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….
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)
- high histamine foods - bananas, nuts, wine, aged cheese, sausages, chocolate, eggs (see autoimmunewellness.com 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 autoimmunewellness.com 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!
Hello, Dr. Janine Krause here and I am going to talk about what are probiotics good for today? It’s a common question I get from a lot of my patients so I’m in a break it down for you. The big deal with probiotics is that they help us to break down the food that we consume, and in particular they also help us to be able to unlock the nutrients from the food that we consume. All too often, in my office, I see that people are deficient in vitamin B12, and vitamin D, and also a lot of the minerals such as calcium selenium and magnesium, in particular. In fact, magnesium is one of the most deficient minerals in all of the folks that I see and so where do we get it from? Well we’re breaking it down. Those probiotics break down all of our minerals, B vitamins, vitamins A and D and allows us to you utilize those nutrients, and if it we do not have sufficient amounts of beneficial bacteria, we don’t get those nutrients and so we might be eating as healthy as we possibly can but if we are deficient in a sufficient amount of probiotics beneficial bacteria we are not getting any of those good minerals and vitamins from our food, and so we have to supplement. And that’s unfortunate because definitely you’re spending the money on the food you might as well get something out of it. Probiotics also help us to produce something called short-chain fatty acids these are what we use for energy for cellular energy. And what’s quite cool about short chain fatty acids is that they also help with signaling to tell us if were full or for not, and so, you know, if you’re constantly walking around going I’m hungry I’m hungry I just can’t get full. It could be because you’re lacking on the beneficial bacteria that help you to create short chain fatty acids, and so that’s one reason that it’s not necessarily your fault that you’re hungry and this willpower thing could be a fundamental issue that’s happening in your belly and has nothing to do with the primary brain. As I always called the belly the second brain, and so the short chain fatty acids are key component here. Along the same lines with each short-chain fatty acids with the production of energy for our body, we also have this connection between the gut and the brain access. This concept is the connection between the nervous system the endocrine system and Armenian system, and it’s a complicated intertwined system of communication that were only beginning to differentiate and figure out, and at this point it’s quite cool in terms of how our gut really is our second brain, and how a lot of what goes on in terms of what type of of beneficial bacteria you have in your gut have everything to do with your bodies size. With your communication skills. With your ability to think clearly. Why patients come into my office and say I’m so brain fog my brain isn’t working my brain is broken and a lot of times there is nothing wrong appear it’s all in the gut and so often times this is where I tell people it’s really important to do some simple testing. Why? Because that’s gonna tell us what type of bacteria you have in your gut and what we need to work on replacing. The other side of this is looking into, okay, how many different types of environments and toxins are you exposed to during the day? Looking at your job. Looking at all the different homecare products you use and working on getting everything switched over to non-toxic items. The other side of this is how many different medications are you on? Medications will wreak havoc with your gut flora. Also how much stress are you under? Stress has a huge component and its a huge component of causing trouble with what’s going on with the balance in your digestive system flora. We’re taking off a lot of the beneficial soil bacteria. Now granite the other side of this is that our soil is probably quite toxic especially where I live here in Washington state near Tacoma our soil is really toxic. Where I used to live in Colorado our soil was very toxic with all the mining and things of that nature. So you’ve got to be careful of course in terms of the environment in which you growing your foods in. But you know what just bypass it go and take some soil-based bacteria. So you’ve got that. Now the other thing is spore based probiotics. I love those as well. Why? They’re kinda like the babies to the probiotics and they last longer through the digestive system and then they just release and start their chemical see and then they start their neighborhoods and families and so I like to have people rotating through all of those. Then after you get a little bit established with your portfolio there. Then you can start to eat fermented foods, the sauerkraut and all those things because for a lot of people if you just hit that hard and start that out you’re going to have a ton more gas and bloating and digestive upset and so today my big thing that I wanted to express to everybody is that probiotics are absolutely useful to help you break down your food, but also they’re useful for you to be able to get key vitamins in nutrients in your diet and they help with your brain function and who doesn’t want a sharper brain. My goodness I want to be sharp up until hundred and 15 and so if you are looking for all of that then you need to make sure you get on your probiotics. Start slow, ramp up. Watch some of my other videos they give you other tips on how to ramp up the probiotics. Thank you for watching on Dr. Janine Krause.