especially meat)
4. Take fish oil tablets/supplements
5. Adequate exercise
6. Reduce caffeine like coffee/ tea.
Drinking Plenty of Water
Water is a medium of transportation used by our body. According to the book, The Permanent Pain Cure, the author Ming Chew stressed the importance of drinking a lot of water- by a lot, he means about 4 litres a day. He had used his method, called the Ming Method, combining diet, hydration, fascia release exercises and supplements to eliminate pain and inflammation. He had treated notable NBA basketball player and other well known clients who have benefited from his method.
I have read his book, and his method of fascia (or active tissue) release interest me but I do not have time to explore the method yet. Still, there was a day when I felt dull aches at my body (after overdosing in coffee), I drank glasses and glasses of water. After a few hours, I actually felt much better. Of course, there are dangers associated with electrolyte imbalance because drinking too much of water will dilute the potassium and natrium in your body and the condition can be extremely dangerous. But if you were to split the 4 litres over the course of the day, it should be safe enough. The only price that you have to pay is more frequent trips to the toilet- a price that he said, he is happy to pay rather than dealing with pain. Older adults especially are afraid of drinking lots of water because they do not like to visit the loo too often- but if you are an older adult with constant aches and pains- which one you rather be? In pain or go to toilet more often?
It’s easy to forget to drink water sometimes. To keep yourself from forgetting, place a 2 litre water container within reach of your work area or the place you always spent time at- and make sure you finish 2 whole bottles each day!
Reducing Sugar & Deep fried/processed foods
I have read many books on health, fitness and diets. Even though some authors are highly controversial, I still find some truth in certain theories professed by them- normally you will know if you apply and try their method. For instance, Sugar Busters and Sugar Blues diet have been highly criticized- while I agree that it is difficult to follow, the authors do have a point about the role of a high sugar diet in producing inflammation to the body.
Therefore, if you suffer from constant pain, Rheumatoid arthritis or any auto immune conditions, there is no harm if you were to try to cut down taking refined or table sugar. You can get your sugar source from fruits but avoid getting from processed sugar such as syrup, packet sugar, sweets, candies, cakes. In other words, try to eat like a diabetic. You will be surprised that after cutting down on sugar, you will find that you generally feel better. It is impossible to totally eliminate but make an attempt to reduce. If you suffer from that condition and also have a sweet tooth, perhaps you may want to give yourself a trial period to cut down (like 2 weeks) and see if you feel better.
Deep fried food makes it hard for our body to digest. And processed food contains all types of chemicals in the form of colouring, preservatives and taste enhancers that may trigger allergic reaction in your body and result in inflammation and pain.
Take Fish Oil and Supplements
In the past, I don’t take supplements. But since I am having problem with one of my knees (pain, creaking sounds), I am now taking fish oil tablet and glucosamine daily. It seems to help. Doctors also advised patients to take fish oil and glucosamine for problem joints. For those who cannot stomach the fish oil in liquid form, try taking in tablets form.
I cannot stress how important exercises are to help to relieve your pain. Here, I am not asking you to participate in Les Mills’s latest release of Body Attack or Body Combat- but you need to find an exercise program within your pain threshold. You need to get the circulation moving around your joints- it helps to reduce the pain. Brisk walking has been considered as the best exercise as it does not stress your joints too much. The very least, you need to do cardio exercises that help speed up your heart rate a little, then stretching.
Few days ago, I felt my joints was getting a bit stiff (too much time spent sitting in front of the PC). So I started off exercising with a bit of cardio, then sun salutation (5 times per side), warrior poses, stretching, exercises using Stability ball- for tummy and back and hamstring stretches using resistance bands. And I drank 2 glasses of water after that. Surprisingly, the pain was gone!
There’s a rule that ‘anything you don’t use, get wasted’. Stiff and painful joints make exercising very uncomfortable. But if you don’t do it, your joint will become more and more painful and you will lose your mobility faster.
I don’t know about you- but I develop body aches when I drink coffee. I’ve tried a few times- after I downed the coffee on quite an empty stomach, I sat still and try to be conscious of how I felt. I felt it triggered some kind of allergy in my body- and then followed by aches. After a while, I also started sneezing- I knew it was a minor allergic reaction because my body was not exposed to cold. This is especially so with expensive lattes and espressos from Coffee Bean, Starbucks or San Francisco. Unfortunately, I could not give up coffee- but I try to avoid brands that trigger heavier reactions in my body. I find Nescafe Arabica coffee also give me the same unpleasant reaction.
Take time and find out foods that may trigger inflammation or reactions that will bring about aches in your body. You can experiment with one food group at a time. Every one of us are allergic to certain food- in fact, the common foods that triggers allergy are seafood and duck meat. So it pays to stay away from those type of food.