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Your stress response is heightened all the time.

And the uncertainty of what will happen next keeps your body stuck in fight or flight mode.

The constant stress state interrupts your ability to manage pain signals so the body stays inflamed.

You feel like your body has betrayed you and is waging war against you and you just want it to stop.

And because it’s invisible those who have never had chronic pain don’t understand the struggle.

Not to mention the toll pain takes on the body day in and day out.

Chances are you can’t remember your last restful uninterrupted night of sleep.

The nagging daily wake up thought of – how bad is it going to be today? – pops in your head each morning.

Your mind is consumed with the hope that something will provide relief today.

If you could just get the pain to go away – how incredible would that be?

Understanding pain at it’s most basic levels has helped many of my patients gain a new perspective on their pain and help to manage pain better.

Chinese Medicine’s simple explanations of pain combined with a little physiology basics have helped my patients to understand their pain better.

So let’s dive into the basics….

reduce your stress level

Pain is a signal from the body to the brain that something needs to be fixed.

In Chinese Medicine pain is considered:

  • "stuck blood" = inflammatory markers stuck causing just enough inflammation in the area of pain over and over to keep signaling pain to your brain - you can't visibly see there's pain (why chronic pain is a frustrating "invisible condition")
  • "dampness" (hence the picture here) - blood and fluids around the area of pain not moving = lymphatic system not clearing toxic debris from the body being inflamed in the area of pain
  • "cold" = really poor circulation to the point that blood moves like molasses and good nutrients are not getting to the area of pain
  • "hot" = a heightened area of inflammation that is warm to the touch as the body is actively fighting with increased force in the area

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs & Chinese Dietary Therapy take all of these characteristics into account to help with pain control.

Natural medicine sees pain as an over-inflamed region of the body that needs help with:

  • circulation - enhance movement of new blood into areas of pain and flush out the stuck stuff - do this with contrast hydrotherapy, movement & nutrition
  • nourishment - circulation gets blood to the areas of concern, massage, myofascial work, cupping & topical herbs can help here to get good blood flow to the area of pain
  • immune signaling correction - this is done with herbs to control the overzealous pain signaling response - essentially resetting the nervous system to regulate inflammation in the area of pain is huge - ex: tumeric for muscles, frankincense (Boswellia) for bone pain, arnica topically for nerve pain
  • stress management is huge here to as are using adaptogenic herbs - cordyceps (I really like using mushrooms to work on immune regulation (ImmPower is a great product), rhodiola, ashwagandha to name a few

What are the characteristics of your pain?

So now that I break them down I want you to explore a few things about your pain, arthritis and headaches with these questions...

  • do weather changes make pain or headaches worse - if so cold/dampness or heat?
  • does stress make things worse?
  • have you connected any foods to making headaches worse?
  • what about hormones? say around the period or postmenopausal
  • did your headaches start in menopause?

Your diet influences your pain levels

Food - what you eat has a direct impact on how you feel - you have to pay attention to this....

  • lectins - the list is long but grains, legumes & nightshades fall in this category - if you take them out - do you feel better?
  • dairy (most damp food according to Chinese along with eggs & sugar - so if weather increases your pain consider limiting these foods OR try eating them with cayenne, spicy peppers or other items)
  • wheat/gluten
  • high histamine foods - bananas, nuts, wine, aged cheese, sausages, chocolate, eggs (see for a more expansive list)
  • And of course junk foods but really many of us eat well and there are some issues with foods that can really upset our delicate immune systems causing pain.

For anyone that has pain I recommend going to the website as it has a “what to eat and what to avoid” list and trying this for 3 months and see how you feel. Yes the site is for autoimmune conditions BUT really pain, arthritis and headaches are all signs of over inflammation and your body attacking itself by not being able to control inflammation in the body.

