Do you find yourself with new aches and pains on a regular basis? Maybe it’s from an intense work out, a long drive, or perhaps you’ve chalked it up to just simply part of this glorious thing we call aging. Whatever the reason, before you pop a pill to dull the pain, take into consideration the damage medications can cause. Ibuprofen, which is the go to for many, can trigger ulcers and increase blood pressure; and even low doses of aspirin can cause intestinal bleeding. It’s very well known that prescription painkillers are highly addictive, and can even be lethal. So, before you grab a bottle of meds from the medicine cabinet, (or drawer…I don’t know where you keep these things) consider an alternative approach. Here you will find 7 simple remedies to ease your pain:

  1. Use meditation or deep breathing to relax. These techniques send messages to your muscles to release tension and tightness. Like hey, deltoid, chill the hell out. If you notice an ache or pain during the day, take a moment and find a quiet location, relax your body, ignore distracting thoughts, and focus on deep breathing. Meditation will help calm the mind and the body while delivering powerful pain-relieving chemicals to the brain.

  1. Exercise to release natural endorphins. While a strenuous workout may not be doable if you’re in pain, movement and exercise will help diffuse your symptoms. A low-impact workout will help gently stretch and strengthen the muscles. Endorphins released during exercise help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals.

  1. Release natural painkillers with acupuncture. Regular acupuncture treatments help prevent pain and are an excellent treatment alternative during flare-ups. Thin, essentially painless, needles are strategically placed to encourage better circulation of blood and nutrients throughout the body, helping to relieve pain and inflammation.

  1. Reduce stress. Stress can be the cause of so many of our ailments. Negative feelings can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain. We are not suggesting you quit your job, or tell your mother in-law how you really feel, but learning to take control of your stress may help you find relief from your pain. There are several techniques to reduce stress and promote relaxation; we highly recommend flotation therapy as the ultimate stress reliever.

  1. Watch what you eat. Avoid eating inflammatory foods, such as sugar, processed foods, sugary drinks, etc. Fresh, whole foods from organic sources have pain-taming nutrients. Pain and inflammation go hand in hand, so adjusting what you put on your plate, may help ease your pain. For more information on anti-inflammatory foods, check out our Guide to a Healthier Lifestyle.

  1. Heal with heat. A few weekly sessions in an infrared sauna can help relieve pain, and provide many other amazing benefits. Infrared heat is more than just hot air. It penetrates tissue, joints, and muscles—relieving pain from injury and chronic conditions.

  1. Freeze yo self. Whole Body Cryotherapy stimulates circulation, and as blood flows through your body it brings with it healing agents like oxygen and other nutrients. By purifying your blood, soft tissue healing is accelerated, and most patients report reduced pain after just one session.

Taking a more holistic approach to pain management, will not only help you find relief from your pain, but will also help you avoid the adverse side effects of medication.