Naturally Pain Free by Letha Hadady, D.Ac.
In Naturally Pain Free: Prevent and Treat Chronic and Acute Pains-Naturally, Hadady, who has a spinal disc injury, writes, “The primary function of pain is communication. . . . This book is a tool to stop suffering.”
Hadady has put together an almost encyclopedic compilation of herbal remedies for chronic and acute pain. Having never read anything like it before, I was grateful for its simple organization and plain-English treatment of an extremely complex subject.
That’s not to say there are no exotic-sounding herbs that I’ve never before heard of; there are. But the book is un-intimidating, with advice that is easy to read and follow.
It is not, however, simply a textbook on Asian remedies written by an acupuncturist; it is a work of art, combining the author’s extensive knowledge of natural herbs with suggestions for the use of other healing techniques like tapping (EFT), meditation, and massage.
Taking a natural approach makes pain a tool for recovery. By recognizing the source of a chronic pain and preventing or eliminating it with foods, herbs, massage, movement, and a healthy outlook, we reinforce wellness.
Section 1, “Pain Prevention and Care,” covers specific pain, such as headache, backache, sciatica, and arthritis, as well as digestion and women’s health issues. It provides information on diet, food sources, and daily schedules for supplements and herbal treatments.
Section 2, “Heal Quickly and Painlessly,” covers healing from home and field injuries, sports injuries, computer injuries, toothaches, and skin issues. It also provides an extensive section on surgery and recovery.
Section 3, “A Pain-Free Lifestyle,” takes on emotional trauma, heart troubles, nerve pain, tonics, and the future of pain medicine. “Herbs are not vitamins: they are catalysts for change,” the author writes.
Improve Your Digestion to Reduce Your Pain
Hadady begins with teas and herbs, as well as encouraging massage, meditation, and physical activity, like walking or dancing, for easing and eliminating pain. She discusses foods that trigger pain and herbs that stop pain. But it’s not just about food, she says:
Our digestive center is also our emotional center. We digest foods, thoughts and feelings or else we suffer pain.
For example, you’ll find natural remedies to reduce or eliminate food-related pain triggers, such as the following:
Letha’s Pain-Free Cleansing Diet — It’s daunting to think about changing your diet forever, but could you do it for just two weeks? By following Letha’s cleansing diet, you’ll begin to learn which foods trigger your pain. You may also experience find improvement in migraines, constipation, certain allergies, and blemishes.
Smoothies/Raw Juice — Do you love raw, cold juice in the morning? If your digestion is already vulnerable, Hadady cautions, drinking that delicious juice may cause you to have headaches by afternoon. She says traditional Chinese doctors call that reaction “rising liver fire,” the result of weak digestion. Instead, she suggests that you start your day with foods that help with digestion, such as warm tea, toast, or hot cereal.
Kick The Coffee Habit — There are some benefits of coffee, such as antioxidants that help prevent cancer, and that mood-brightening effect that many of us depend on to get going in the morning. But, for some of us, coffee can be the source of digestive problems. So here’s an interesting twist on the morning coffee habit: Instead of drinking hot coffee, splash cold coffee on your face! It will wake up your senses, and, surprising to me, at least, research indicates that it may prevent skin cancer.
Use Tea to Soothe Pain — In a culture that relies on java for our main morning drink, teas often get overlooked. But healing teas abound, if you know where to look and what to look for. Try mulberry leaf tea to decrease pain in your muscles and joints, and to reduce acid buildup and inflammation in your digestive tract.
Simple Recipes to Stop Pain — Cleanse your digestive tract, and you may experience less pain, the author suggests. She offers quick and easy recipes made with ingredients you can find in your local grocery store or food co-op. Try Hadady’s recipe for Shirataki Noodles with Hummus and Barley Water, a simple and effective way to cleanse your digestive system.
The Author “Gets It”
As someone who also experiences chronic pain, I was drawn to the subject matter of the book. Hadady not only writes about pain and healing from an academic standpoint, she gets it. She understands both the challenges of the pain and the limitations of medical treatments:
Much of my professional work with natural pain treatments took place over the ten years preceding this book. I learned that pain left untreated takes on a life of its own, reducing activities, enthusiasm, and social contact. Living with chronic pain challenges our perceptions and reflexes so that we accomplish less, live life less fully. We need not accept such barriers. My training in Asian healing modalities opened doors to treatments ranging from traditional herbs and acupuncture to cutting-edge medical procedures using our blood platelets and stem cells. I found that natural pain treatments accomplish much more than any sedative. Sedating pain does not eliminate its origins. It only dulls the senses.
If you, too, live with any kind of chronic pain, have other health concerns, or just want to learn more about Asian herbal treatments and tonics for your good health, Naturally Pain Free is a treasure you won’t want to miss.
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