One of the most common things that keeps people from getting a good night’s sleep is pain.
Back pain, joint pain, headaches…it’s hard to sleep when your body hurts.
Fortunately, there are some lesser-known, all-natural and effective ways to reduce pain (of any kind) that are also backed by science.
Here are 7 evidence-based ways to reduce your pain.
The human body is a complex system of electrical impulses, and the first two pain-reducing methods rely on that fact.
Being electrically grounded (i.e., directly connected to the earth) has a variety of surprising effects on the body.
In a review of the literature on grounding as a health treatment, researchers concluded that “[g]rounding reduces pain and alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affects various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation.”
You can actually see the inflammation reduction in the thermal imaging here.
One simple way to do this is just to walk outside barefoot every day. But because our busy lives often don’t allow that, there are also a variety of grounding products on the market.
These include grounding mats, grounding shoes (if you prefer not to go barefoot) and grounding sheets–-because one of the best ways to ground yourself is while you’re sleeping. Check out our review of grounding sheet options for further info:
Ok…maybe that’s a little over the top…but you can also use directed electrical impulses to reduce pain.
This is basically the opposite of grounding, but it also works when done properly. Grounding has a general effect on the whole body, whereas TENS devices are more useful when the pain is in a specific area like the knee or back.
Here’s a video from Goodpath’s “Will It Work?” series that gives the details:
Harvard University says that meditation and mindfulness techniques are proven pain relievers. This could accurately be described as “intentionally doing nothing” so it’s very simple to do.
The list of benefits you can get from regular meditation is insanely long, so it’s not just for pain relief. It’s also 100% free, just requires some discipline to do it daily.
Get Your Jam On
Here’s another tip from Harvard University. Research shows that listening to music is an effective way to reduce pain.
Classical music is known to work particularly well, but if that’s not your favorite there’s no downside to trying whatever music you like.
There are a number of supplements that claim to reduce pain, but there’s plenty of research backing the effectiveness of turmeric, which you may already have in the cupboard.
This spice offers another low-cost and in this case, delicious, way to feel better. Here’s another video from Goodpath’s “Will It Work?” series (spoiler: it does) describing how and why this works:
Yoga and Tai Chi are great for you in many ways, but one of those ways is pain control.
There is a large body of research showing that these slow, gentle (but not exactly easy) exercises help people manage all types of pain.
Get a Deep Breath of Fresh Air
Meditation, yoga and Tai Chi all incorporate controlled breathing as part of the practice. But it’s a little-known fact that simply breathing properly is a great way to lessen pain.
Most people take breaths that are too shallow and this has a variety of health consequences. There are plenty of studies on this and–almost unbelievably–whole books written on the topic of how to breathe correctly.
This one was a New York Times Bestseller!
So there you have it, 7 effective ways to relieve pain. Most of these methods are simple and inexpensive to try. You can also stack them and try them all if you’re really motivated!