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The Problem with pain

Getting knocked on the knee with a baseball is one thing, but chronic pain is often the result of inflammation, a more serious consideration. We spoke with Whimsy Anderson, ND, at our Brentwood store, about how to handle the pain in your life.

"In cases of chronic pain it's good to do some research on anti-inflammatory diets," says Whimsy, who adds that any foods you may be sensitive or allergic to can cause disruptions in serotonin, which is made in the gut. Serotonin helps keep the vasculature from becoming inflamed, and therefore keeps nerves from being tightened and causing pain. That's why it's important to understand your food sensitivities and to reduce the amount of naturally inflammatory foods in your diet.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, such as joint pain or migraines, Whimsy recommends three separate supplements. "Turmeric is getting a lot of attention right now because it's good for inflammation, heart health and has some anti-cancer properties," says Whimsy. And bromelain, an enzyme that comes from pineapples, should be added to spark a synergistic relationship with turmeric, boosting its bioavailability.

Finally, Whimsy thinks everyone should be taking a fish oil like New Chapter's Wholemega. "It's cold pressed, meaning it's the least processed and, in my opinion, the most bioavailable," she says. "If you have joint pain, I'd even recommend 3 grams a day."

For those with consistent vascular headaches (such as migraines), Whimsy recommends Gaia Herbs Infla-Profen. Taken regularly, this multi-herb formula, which includes turmeric, can help reduce the incidence of chronic headaches.

Acute pain should be treated a little bit differently. So what happens when you do sprain that ankle,  Whimsy recommends Traumeel, a homeopathic remedy from Heel that comes in both an ointment and a cream. She also recommends Boiron's Arnica, available as a cream or in pellets. She suggests massaging a little of Herb Pharm's Trauma Oil, formulated with calendula, arnica and St. John's Wort, into the site of the pain.

Finally, make sure you're icing and heating where appropriate. For acute pain, such as that baseball injury, Whimsy recommends only using ice. "You don't want to add heat to an acute injury because you can then add inflammation," says Whimsy. For more chronic pain, alternate heat, then massage, then cold to once again reduce the inflammation. (Check out our Gal Pal Retro Ice Bags-perfect for both hot and cold therapies).

Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

For more on beating chronic and acute pain, visit a Pharmaca practitioner today.

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