A Pain in the Neck (Both Metaphorically and Literally)

            Before we get into today’s topic, I want to apologize if I am unable to post and/or respond as much as I’d like to this week. We’ve been having internet problems (as in the internet being completely disconnected for unclear and confusing reasons) since Saturday, which hopefully will be all taken care of by the end of this week. Unfortunately, this has greatly decreased my ability for ‘blog time.’  It is frustrating times like dealing with the internet company (which my husband mostly did, Bless him!) that are perfect for reminding ourselves just how fortunate we are and how much we have to be grateful for.  Not to mention that, really, we have so much more compared to our struggling neighbors down the street or around the world.

            Now to the topic at hand!  Sunday evening, my husband and I both noticed that we were carrying a lot of tension in our neck/shoulder areas, and my husband felt the start of a headache coming on (and, yes, I do think some of the blame is on our internet provider, lol).  So we gathered some supplies and camped out on the couch to watch a movie.  Neither of us grabbed a bottle of pills.  Instead, we made sure to heat up our microwavable bean packs (we each have our own long one and share another specifically designed for neck and shoulders), checked that both our neck and foot massagers were plugged in and nearby (yes, we’re spoiled: most of these items were gifts!), and had the massage oil within reach.

            While we watched the movie, we took turns massing each other’s tense shoulders and necks.  When our hands became tired, we either used the heat packs to ease our muscles or one of the massage machines to work the tension out.  This process helped us both a lot.  Unfortunately, I awoke in the middle of the night to pain that had returned full-force.  Since I wanted to get a good night’s sleep for work the next day, I took some low-dose pain medicine, and then used the heat pack and shoulder massager for about 40 minutes before returning to bed.

            The main point I want to make is this: medication should not be our first line of defense against our pain.  Obviously, some people suffer from chronic conditions and may have to rely on drugs regularly as part of their management.  And I am in no way judging others for using medications.  There are times (like at work or in the middle of the night) when I rely on medicine if my pain is too distracting for the current task.  It’s just that our society relies on medicine so much, often without considering other possibilities.  So here are my ideas of what we can do to help manage our pain before reaching for the pills.

  1. Listen to your body.  In our busy lives, it is easy to ignore what our body is telling us until it has to shout so loud that we have no choice but to stop and listen.  But if we can tune in just a bit more and try to understand the subtle cues, perhaps we will have the chance to deal with less pain as opposed to whatever else is on its way.  This all about being as proactive as we can regarding our bodies.
  2. Have natural alternatives on hand.  When you’re in pain, you want relief as soon as possible.  If all you have in your house is typical pain medication, than that is what you are going to use.  Instead, when you’re not in pain, think ahead to what you need.  Maybe that means ordering the right essential oils, asking for a neck massager for the next holiday when you’ll be receiving gifts, or even researching natural remedies for your most common ailments.
  3. Rest and hydrate.  This may seem overly simple, but when we’re in pain, we need to provide our body with the tools it needs to deal with whatever is going on inside.  Allowing ourselves to pause, taking deeper breaths, and consuming enough water are all ways we can work with our body to promote its healing.

What are some of your favorite natural methods for fighting pain?  

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5 thoughts on “A Pain in the Neck (Both Metaphorically and Literally)

  1. I LOVE it that you and your husband both do all those things when feeling stressed. I still have OTC (over the counter) medicines but I really need to throw them away (I think they are all expired by now). Starting in 2012 I have been using doTERRA essential oils only to treat my family. Everything you said about listening to your body is so true. If you can’t hear your body then you don’t know what it really needs. Sleep is very important and I do understand trying to get enough of it. Your diet has a large part to play in how your body handles and deals with stress. Over the past year I have taught my kids to listen to their bodies and we work on verbalizing the different feelings we have. Now it is so much easier to treat and promote wellness in my family. Something to keep in mind too when deal with pain and stress, think about the eternal value of the problem/situation. Ask yourself “Will this matter once I am gone?” if the answer is “No” then just let it go.

    Thanks for the tips Shal. On a side note dealing with internet providers is always a hassle, just breath and smile.

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    • Thanks! I love how you’re teaching your kids to listen to their bodies and be able to verbalize that – what a cool concept : ) I keep hearing more and more postive things about using essential oils and can’t wait for us to start trying them!

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  2. brandangelak says:

    Sorry about your internet issues. We’ve been having on and off issues with our’s, too, so I know your frustration!

    I need to try a bean pack! I used to have one made out of rice, but it disappeared when we moved several years ago, and I kind of forgot about it. I’ll put it on my to-make list. 🙂

    I am guilty of not drinking nearly enough water…something I need to work on. I’m sure that would help me with a log of things, headaches being one of them. Not reaching for the OTCs was a hard habit to break. Thankfully, we’ve switched over to essential oils almost full time now, and that has been so great! I love having my PastTense roll-on available for tension headaches and a little peppermint for my allergy aches. It’s great what we can do with just nature’s medicine!

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting!! My bean pack has helped me more times than I can count – I definitely recommend having one (typically, it gets rid of my headaches all by itself). I used to barely drink any water at all…having a filled water bottle with me really helped me to drink more, especially when I’m at my desk at work. And essential oils KEEP coming up, lol – excited to try some soon : )

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      • Make sure you do your research on essential oils. They are not all made the same. I have put a page on my blog about doTERRA, but you have to find the one that best fits you. The key is make sure they are 100% pure oil. Make sure the company is not adding “filler” oils. I just love doTERRA oils and the company. GOOD LUCK!

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