Natural pain relief techniques are more than superficial massage sessions. Practitioners offering natural pain relief map out pressure points, common areas of fluid build-up, and energy bottlenecks. They don't impose treatment. Rather, natural pain relief experts stimulate the body to heal itself.
In March 2020, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report saying one in five Australians 45 years and older experience chronic pain. With that much long-term affliction going around, it would be good to know the many options for managing or eliminating pain.
Below, check out a short list of the most popular natural pain relief techniques in Australia (they're not that weird).
The philosophy behind this ancient Chinese practice involves balance. Traditional acupuncturists say that the human body is made up of dark (yin) and light (yang) forces. When there's an imbalance of the yin and yang, the life force (Qi) flowing through the body is blocked. That's when pain and disease come in. Acupuncture helps Qi flow freely again.
How exactly? An acupuncturist inserts several small metal single-use needles into the skin at specific points. These points correspond to different areas in the body afflicted with ailments such as arthritis and migraine. For example, inserting a needle into the pad of the thumb eases abdominal pain. A needle below the knee can ease fatigue.
Dig this: there are 361 acupuncture points throughout the body!
Just like acupuncture, kinesiology's aim is to restore balance in your body by letting Qi flow freely. But instead of using needles, kinesiology goes by way of body movement. By observing how a body moves, a kinesiology practitioner can find out the source of an ailment (which would also be where Qi is being blocked).
There are several techniques practitioners use to map out body movement. There's acupressure, which mimic the mapping pattern of acupuncture. Then there's lymphatic massage, which uses light pressure and steady strokes to increase the flow of lymphatic fluid. (This fluid transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.) Finally, there's hypertonic muscle release—that's serious-speak for massaging tight muscles.
Kinesiology was first developed in the US in the 1880s as one of the fields of study in physical education. Almost a century later, the application of kinesiology had begun to evolve.
Chiropractor Dr. Kenso Kase developed the Kinesio Taping Method so his patients could continue to heal after they left his clinic in Tokyo. This method used Kinesio tape (or KT). It's an elastic athletic tape that mimics some of the functions of kinesiology by enhancing the signals going to the brain and improving blood and lymphatic flow.
The use of KT slowly spread through athletic circles because of its efficiency in reducing pain, easing inflammation, and reinforcing muscles. By the end of the 1980s, the All Japan National Volleyball Team had picked up KT for its players. By the 1990s, seven US Mayor League baseball teams were using KT. Today, KT is just as popular among professional athletes globally. You've probably seen it in action, those colourful strips plastered on athletes' shoulders or thighs.
This method uses a small handheld electronic device (a SCENAR). It kind of looks like a taser. SCENAR stands for Self-Controlled Energo-Neuro Adaptive Regulator. It's meant to stimulate the body's natural defences against pain. Basically, just like kinesiology and acupunture, this therapy exists to restore balance in the body.
In a nutshell, SCENAR therapy works through the exchange of electrical impulses and signals between SCENAR and the brain. With each exchange, SCENAR adjusts its impulse response. And it only stops once the signals reach an equilibrium.
While the exchange is happening, the body's neuropeptides are stimulated, too. (Neuropeptides are small proteins that help the body naturally heal itself.)
If you take a careful look at these pain relief techniques, you'll see one common goal: balance is key to a pain-free life. Yoda was right.
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