Most of us have heard that omega-3 fish oils are healthy, but not everyone knows why. In addition to supporting the function of the Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord), these oils have a natural anti-inflammatory effect in the body, thus leading to dramatic reductions in pain. In a 2005 study of 250 patients with chronic pain, 88% showed significant improvement without any side-effects. 59% of the patients were able to completely stop their prescription or over-the-counter pain medications.
We are also aware of the anti-aging benefits of antioxidants, but these substances also contain powerful anti-inflammatory capabilities. Research supports use of the herbs boswellia, turmeric, resveratrol, and ginger for inflammation control and pain relief. These substances are commonly available as supplements in any quality nutrition store.
Another method of natural pain relief that is gaining national recognition is Upper Cervical Care. The health of our brain relies primarily on sensory input from the joints of the body, particularly our spine. This input is constantly telling our brain where we are in space, via mechanoreceptive nerve fibers. When there is a misalignment in the neck, abnormal sensory input fires up to the brain, which can negatively affect brain function. In a 2010 study, cervical (neck) adjustments were shown to improve both somatosensory input to the brain and functional motor tasks. In other words, when the spinal alignment is restored, not only does this positively affect information coming into the brain, but going out as well. Additionally, the authors conclude “These findings may help to clarify the mechanisms responsible for the effective relief of pain…after spinal (adjustment).” This mechanism refers to the Melzack & Wall Gate Theory of Pain, in which proper movement and sensory input into the brain will effectively ‘open’ the gate, thus inhibiting the sensation of pain. When this sensory input is out of balance, or abnormal, the sensory gate will be closed and the brain will perceive these nociceptive (pain) signals from the body.
These findings explain why the combination of Upper Cervical care and proper nutritional support has been incredibly effective for people who suffer from chronic pain.
~ Noah Kaplan, D.C.
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