Acupuncture; Have You Tried It?

My low back, near my sacrum, has given me problems off and on for about 25 years now. It’s an old injury from back when I was a nursing assistant that flairs up from time to time. I have a number of holistic techniques I use to get it feeling better. Yoga, ice, walking, and turmeric are hits on this list.

When these and other holistic modalities do not work anymore, then it’s time for the big guns! For me the big gun is Acupuncture. I currently go to Aculove. Libby is a fabulous and intuitive acupuncturist. I have been to many others over the years and I find Acupuncture is the most relaxing modality I have ever had. I know that seems like it doesn’t make sense. Having a bunch of little pins stuck into your skin, doesn’t seem relaxing at all. I can’t explain why it is, only that there is some sort of magic that takes place when the acupuncturist puts the needles in the right places. I feel all tingly and soft.

I am and have always been someone who struggles to relax. When getting manicures, the person giving it has complained that their hands get sore because I didn’t relax my hands. I never fall asleep during massages. I struggle just to sit still and have a peaceful afternoon. When the magical acupuncture pins are in place though, I have fallen asleep.

I know many people are concerned that it will be uncomfortable, but it is a quick poke when the pins go in, not unlike a mosquito bite. If you have not tried it and have been curious about it, I would strongly encourage you to give it a shot. It makes me feel fabulous!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you lifetime of finding the perfect modalities to help you feel better.

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9 Way to Improve Back Pain

Many people suffer from back pain. For some it is a chronic condition; for others, it is an occasional occurrence after a strenuous day or twisting the wrong way. It can be debilitating and western medicine does not always have the answers. There are many holistic options to treat back pain that are surely worth a shot as an alternative to narcotics, living with pain, or considering surgery. Here are some of my favorites. 

  1. Frankincense essential oil – I love this essential oil for so many things. Rubbing it on the bottom of your feet can provide miraculous relief from chronic back pain. 
  2. Ice – When I first started having back pain I always went to heat. Ice seemed intolerable. Once I tried ice, I knew I would never go back to heat. The problem with heat is that it increases blood flow into and out of the area. This can cause the inflammation in the area to become worse. Ice decreases swelling. It has made such a difference for me. At the first indication of any back pain I am reaching for the ice pack. Just remember not longer than 20 minutes.
  3. Yoga – The stretching and various poses Yoga has to offer can be great for back pain. There are Yoga kriyas or sets that are specifically formulated for back health. They help get the spinal cord moving, can help compress excess fluid out of the disks, and stretch bunched up muscles. Plus the meditative aspects of Yoga can help to provide over all calming, which can relax those tight muscle in the back. 
  4. Massage – Knots and tight muscles can cause a lot of discomfort in the back and the skills of a massage therapist can really work them out and help provide relief from the pain. 
  5. Acupuncture– If you have never tried this, I highly suggest it! I find it so relaxing. I know that sounds crazy but it provides a sense of calm I do not get from other modalities. The needles help increase circulation and chi to the areas of pain. I am not an acupuncturist but I am sure someone with the qualification could explain this better than I can. I know it works for my back pain. 
  6. Chiropractic – There are many different times of chiropractors out there. If you chose to seek this treatment, do your homework and ask questions. One type of Chiropractor may not be right for you while another may be very beneficial. Some Chiropractors use a tool called an “activator” while others uses their bodies to adjust yours and still others have tables that help to make the adjustments. There are also Chiropractors who work more energetically and with your breath. 
  7. Mantras – Louis L Hay felt that our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves cause the illness in our body. In her book, Heal Your Body A-Z, she has mantras for upper, middle, or lower back pain. This is another thing I have done to find my bodies own ability to heal itself. It is something you can try that won’t break the bank and puts the trust in your own body to heal itself. “I trust in the process of life. All I need is taken care of. I am safe.” is her mantra for lower back pain. For other types of back pain, check out her book. 
  8. Strengthen your core – There are lots of ways to do this. Crunches is one that we hear about a lot but there are many resources or personnel trainers out there who could help you with this. A stronger core means there are more muscle to help your back hold you up. 
  9. Turmeric– It helps reduce inflammation.  When I was doing my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training it was strenuous, with back to back days of full day yoga instruction. One blessed yogi would bring us golden milk to help our sore bodies. Golden milk is almond milk, Turmeric, and Honey. The anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric helped us get through the growing we were doing physically, while our mind and spirits continued to be enhanced but the yoga. 

I hope you are able to give some of these a try. I hope that they are beneficial to you. If you have other tips for people suffering from back pain please share. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a day filled with flexibility and ease.

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8 Natural Cures for Headaches

Nothing can disrupt a good day quite like a headache. It makes it hard to concentrate and hard to get tasks finished. Reading things or even viewing programs can be painful. All you want to do is hide in the dark. When Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen just won’t do, either because they don’t work or you want a more natural alternative, what can you do? Here are some ideas of things you can try.

 1. Meditation – some nice deep breathing in a dimly lit room with your eyes closed. This helps to relieve stress and calm your headache.
2. Essential Oils – Frankincense and Lavender are two great oils that help many different things. Peppermint is also especially powerful for headaches. It is best to put it on the back of your neck or your wrists. Keep the oils away from your eyes. Especially the peppermint.
3. Massage – There is nothing quite like having someone rub away the kinks and knots in your neck. Professional massage therapists know just what to do when you have a persistent headache. You can even ask your friends and family to try to rub your neck and loosen some of the stiff muscles.
4. Ice packs – A nice cool pack on your back of your neck or head can help calm spasming muscles. I have a cherry pit pack, I keep it in the freezer. It can also be heated in the microwave for old aches. This item is essential in my arsenal against pain.
5. Reiki – Or any energy healing. Quantum touch, Qigong, Healing touch, are all types of energy healings. These can be powerful in getting rid of a persistent headache. They can be a bit costly. I used to charge $75/hr. Perhaps you can offer to trade with a healer, if this is more than you can afford for a headache remedy. I find that good energy work is totally worth the costs. Maybe someday health insure will cover these services.
6. Caffeine – Are you addicted to caffeine? If you have substantial daily caffeine intake, it may be a sign of withdraws. I would recommend you have a little caffeine to help decrease the discomfort and start to wean yourself off of this addictive substance.
7. Water – A headache can be a sign of dehydration. Make sure you are drinking lots of nice pure water. Did you know that caffeine is a diuretic? It can actually make you more dehydrated when you are drinking caffeinated beverages.
8. Acupuncture – You might think having needles stuck in you is not very relaxing. You would be surprised. I find this one of the most relaxing modalities I have ever had done. It helps remove blocks and restore energy flows. Give it a try and you just might like it.

What other things have you done to help persistent head aches? What is your favorite natural way to combat headaches?