No matter how much we dislike it and want it to go away, pain is not an enemy. Pain is a form of communication. It is how the body tells us it is having a problem. It is the 911 system that the cells of our body use call to call for help. Pain is also the teacher that motivates us, if we let it, to not abuse our body and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Modern pain-relieving drugs can be wonderful things. They enable us to undergo necessary surgery or dental work without pain. They can also be of great relief to the person who is suffering because of a serious accident or illness.
Unfortunately, pain-relieving medications allow people to disconnect from taking responsibility for their health. Instead of asking “why” they are getting headaches, upset stomachs, muscle aches or other pain, they simply pop a painkiller. Thus, they never make the connection that their pain is originating from their diet, lifestyle and stress and don’t make the changes necessary to be healthy.
Listening to the Message of Pain
The common headache can teach us a lot about the message of pain. Headaches have causes, and in some cases the cause may be as simple as dehydration. If this is the case, drinking more water can greatly reduce headache pain. A headache can also result from over acidity in the body, poor bowel elimination, or excess stress and tension.
Taking painkillers may relieve today’s headache, but it won’t stop you from having another one tomorrow. When we start “listening” to our pain, we can actually learn to stop getting headaches altogether. Headaches are a normal part of most people’s lives only because the average person has the same bad health habits.
When we keep taking painkillers without changing our health habits, we continue doing small things that damage our health. After twenty years of failing to heed these little warnings that something is wrong, we get a bigger “wake up call” in the form of a heart attack, cancer, diabetes or some other serious illness and wonder, “How could this happen to me?"
Besides, painkillers are actually toxic drugs. Sure, they’re okay for occasional relief of pain, but when used frequently they can damage the liver, kidneys, nerves, and other organs. They can even increase the risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
In this article, we explore some of the underlying causes of pain and what we can do to permanently correct them. We also look at some natural alternatives to pain-relieving drugs that have fewer side effects and may even help to correct these problems long term.
Identifying the Causes of Pain
Sometimes the reason why we’re hurting is obvious, as when we get bumped, bruised, scraped or cut. At other times, the cause of our pain is difficult to identify. This doesn’t mean that a cause does not exist; it just means that we aren’t perceiving or understanding what’s ailing our body.
Chemical medicine has capitalized on this lack of awareness and conditioned us to reach for synthetic painkillers the minute we feel pain. The problem with aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other painkillers is that they merely numb us to the sensation of pain, rather than relieving the cause of our pain. Going back to the headache example, what if your headaches are being caused by stress or a hormone imbalance? What if they are being caused by chronic inflammation? If you don’t investigate these possibilities, you may never find lasting relief—and you may unwittingly exacerbate the problem.
There’s no question that pain-relieving medications are valuable at times, but it’s also important to probe more deeply into what might be harming your body and then correct it, especially when the pain is persistent and recurring.
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