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— May 1, 2019

Pain

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Pain

Sniff Out Sweet Relief

Aromatherapy’s delicate botanical scents can help ease aching joints. Use wintergreen to cool off inflammation, either clove or cinnamon to provide a warming reprieve in damp, drafty weather and rose to lift a pain-weary spirit. Essential oils can be dispersed through a room diffuser, but are even more effective against arthritis when blended into massage oil, added to bathwater or used directly in a hot compress. Ahh!

Deal with Depression

It’s hard to keep your spirits up in the face of chronic pain. “As it gets harder and harder to cope, as the pain limits your participation in pleasurable activities, mood-related problems such as depression, anxiety and anger can set in,” says Michael Lewandowski, PhD, author of The Chronic Pain Care Workbook (New Harbinger), who adds that up to 65% of people in chronic pain are or will become depressed. If you think you may be one of them, try taking a 27-item questionnaire called My Mood Monitor (M-3) at www.mymoodmonitor.com. A number of nutrients have been found helpful for depression, including vitamins B and D; omega-3 fatty acids; the minerals calcium, chromium, iodine, iron and magnesium; the amino acid tryptophan, available as milk protein concentrate; a substance called SAM-e; and the herb St. John’s wort. (Consult a healthcare practitioner if you are currently taking prescription medications, including antidepressants.)

Go Deeper Into Massage

A surface rubdown may feel nice, but it won’t address the root causes of pain. Medical or orthopedic massage combines standard strokes with deep-tissue bodywork to address underlying issues. The best way to find someone who specializes in this type of work is to ask several physical therapists in your area for a recommendation.

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