The better you manage stress the better you control inflammation, the driving force behind pain

The more you can control inflammation the better and you do that via:

  • diet – autoimmune paleo or low lectin styles are best to reduce inflammation
  • stress management - breathing, relaxing, taking fun breaks
  • hydration – ½ your body weight in water daily
  • enhancing circulation - increasing how much you move - walking, swimming, mobility work - whatever you can do to move just a bit more each day will help; you can also enhance local circulation with red light therapy too
  • enhancing circulation with massage, lymphatic drainage massage, dry brushing or myofascial release, acupuncture (of course one of my faves), cupping (2nd fave)
  • contrast hydrotherapy - 3 minutes hot and 30 seconds cold to the area of pain - 3 rounds and end on cold
  • topical herbs/oils to stimulate circulation - Doterra's Deep Blue, Dr. Bob's Medicated Oil (my fave), Arnica, Rosemary, Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Sage, Mustard, Cayenne (you can eat these too to help circulation)
  • Stop overcomplicating your health.

Go back to the basics.

Try out one of the basics above – and stick with it for a month!

Comment and let me know how it goes.

AND if you’re looking for more information on this topic…check out my podcast on this very topic right now!

[Audio Transcript]
Hello, Dr. Jannine Krause here and today I’m going to talk about habits that might be causing your abdominal bloating. Now some of these might be da factors, but it’s always a great reminder to go back through these and rule out these as causes of your bloating. First and foremost, a lot of us eat to fast. Maybe we have two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes on our way from one appointment to the other to eat. Guess what? We should be taking our time to eat. Why? Because if you inhale that Jimmy John’s, guess what goes with that? A bunch of air and big particles of food. So, for every bite that you take, every single bike that you take you need to chew at least 25 times. Meals should take about a half hour. Now I know what you’re thinking. I only have a 15 minute lunch, or a half hour holy cow what would I do with that. Well trust me you’ll feel a heck of a lot better and you’re going to be quite nice to your digestive system if you’re chewing more to help it up. Now, the other big thing that we often tend to do is we drink too much liquids with the meal. So what that does is dilute all of our digestive enzymes. Now on top of that in the US here we might also have a big old glass of ice water. Which is doesn’t just of suicide per se. Why? Because the ice just like if you put ice on your skin. It numbs your whole stomach and so it’s not going to be very effective at breaking down food. So later on, you might feel like you have gut bomb or you might end up with a little burping or you might end up with even a little more bloating or you might end up with some more issues like diarrhea. Another issue that you can have is you might be talking while you’re eating. Let’s face it most of us don’t like to eat alone and so sometimes we have a friend or we might be on the cell phone. Anytime you’re talking and eating you’re sucking in air. Guess where that air goes? Goes in and its got to come out someway. It’s gonna cause bloat or its going to come the other way or it’s going to come up this way. So then you won’t be too fun at a party in that case. Now the next thing is smoking or vaping in that case. Your sucking in air. That air has to go somewhere. If you like to suck on hard candy, that can also cause issues and cause some more bloating for you. Fizzy drinks. Of course we all know Soda is not the best option and so a lot of us turned to sparkling waters and things of that nature. Those are carbonated just as much. Those can be causing some bloating as well. Dentures, if you have dentures make sure you’ve got that gel in there to tighten those guys up the looser the dentures are the more you’re sucking on a little bit of air. Another biggy is alcohol. Sugar alcohols which you find in some of our sugar-free candies can cause a lot of gastric irritation, but also alcohol from just drinking. That can also cause some bloating. So keep that in mind if you drinking alcohol and eating a meal you need to take your time. Savor every bite and chew as much as you possibly can. That way the meal will last longer, you will have a longer enjoyment of that dinner and it will be even better for you in the long run. So one big thing to think about in that case is that alcohol definitely does cause some bloating. Now the last thing of course is the da factor. Beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli all farty foods. That stuff can yes, cause some issues. So the bigger thing to remember is that if you have issues with those foods, eat them in moderation. You can actually change your way that your digestive system breaks down things such as beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli. You can use a tablespoon a day for about two weeks and then you’re good to go. You can start too up the amount. Now, the average serving for these party foods is about a half a cup. If you go over that in the sitting you’re going to have some trouble. Pair that with eating too fast and now you’ve got digestive suicide. So, let’s just sum it up. Make sure to chew your food. Take your time chewing your food, and enjoy your meals so you don’t have as much bloating. Drink water. Drink other types of liquid but drink it at room temperature and drink it sparingly throughout a meal. Save it for before or for a short while afterwards. This is Dr. Jannine Krause you’ve watched my video on how to prevent bloating and all those habits that are causing your bloating. Have a great day!

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