As the ongoing opioid crisis has shown, painkilling drugs can do more harm than good. While drugs are certainly useful in managing extreme cases of chronic pain, many people simply don’t want to become dependent on these narcotics. Thankfully, there are alternatives available. OTHER DRUGS Readily available, non-habit-forming drugs can provide a surprising amount of pain relief. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a combination of over-the-counter products acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) proved just as effective as opioids. Some prescription non-opioids, such as tricyclic antidepressants, have also been used to relieve chronic pain. Ask your doctor about the possibility of these types of alternative drugs. PHYSICAL THERAPY Exercise is often an important part of pain management. If you allow your body’s muscles and joints to weaken, movement will only become more painful. Licensed physical therapists can help you develop ways to stay in shape while minimizing your pain. They may also use techniques like deep muscle massage to more directly address your condition. DON’T WANT OPIOIDS? There Are Alternatives
MEDITATION While the exact medical effects of practices like mindful meditation still need more scientific study, there is some evidence of meditation having an impact on pain. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that “similar brain areas are activated during both mindfulness meditation and pain-modulation techniques mediated by opioid receptors,” suggesting that the activity may have a tangible effect on blocking discomfort. At the very least, reducing the stress and tension caused by injuries can be a great addition to any pain management strategy. Of course, talk to your doctor before seeking any alternatives to prescribed medication. They can help you understand the specific needs of your condition and find the pain management strategy that best fits your needs. If you’ve been relying on opioids and feel like exploring other options, this is a conversation worth having.
How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut
Inspired by NourishedKitchen.com
Cabbage is in season right now, which means it’s the perfect time to try your hand at making sauerkraut. The fermented cabbage requires only two ingredients, keeps for months, and is packed with beneficial probiotics.
• 2 lbs cabbage Ingredients Equipment • Jar • Lid with airlock Instructions
• 4 tsp fine sea salt
• Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a nonreactive material like glass
1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly. 2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year.
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