by Steven Horne, RH(AHG)
In 1982, I was privileged to work with Dr. C. Samuel West at the International Academy of Lymphology. It was Dr. West who first taught me the secrets to relieving pain naturally. One of his favorite sayings was, ďPain is a lack of oxygen at the cellular level.Ē While Iím not sure this is always true, I believe that in most cases pain is caused by a lack of oxygen reaching the tissues.
Usually pain is caused by inflammation, which is the normal response to tissue damage. When inflammation occurs, fluid and protein leave the blood stream and enter the tissue spaces. This slows down the exchange of oxygen and nutrients at the cell level.
With minor injuries, itís possible to literally squeeze or rub the pain away. By grabbing the injured area tightly, or rubbing it lightly, one can move the excess fluid in the tissue spaces and move it into the lymphatic system. If you keep this up until the pain stops, a process that usually takes 5-20 minutes, the pain will be immediately relieved and wonít come back.
This is because normal exchange of oxygen and nutrients at the cell level has been restored. Iíve used these simple techniques many times with great success, as talked about in my Dr. Mom-Dr. Dad course and my Simple Secrets to Pain Relief audio CD.
But one of simplest and most effective secrets to relieving pain is to breathe deeply. The odd thing is that most of us do exactly the opposite when we feel painówe hold our breath or we breathe shallowly. This is a reflex reaction we use to try to numb our sensation of the pain. Unfortunately, it doesnít help. Deep breathing, however, does!
Most books Iíve read on natural pain management stress the deep breathing as a major secret to chronic pain relief. Iíve seen it work for me, and others, on numerous occasions. If you concentrate on breathing very slowly and deeply when you have a headache, neck ache, backache or other type of chronic pain, youíll be amazed at how much it can be eased by 5-15 minutes of deep breathing.
There are at least three reasons why deep breathing works. First, deep breathing floods the body with oxygen, which neutralizes toxins and acid wastes and improves overall tissue function.
Secondly, deep breathing pumps the lymphatics, so it works much like rubbing or holding an injured area. Deep breathing moves fluid out of the tissues and into the lymphatics, resulting in better oxygen and nutrient exchange at the tissue level.
Finally, deep breathing reduces stress and muscle tension. Since stress and muscle tension increase pain, helping to relax the body helps to ease pain. Again, we tend to ďtense upĒ when we feel pain, which actually makes the pain worse, not better.
A number of supplements can help to oxygenate tissues and contribute to the pain relieving effect of deep breathing. For instance, Liquid Chlorophyll is excellent at increasing oxygen uptake in the blood. Iíve used water with Liquid Chlorophyll and a little powdered Vitamin C in it to perk up the energy and ease the pain of a woman in labor. Drinking a glass of chlorophyll water with a little Vitamin C powder in it every hour will probably help with other kinds of chronic pain. In fact, since dehydration also contributes to pain, this practice has a duel-action pain relief effect.
The Chinese Lung Support formula also helps oxygenate the tissues and alkalize the system. Itís another supplement to consider if a person is suffering from dull, chronic pain.