For most people, short-term pain relief involves taking some type of anti-inflammatory medication–Advil and Motrin being the most popular over-the-counter versions.
These medications were originally designed to be used only once in a while, but many people now rely on them on a daily basis.
Considering the dangers–heavy use increases the probability of stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding and also places enormous stress on the liver and kidneys–I tell people to avoid them because there are much safer and effective alternatives.
Personally, I haven’t taken an over-the-counter or prescription pain reliever in nearly a decade!
Pain is a sign that something is wrong in the body, so the first task is to find out exactly what the problem is and to set about fixing it. To handle the pain in the meantime, there are numerous things you can do.
Far Infrared Heat
Now, I know that when you’re feeling pain, many of you may reach for a heating pad.
It’s a natural response, as we all know heat can soothe and relax tight and painful muscles. But seriously, have you ever experienced true relief with your regular heating pad?
I mean, it warms the area for a while, which can make you feel a little better, but typically, the results don’t last.
That’s because a heating pad doesn’t penetrate very deeply. It warms the skin, but that’s about as far as it goes, and what you need is heat that reaches deep into your muscles.
Unfortunately, regular heat won’t do that, but there is a type of heat that will.
Know that delicious, bone-deep warmth you feel from the sun on a perfect summer day? That feeling comes from the sun’s infrared rays.
These are different types of waves than the ultraviolet ones that can contribute to sunburn.
Infrared rays don’t harm your skin and they make your muscles feel great. You can’t see them, because they have a longer wavelength than visible light, but you can feel them.
Infrared light that is farthest from visible light is called “far infrared,” and it has been used to promote healing for years.
For example, a study of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome found considerable relief from symptoms with daily infrared treatment.
Plus, numerous other studies have found it to help everything from effective fat burning to killing cancer cells.
The reason far infrared heat is so effective at soothing pain, relaxing muscles, improving circulation, and reducing fatigue is its ability to penetrate.
Just like those invisible sunrays that go deep into your body, far infrared heat has been shown in scientific studies to actually sink 2 to 3 inches into muscles and ligaments.
As it goes, it transfers light energy into heat energy, expanding blood vessels, improving circulation, and encouraging the healing process. And if you’ve ever lain out in the sun after a cool swim, you know how good it feels!
There are more benefits to this type of heat.
As blood circulation improves, toxins break down and flush out of the body. Things like uric acid, sodium, metals, and fat-soluble toxins are all moved out of muscles and tissues, releasing the body’s own strength and healing abilities.
Blood pressure comes down, muscle cramps relax, oxygen transport increases, fatigue melts away, and more.
And because the heat goes so deep into the tissues, the effects last for up to six hours, depending on how long you soak in the heat.
So how do you take advantage of this deep penetrating pain reliever?
There are several far infrared devices out there, from a small pad to four-person saunas.
Regular (non-infrared) heating pads use high temperature heat to attempt to deliver heat deep into your muscles, but those near-burning temperatures cause too much pain for most people.
In comparison, far infrared heating pads use moderate-temperature heat at a particular wavelength (the far infrared wavelength) that penetrates deeply into your muscles naturally.