If you’re not in pain, you’re not thinking about pain. Obviously, that’s a good thing. However, once you wake up with a niggle or a strain, it’s impossible to ignore.

Instead of waiting until you wake up with a bad neck after spending the night on your sister’s sofa bed, what if there was a way to manage pain before it happens? Or at least, employ some strategies to minimize pain from its early onset.

For those open to alternative healing, there are some excellent pain relievers that don’t require a trip to the drugstore. In the spirit of a holistic approach, we’ve rounded up a trifecta of natural remedies that can soothe your soreness and help you control pain — not the other way around.

CBN: The CEO of Pain Management

CBN has become one of our recent go-tos for plant-based pain relief. It’s relatively new on the scene due to its difficulty to extract. However, companies such as Right Wellness have employed the latest science that allows the extraction of higher concentrations of CBN, which translates to more powerful pain relief.

We sat down with Right Wellness to geek out a little deeper into the physiology of CBN. They blew our minds when they explained that our bodies already have an endocannabinoid system. That’s why CBN is so effective — because its chemical similarities mirror our own endocannabinoid system.

Unlike other plants that may have a subtle effect, CBN actively reduces minor aches and pain and creates a deep sense of relaxation in the body.

In terms of ingestion, tinctures are the most accurate way to find your personal dosage and the most effective way to deliver CBN. When taken sublingually (under the tongue), the tincture solution gets to work right away, absorbing directly into the bloodstream and endocannabinoid system for rapid relief. However, as we mentioned earlier, although everyone has their own endocannabinoid system, not everyone metabolizes CBN in the same way. Start slow and low, working your way up in dosage until you find the relief that suits you best.

Pain-Fighting Foods: An Anti-Inflammatory Shopping List

As mentioned in the Harvard Health Journal, “Many major diseases that plague us — including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s — have been linked to chronic inflammation. One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store.”

If you’re looking for a lifestyle change that’s easy to implement and tastier than Tylenol, then the following list of anti-inflammatory foods are great to add to your cart:

  • Saffron + Turmeric: It’s no secret that turmeric has become a wellness poster child. A lesser known but equally potent anti-inflammatory is saffron. Both of these spices can attribute their healing powers to their high doses of curcumin and are delicious added to lattes and a host of other dishes.
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil:It’s a staple of the Ikarian way of life, one of the cultures that makes Dan Buttener’s Longevity List. It’s also a proven anti-inflammatory powerhouse with one study reporting several inflammatory markers significantly decreased in those who consumed 1.7 ounces (50 ml) of olive oil daily.
  • Organic Sprouted QuinoaIf you’re looking for a grain that’s anti-inflammatory, look no further. Amongst all its other benefits, including being a complete protein and the least allergenic of all the grains, quinoa is also high in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
  • Organic Tomatoes: Although full of potassium and vitamin C, it’s the lycopene in tomatoes that has been proven to be particularly beneficial for reducing pro-inflammatory compounds. Plus, if lycopene is cooked with the aforementioned extra virgin olive oil, it can maximize lycopene absorption.
  • Organic Cherries: They’re one of the fruits that makes Goop’s pain-fighting specialist Vicky Vlachonis’ grocery cheat sheet. She explains, “Tart cherries have a pain-fighting power similar to ibuprofen.” In one example, she states that eating just 10 a day can cut gout flare-ups by 50 percent.

Lymphatic Massage: Bodywork for Healing the Pain Body

There’s nothing quite like the power of healing touch to alleviate pain, be it reflexology on aching feet or deep tissue massage for muscle fatigue.

However for most of us, massage is a reactionary measure, and we often wait for our body to tell — or yell — at us before we allow ourselves the experience. Yet, incorporating massage or assisted deep stretching as part of a preventative pain management system is highly beneficial.

In particular, lymphatic massage has been increasingly heralded as a powerful tool to cultivate a body free of pain and discomfort.

What is lymphatic massage?

Lymphatic massage or sometimes referred to as lymphatic drainage is a massage that aims to stimulate the lymphatic system and help lymph fluid circulate the body. It is more light in touch and rhythmic in stroke compared to other types of massages.

What can lymphatic massage treat?

Recently, we sat down with Lisa Levitt Gainsley, a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and Manual Lymphatic Drainage practitioner. Often people associate lymphatic massage with swelling and post-cancer treatments. Although it’s excellent for both of those conditions, she also explained that a sluggish lymphatic system is often responsible for some types of pain including breast tenderness, headaches, and cramps. Lymph drainage also supports a healthy immune system, that can help fight off infection and auto-immune conditions in the first place. 

How often should I get a lymphatic massage?

Everybody is a good candidate for a lymphatic massage. However, the number and frequency of sessions depend on if you’re using lymphatic massage to heal acute or post-operative pain or for general lymph maintenance. If you’re healthy, and you’ve chosen a qualified practitioner, you should feel the benefits within 24 hours of one session, although lasting results are dependent on the frequency of your massage sessions. For example, if you’re looking to detox or feeling generally burned out and need to restore your body, practitioners recommend at least four sessions. The best move is to find a licensed massage therapist and receive a consultation based on your needs.

For 20% off your Right Wellness Co. order, use code THEFULLEST at checkout.

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