Freedom From

Freedom from Pain

If I could take it all away I would, but since pain is a part of our lives, we should talk about it.  This is something we address every day in the office.  There’s different forms and origins of pain, and as a result we must address it from all angles. After working on people for over a decade I can say that there have seen miracle recoveries in people I thought I couldn’t help, and the very opposite unfortunately.  Why is this?  Why do we have pain and what makes it go away?  Addressing pain holistically involves recognizing the interconnectedness of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By exploring natural treatments, we can find relief that supports overall health without relying solely on pharmaceuticals or invasive procedures.

If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.
-Tamara Kulish

Emotional Pain:  

Emotional pain arises from experiences such as loss, trauma, and stress. It can lead to conditions like depression and anxiety, deeply affecting one’s mental health and overall well-being.  When emotions are involved, it can be very difficult to heal.  It’s not uncommon for me to feel along someone’s spine and ask about their stress level.  Of course, I ask about it, and it’s usually the broken record response of “yes I’m stressed,” or an uncomfortable laugh.  I know it’s awkward, but I press into those times because few people do.  I ask more about what ails the person.  If we can’t fix what’s going on upstairs in the brain, I can’t fix the thing that controls the body.  Our brain controls pretty much everything.  If it’s not well, it’s very hard for the body to be well.  So, I ask.  I keep asking, and I’ll always ask.  Yes, I’m also being nosy for my own entertainment-just kidding, it’s really for YOUR healing that I ask.  Sometimes just saying the words brings about a new understanding and conclusion.  Sometimes it requires more, but if we get the ball rolling towards healing then I’ve done my job.  

Natural Treatments for Emotional Pain

  1. Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help individuals focus on the present moment, reducing stress and emotional suffering. Regular meditation has been shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  2. Talk Therapy: Engaging in conversations with a therapist can help process and heal emotional wounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in changing negative thought patterns and improving emotional health.
  3. Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. Activities like yoga, walking, and swimming can significantly improve emotional well-being.
  4. Art and Music Therapy: Expressing emotions through art or music can be incredibly therapeutic. These creative outlets provide a way to process feelings that might be difficult to articulate otherwise.


The cure for pain is in the pain.

Physical Pain:  

This is, of course, the easiest one for me to talk about.  Being a chiropractor though, it’s the least fun.  Physical pain is easy for us.  At this stage in my career, seeing headaches and lower back pain improve with chiropractic is no longer exciting for me, but for the patient.  The patient is who it is all about.  Seeing the sigh of relief, getting them back to their activities or job, that my friend is what will never get boring.  Pain is interesting though.  It affects us all with so many variations; it is the body’s way of signaling that something is wrong. And it can tell each of us differently.  The common sign of a heart attack is pain in the left arm, but there are 100s if not thousands of people (especially women) who can say they never felt the slightest chest pain or any other heart indicator before experiencing their life-threatening heart attack.  Science only tells us so much as to why this happens.  Answers range from genetics to preexisting conditions- so basically, we don’t know.  Here’s my take on it.  Your body gives you clues, it whispers and then it shouts.  There’s another quote out there by C.S. Lewis about this too.  I watch it all the time.  In kids, they start out with a mild eczema rash, usually brought on by something in their diet.  The doctor says not to worry that they’ll grow out of it.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We don’t grow out of our allergies.  A few years later we reintroduce the problematic food and the kid doesn’t break out.  Win!  Instead, the child starts having digestive issues, headaches, or behavioral problems.  The body whispered that the cells didn’t like something, now it’s speaking.  So, we add an antacid or other medication to tell the body to shut up and take the thing that isn’t poison to anyone else.  Now the body shouts.  Now you spend tons of time and money trying to figure out what the body has been trying to tell you all along.  You come into my office with concerns of inflammation, brain fog, or worse and I tell you to consider cutting something out of your diet, and you say, “it can’t be that simple.”  Maybe not, but it usually is.  

It happens with adults as well.  An occasional backache resolved by an over-the-counter med, turns into several days being laid up on the couch and a couple ER visits.  You go to the chiropractor, maybe add some Physical therapy to your routine and while that can often buy us time, the conversation of surgery inevitably comes up because we never fully fixed the problem.  You remember to do your exercises “most of the time,” you quit seeking the advice of your acupuncturist and personal trainer, and it’s just too expensive to keep going to all these appointments, while you’re still carrying an additional 20 pounds around your midsection.  Pain is interesting.  It’s not fun, and it can be downright scary sometimes.  Are you listening to your body when it whispers?  

Natural Treatments for Physical Pain

    1. Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese practice involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to balance energy flow. Research has shown acupuncture to be effective in reducing various types of pain, including chronic back pain and migraines.
    2. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractors perform spinal adjustments to correct misalignments, improve function, and alleviate pain. This treatment is particularly beneficial for lower back pain and neck pain.
    3. Herbal Remedies: Certain herbs have potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Turmeric, ginger, and willow bark are well-known for their ability to reduce pain and inflammation naturally.
    4. Physical Therapy: Engaging in targeted exercises can strengthen muscles, improve mobility, and decrease pain. Physical therapists tailor programs to individual needs, promoting long-term pain relief.

“Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.”
-Tim Keller

Spiritual Pain:  

I’m not even going to pretend to be an expert on this one.  So according to chat gpt, “Spiritual pain, or existential distress, often involves a deep questioning of one’s purpose, beliefs, and connection to the world. It can be triggered by major life changes, illness, or a loss of faith.”  If you haven’t been here before, you probably will at some point in your life.  I’ve been here twice due to losses.  My youngest sister at the age of 27 lost her cancer battle in 2015.  I never dreamed that my faith would be questioned like it was in the weeks and months that followed. Even after a few years I still questioned God’s intentions.  Then this past November, we had a miscarriage.  I tell women every freaking day in my practice that pregnancy is normal, birth is normal.  I get frustrated with modern medicine taking a normal biological process and surrounding it with measurements, and scans and fear.  Then I found out my baby was gone…at 16 weeks.  Again, I questioned God.  I don’t know what the answer is.  I can’t even say that I’m a good detector of it.  What I can say is that I’ve been there, and it sucks.  I’ve found that sitting with it, allowing myself to second guess, and get mad at my creator helped me go through it.  I’m not on the other side yet, I may never be.  There will always be a couple holes in my heart from these losses.  Clinging to the joys that do I have though, gets me through.  Practicing gratitude and enjoying the blessings I do have make it bearable.  Again, no expert here so from the trusted internet here’s some natural therapies to help:    

  1. Spiritual Counseling: Speaking with a spiritual advisor or counselor can help navigate existential questions and find meaning in difficult times.
  2. Nature Therapy: Spending time in nature can be profoundly healing. Practices like forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) promote a sense of peace and connectedness with the natural world.
  3. Journaling: Writing down thoughts and feelings can provide clarity and help process spiritual pain. Reflective journaling can lead to insights and a deeper understanding of oneself.
  4. Mind-Body Practices: Practices like yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong integrate physical movement with mindfulness and breathwork, fostering spiritual well-being.

Pain, in all its forms, is a complex and multifaceted experience. By embracing natural treatment options, we can address the root causes and promote holistic healing. Whether through acupuncture, meditation, nature therapy, or nutritional changes, there are numerous ways to manage pain and enhance our overall quality of life. Remember, the journey to wellness is personal and ongoing, and exploring different approaches can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.


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