Adventures in natural pain relief

Update 2017: This is something I put together some years ago. The basic info is still helpful though I do a mostly different collection of things these days and it changes daily. Learning to live with less pain is also simply a process of learning to live well and that means responding to the needs of the body in the moment. I share the info on this page so that folks can collect ideas and do more research for themselves. We’re all different and no protocol need be copied in it’s entirety ever for that reason. What I do changes daily.

I’m sharing some info on natural pain relief I shared with a withdrawal board. I’m editing it a bit but it’s basically my posts from the board strung together into this post.

I’ve had a long-term problem with chronic and acute pain since withdrawal withdrawal from several psychiatric drugs This pain is often referred to as fibromyalgia in pain circles but I have found that to be misleading. Though, it’s likely fibromyalgia and the pain of withdrawal are very similar indeed.

I’ve had a huge amount of pain relief in the last 3 weeks or so. I do many things that help my foundational well-being so I don’t believe this last bit is the only thing that’s helping me, but this last bit added to the rest of my protocol certainly nailed it for me.

I’m using proteolytic enzymes and lots of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements… (2018 – enzymes got to be too much for me. I get them naturally from foods now. Papaya in particular…i eat the seeds too)

The foods and supplements are turmeric, tart cherry ginger and cinnamon, (cayenne is good too if you can do nightshades, I can’t)  — 2018 – no supplements anymore…when I eat or use these items I use real whole food now

I take the enzymes on an empty stomach and at the beginning of this period in which I got great pain relief I took them every few hours until the pain mellowed…now I take them about 3 times a day…I take the tart cherry supplement a few times a day, the turmeric three times a day and then I eat turmeric, ginger and other anti-inflammatory foods as much as possible in my diet. My entire diet, among other things, is also anti-inflammatory.

The anti-inflammatory foods/spices I buy as food and spice and use them liberally in my cooking and tea etc. But I also get a turmeric supplement with something that helps it absorb (turmeric on its own doesn’t absorb well by most accounts)…and the tart cherry is a supplement too and I take it several times a day. I also get a tincture of ginger rootand squirt it in water and tea for ease of preparation as needed…

I also love getting big things of fresh ginger root and simmer bits for tea and also cook with it. The left-over ginger from tea that I make I munch on as a snack or I toss into cooking as well. It mellows out and tastes good.

The reason this came to be was by accident. A bad one actually. I was motivated to treat a severe burn I got…the pain was unimaginable.  When I went to urgent care they wanted to give me opiates, but I don’t tolerate them and I wanted to avoid taking NSAIDS too as they have a long list of problems including upsetting the gut.

I managed the truly severe 2nd degree burn pain by stepping up my intake of these supplements and foods. The outcome ended up being that it helped ALL of my acute chronic pain.  So now I’m continuing it for my whole body…grateful  I burned my hand! But my god, was that pain insane. My entire hand and then up my arm was a massive blister and I didn’t even know that there was a special hell for burns…not really. I was amazed and saddened at the thought of people who burn much larger parts of their bodies. It’s just the ugliest pain I’ve ever experienced and I’m no stranger to pain.

In any case, my hand has healed nicely. I used raw honey to heal that up. It worked far better than the anti-bacterial goop the urgent care clinic gave me. And we found clinical trials that establish that raw honey is, indeed, superior for healing severe burns. See: A comparative study to evaluate the effect of honey dressing and silver sulfadiazene dressing on wound healing in burn patients

The moment I started using the honey the healing accelerated in an astonishing way. I continue to be amazed at how little we understand the power of nature! It’s a damn tragedy. The stuff they gave me at urgent care was not only much less effective but since it was a cream it was also loaded with toxins that should not be put on skin. 

Okay, woops, that was a bit of a digression from the topic at hand, but not completely I guess.

So, back to the topic of pain relief. I once did a post on tart cherry including a report of a study…just a bit more info on that here: Tart cherry for pain (in my case the pain of psychiatric drug withdrawal)

And I did another post on coping strategies for pain…some of which are still part of my daily protocol…

so these may be helpful too: coping strategies for pain and this is an info page on what sort of pain people who’ve gone through withdrawal often have: Dyesthesias: abnormal pain from psych drug withdrawal (and info about other sorts of withdrawal pains too)

It’s important to note that pain is very complex, involving body and mind intricately…so solving it tends to be different for everyone.These things that have helped me out may or may not help you out. Or you may find that some do and some don’t. I consider my diet and my yoga and meditation practices as part of the protocol too. Trauma can complicate pain too: Trauma is often held in the body and experienced as chronic pain

All these things together have helped me immensely. It’s also taken me years to find the combination and there is still room for tweaking.

I encourage you to get as many anti-inflammatory REAL WHOLE foods in your diet which are in general far preferable to supplements. (2018 – that’s all I use now is foods and herbs which I buy as whole – sometimes dried- plants)

I do think these particular supplements I’ve added are extra potent as well as being whole food based. In other words they’re made from whole foods and are not synthetic.

The proteolytic enzymes are just as important in my combination as well. (2018 no longer use them)

This is something a close friend of mine who is a chiropractor sent me in an email….I was asking her how to avoid sensitivities as I get allergic to everything these days.

So when I recommend patients do long-term use of proteolytic enzymes for any purpose like fibrosis, inflammation, pain or virus, I have them switch to a different enzyme source with the completion of each bottle. For example, I will have them start with a bottle of Multizyme made with defatted fig and almond (2 caps, three times per day, with water, away from food), and when done with that switch to ones made from bromelain and papayain (I forget the one we carry), then when done with that with to one made with serrapepatase (we carry Serramend from Health Concerns). We do carry Omega-Zyme from Garden of Life with is a spectrum enzyme product that has the proteolytics in it too. This rotation will avoid the issue where someone makes themselves allergic from overexposure to a food.


I’ve taken OmegaZyme for years and I’ve added the other two to do rotations…  (all of these are over-kill in my experience at this point — this changed for me)

Update: I no longer use any enzymes. I get them in my food. High dose supplementation of the sort mentioned above, however, definitely helped me a lot. Off and on. I didn’t tolerate them quite often…and used them when it made sense. That’s true of everything on this page. Never did I ever use anything all the time.

I still have discomforts of various sorts and some of the sensations remain rather severe, but the acute pain is pretty much cleared up.

Update: Another thing that has helped pain not mentioned in that post are essential oils. I find a that a combination of Idaho Blue Spruce, Pine and Thyme is incredibly helpful for pain. They’re all anti-inflammatories. I put them in a diffuser for an hour at a time. I will update that post now. note: People in withdrawal with acute sensitivities may find these triggering and should use caution when introducing oils. It’s important to purchase high quality pure plant oils. Many cheaper oils may have synthetic ingredients. But even the pure oils can be problematic for those with acute sensitivities.

Update 2017: Lately even more helpful for pain has been copaiba oil (used topically with a carrier oil) It’s very potent and some folks will be sensitive to it for sure. It really helps now, however, 8 years out.

EPSOM SALT BATHS…always help. Always. Even if just a bit, they help.

for more info on coping with pain and illness: Tool box for coping with psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes 

I also have a section at the top of the page to support those with Chronic Illness. Check that drop-down menu too or click here.

And check out IT GETS BETTER too

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