Getting off prescription drugs might be an unrealistic goal for some people but there are many ways to manage pain naturally.
Alexa Moffat has had chronic migraines for several years. In addition, she deals with inflammation from hip surgery. She recently started paying more attention to home remedies and naturopathic supplements.
"I've actually gotten off all of my prescription medications and have just gone natural," says Moffat.
Moffat started working at West Seattle Natural Medicine and has since become a patient.
"I've figured out that some dairy products can trigger my headaches and also some peanut butter," says Moffat. "It's really interesting to see what you're eating is actually affecting your body."
Food is where naturopathic doctors say the foundations of health begin. Medical doctors also agree that general guidelines for health start with healthy living.
"That can be things like, 'are you sleeping, are you exercising, what are you eating, are you drinking water, what do you do for fun?'" says Emily Livengood, naturopathic doctor at West Seattle Natural Medicine. "And the next step is usually food as medicine and home remedies can fall into that area."
A home remedy for an upset stomach might be bone broth. Livengood suggests getting some bones from your butcher and making a broth at home.
"There's really value in chicken noodle soup," says Livengood. She also says a basic guide to health is eating fruits and vegetables, proteins and avoiding sugar. She adds staying hydrated is one of the basic fundamentals to healthy living since so many people are dehydrated.
Staying away from some over the counter drugs might be beneficial says Elizabeth Meade, assistant chief of pediatrics at Swedish Hospitals. If you take ibuprofen or Tylenol more than two times a week, you could get rebound headaches.
"It sounds funny but actually putting a pen or a pencil between your teeth--not biting down on it hard but just having it there and create some space between your two levels of teeth--can relax your jaw muscles and that can actually do a lot to decrease that immediate discomfort from your headache," says Meade. Also, rubbing your temples for 10 or 15 seconds helps. Lavender, peppermint, taking a warm bath or getting a massage could also help because it relaxes the muscles.
"I've definitely seen a difference in my pain management," says Moffat. "It's really changed my mind and I try to help all my family and friends go all naturally."
Whatever you decide, make sure you talk with your doctor. Naturopathic and medical doctors can work in tandem to provide your healthcare as well.
IDEA: GINGER REMEDY FOR INFLAMMATION, HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES
- 1 cup peeled ginger
- 2 cups water
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- sparkling water
Boil water and add ginger. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for five minutes. Remove the boiling water and ginger from heat and strain. Combine one part ginger syrup with three parts sparkling water. Add one teaspoon of raw honey and lime juice for taste.