While doctors can meet with patients who suffer from chronic pain and recommend treatments and medication, the patients themselves have the power to minimize their chronic pain if they make a few lifestyle changes. Sometimes, even small shifts in home life can have significant impacts on the amount of pain you experience. We share some of the most effective ways you can change your life to reduce your chronic pain here.
Use the Power of Water
There are three changes you can make with water to reduce your chronic pain: drink more of it, spend more time soaking it in, and listen to it. If you drink enough water to achieve healthy levels of hydration, you will relieve your headaches, joint pain, and stiffness. Other drinks like soda, coffee, tea, and alcohol promote fluid loss, just as a diet rich in protein and fat does. If you are taking joint supplements like glycosaminoglycans, you need to be drinking water to optimize their effectiveness.
As for spending more time in water, soaking in warm water relieves muscle pain and muscle spasms and alleviates arthritis pain. You may soak in a bathtub, whirlpool tub, warm water pool, or hot tub as part of your water therapy. The trick is to make the water warm but not too hot because you don’t want to put your nervous system into overdrive and make it more difficult for you to get to sleep after an evening soak. Some people with chronic pain add essential oils to the water to improve its relaxation and pain relieving benefits. Still others extend the benefits of the water therapy by stretching and exercising immediately after the soak when their muscles are warm.
There is a reason that people enjoy listening to the sounds of falling rain, babbling brooks, and crashing oceans. Studies show that being near water improves people’s well-being and boost their mental health because the sounds of waves and moving water change brain wave patterns and promote relaxation. When you are relaxed, your stress levels decrease and your pain minimizes. Even if you don’t live by the ocean or a stream, you can get the benefits of listening to water by placing a small fountain in your home.
Make Your Home (Or at Least Part of It) Your Sanctuary
While you might like to think that your home is your sanctuary, there are steps you can make to ensure that it really is. Simple changes to your home may help reduce your stress and increase your overall happiness. It’s crucial that your home promotes relaxation if you are going to reduce your chronic pain levels. Fill your home with your favorite colors, open shades and window coverings to allow more natural light to flow in, minimize clutter, and fill your spaces with comfortable furniture, art, and houseplants. Natural décor and soothing colors make your home more relaxing, too.
One of the best ways to make your home a place of relaxation is to dedicate one room to yourself. This room should be free of electronic devices and distractions. It should be bright and cheerful and a personal space full of your favorite items. This space also should invite creativity in the form of drawing, painting, coloring, playing music, knitting, or whatever creative hobby you enjoy and pursue for relaxation and pain relief.
Consider using an essential oil diffuser in the room to promote relaxation. If water therapy works for you, place your fountain in this room. If you love to read, fill your room with comfortable chairs and books. Place a yoga mat in this room to give you space to meditate, stretch, and reduce your pain. This is the room that should make it possible for you to focus on being yourself, relaxing, and minimizing your pain.
Chronic pain sufferers find that making a few lifestyle changes and improving their home life minimizes their pain and makes it more manageable. If you consider the power of water and make at least part of your home your sanctuary, you will be well on your way to less pain.
Ms. Waters is a mother of four boys, and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.