If we were to use metaphors, joint pain would probably be a war, rather than a fist fight. It is long, takes a mental and emotional toll, and it’s unpredictable. The good news is that you can win the war. You may or may not heal your joint pain – but you can learn how to manage it to have a full, rich life.
As you already know, our experience of virtually everything is tied inextricably to our sense of smell. Think of freshly baked bread and you’re transported to home with the delicious, promising taste of a fresh slice of warm buttery bread.
You can use this strong connection to alleviate some of your pain. If you’ve spent time in hospitals for pain management, this will help. Look for fragrances that you enjoy, scents that remind you of good, healthy, loving times. It could be an herb in your kitchen or the smell of baby oil – whatever it is, surround yourself with it like a security blanket.
If it’s an herb or spice, mash it up or pound it and then mix it with some olive oil. Put it in a shallow dish and allow the aroma to rise. The oil will strengthen the scent and help diffuse it. If it’s baby oil that makes you feel good, put a drop of it on a napkin where you usually sit in your living and dining areas, maybe one on your pillow.
Try to find a variety of scents – our noses get educated so fast that after a few days you may not be able to get the same effect. If you have a few on hand, switch them around for the best outcome.
Rice or cherry stone cushions
These are exactly what they sound like. Cherry stones and uncooked rice both absorb and retain heat well. Get a friend or a neighbor to sew you a small cushion cover, about 8 by 8 inches. It has to be cotton as you’ll be using it for a microwaveable heat pack.
If you need something that can mold well around your body, go with the rice filling. If you don’t need something quite as malleable, put those cherry stones to good use. Wash them so that any remnants of the fruit are gone. Dry them out well in the sun, and put them in your cushion.
Microwave your new heat pack for 1 minute. Go minute by minute till it can retain heat for 30-40 minutes. Regulate your oven settings accordingly when you reheat it.
Apply clove oil
In many parts of the world cloves are a common remedy for toothache. You take 3-4 cloves, put them in a wad of cotton and chomp your painful tooth down on the small bundle. Because cloves have a mild anesthetic property, it can work wonders.
You can use that to help with your joint pain. Research a high-grade brand of essential oils and buy the clove. Make sure you have a good carrier oil like virgin coconut or jojoba. Put a drop or two of clove oil in the carrier oil.( Depending on how strong you want it and how much you are making.) Stir it well and apply.
Never apply clove essential oil directly to your skin as it can burn or cause a slightly painful red rash.
A glass of red wine or resveratrol
Apart from your heart health, red wine is also good for inflamed joints. The anti-inflammatory ingredient is called resveratrol and research has shown its effect if consumed in moderate amounts. A glass a day is about right for a woman. A man should be able to comfortably consume 1-2 glasses.
The key is not to overdo it. Too much and you will reverse the benefits and send your body into inflammatory mode. Buy a good bottle of wine – there’s no sense in ruining your gut because of a cheap wine.
Before you add this into your daily diet check to see if it has adverse interactions with any medication or supplement you may be taking.
Chronically-inflamed joints are unpleasant and often difficult to live with. But gone are the days when most of your life would be over because your mobility is so severely limited.
There are many drug-free therapies that you can use for pain and to uplift your mood. Your emotional health is as important to your pain management as your physical wellbeing.
Never stop searching for what works for you. and believe that a full life is well within your reach.