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5 Tips to be Painfree

GG 5 Tips-633 Pain and stress often go hand-in-hand. Neglect one and you are likely to negatively influence the other. Listed below is the first of 5 simple tips to help you, naturally!  

These are tips that I have researched and use myself. Despite being a ‘baby boomer’ and diagnosed with spinal stenosis, I can still dance, cycle, kayak and hike all pain-free. Though twisting my knee while cleaning my car put me out of action for a wee while, so no more cleaning cars for me! 


Tip 1

Did you know in some people nightshade vegetables can be the cause of chronic pain?

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Image by Dreamstime

The nightshade family includes potatoes and tomatoes including your good old favorite tomato sauce. Other common nightshades include Eggplant, Sweet Peppers and Chilli Peppers. 

According to research by Dr Sherry Rogers, MD (and others) the nightshade family can be the cause of varying degrees of pain. This includes chronic pain affecting the central nervous system as well as arthritic pain, of which all can cause stress. 

Remove the nightshades from your diet and you are likely to see an improvement. Interestingly enough, I found cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce did not play havoc on my system.


Tip 2

Bone broth fad, or fact?

broth 2-11Bone broth has been around for a long time. In fact both your and my great-grandmother probably made chicken soup to reduce the symptoms of coughs and colds and made stews from a base of bone broth, either from necessity and `waste-not’ mentality.

Although there has been virtually no clinical research specifically on bone broth, chicken bones extract has been researched by Harvard Medical School scientists. They discovered the extract was a source of protein, gelatine and possibly other substances, which stopped the pain and swelling in a group of 60 rheumatoid arthritis patients who had not responded to general medical treatment.

Also, if we dig around long and hard enough we can find references to gelatine, collagen and bone broth being valued for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years. It may reduce your stress by relieving pain associated with joint disorders, stomach pain and general digestive upsets.

You will find many recipes on the web, though here is the one I use:

I only buy organic chicken and freeze the carcasses and skin etc. after roasting until I have two or three. It also pays to ask your local butcher if he also has the feet and neck of the chicken available.

  • 3 chicken carcass
  • Cold water, enough to cover the bones
  • 2 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Bunch parsley, no need to chop
  • Place bones in a slow cooker (I find this best as it needs to simmer for approx. 36 hours)**
  • Cover with enough water to just cover the bones. (Important do not add any more water throughout the cooking or the both will not gel).
  • Add the vinegar and simmer on low heat until any scum rises to the top.
  • Remove the scum, add the vegetables and continue to simmer for the completed time.
  • Allow the broth to cool and strain the vegetables so all you have left is a nice stock.
  • As the broth will only last in the refrigerator for approx. 3 days, I freeze in ice cube trays. The broth will last in the freezer for several months. I pop one ice cube in a mug as a broth tea each evening.

** Bones contain collagen, which when simmered in water produces a gel like substance. The longer you simmer the bones, the more water will evaporate and the more gelatine you will have in your stock. Hence the reason not to add any more water throughout the cooking as it will dilute the broth and not gel.

Note: If you would like to read more, check out some extensive research by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN.


Tip 3

Fancy a little Turmeric for pain or oxidative stress?  

turmeric-186I do, in fact my local GP wrote an article on the merits of taking this spice.

So guess what, when I relocated to Tauranga I went into research mode. If you are anything like me you have your own favorite brands. Also my partner and I do our best to achieve the 80/20 organic, non-processed foods. So imagine my delight when I found my Chantal Organic Turmeric Powder at the Bethlehem Health & Tea store www.bethlehemhealth.co.nz  …woohoo!

Exciting to say, there is also research conducted on the merits of this, so no wonder my GP at the time wrote an article about this in their newsletter.

In 2012 a pilot study conducted by Doctors Chandran and Goel randomised 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients into three gro
ups. Each group was either given Curcumin (Turmeric) 500mg twice a day, Voltaren 50mg twice a day or a combination of Turmeric and Voltaren. After eight weeks the Turmeric-only group demonstrated the greatest improvement in symptoms with no adverse side-effects.

A review published in the journal Molecules also mentioned that studies ``…suggest that chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and most chronic disease are closely linked…” with turmeric …``playing a key role in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation diseases.”

There are a few simple ways to use Turmeric, for example add to curries, sprinkle over salads and roast vegetables, or as a tea (1 teaspoon of organic turmeric added to 4 cups of boiled water, let steep for a few minutes, then sieve and drink). I also add a nip of cayenne pepper for coughs and colds, though I have learned it works better when you take it at the first sign of a sore throat and not leaving it for a few days.

A wee hint, drinking this as a tea may take some getting used to just like the broth tea in Tip# 2, though what price do you put on good health.

May you be pain and stress free! 

Tip 4  

Did you know water can ease pain?
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Ever got out of bed first thing in the morning and your ankles ache, your feet feel like lead and maybe you have a few other aches and pains as well? Could this be just another symptom of aging, too many nights dancing in high heels, too much wine and not enough water, or maybe all three?

Either soaking in a bath or regularly drinking water can ease pain, such as joint pain, back pain, headaches, etc. The key is ensuring it is warm water, i.e. body temperature, though in this humid hot weather I have to admit to downing some really chilled water.

There are many scientific journals documenting the benefits of drinking water to keep your cartilage and tissues soft and hydrated. Dehydration was identified as a common cause for headaches, heartburn, indigestion, back pain and aching joints.

Researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands did a trial with over 100 patients who frequently suffered from mild to severe headaches and noticed that drinking around seven glasses of water a day eased their pain and improved their quality of life.

A 20 minute soak in a warm bath also works for all types of musculoskeletal pain, including arthritis and back pain by decreasing inflammation, increasing circulation and loosening your joints.

So maybe the next time you feel an ache or two, reach for a glass of water or just soak in it :)


Tip 5

Then you better read on...

If you have a knee problem it could be stemming from your L1 or L2 (lumbar vertebrae, lower back). What if you are experiencing burning sciatica pain, well that could be stemming from your foot and what about that back pain, well maybe you are just carrying too much around with you. No, but then maybe?

As the body contains a whole sum of parts and these parts are all interconnected then it makes sense that pain of varying degrees affects your whole central nervous system. Pain messages are filtered through stress and always involve some form of emotion and can be cyclical. For instance stress or emotion if continued may bring about inflammation and disease, which in turn creates more pain, illness and therefore more stress and you feel like you are on a roller coaster.


Which leads to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy - well hopefully this natural therapy takes you off the roller coaster :) 

When the body is overwhelmed it may need assistance to return to balance whether it is mental or physical stress. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can be very useful, with it being an exceptionally gentle, safe yet evidence based method to improve health.

So, yes this does help reduce pain depending upon the severity and in some instances the pain disappears completely.

This is the last of the 5 Tips in this series. Helping you lead a healthier and relaxing life.