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Pain Killers: Are They Good Or Bad?


Getting healthy with Dr Vignesh Devraj


In our current lifestyle, we have developed a very interesting relationship with pain. On one hand, we seem to have normalised experiencing constant pain due to a poor lifestyle, and on the other, we fear pain so much that we pop painkillers way more than advisable. We live in a time where the pain is feared and avoided at all costs resulting in a pain-killer addicted society.


The irony here is that the more painkillers we use, the lesser our threshold toward pain. This means, that over time a small pain can feel like a life-threatening sensation.


An Ayurvedic understanding of Pain

In Sanskrit, Pain means Ruk. It is understood as anything that blocks the natural flow of energy. It is not the root of a disease, but a symptom. If you have recurring back pain, neck pain or headaches, it is usually a sign of some other problem. Reaching out to painkillers constantly is only masking the pain, and does nothing to address the root cause.

Why are people experiencing chronic pain?

Common causes of back pain, neck pain and headaches are sitting continuously for long hours, gut health issues, lack of movement and a sedentary lifestyle. In headaches, tight jaws, dehydration and too much mucus retention in the sinus or upper respiratory tract can also be the cause. The root cause for most of the tension and imbalances that occur in our body is connected with unresolved emotional issues and poor stress management skills. Getting help and resolving this can greatly improve your overall health and aid the recovery process better.

If you are constantly taking painkillers, you first need to take a step back and understand what the purpose of pain is. Pain is the way your body is communicating that you need to slow down or change something immediately. When we stop receiving the message our body is communicating, it keeps innovating new ways to get your attention which will be louder than the original pain. Next time you experience pain consistently, take a step back and do everything in your capacity to identify and address the root cause instead of killing the messenger with painkillers.


When should we use painkillers?

If you are experiencing intolerable pain that makes your daily life dysfunctional, painkillers can be a wonderful crutch to reduce your symptoms while you work on the root cause.


Ayurvedic therapies that can help with pain and inflammation

Kizhi - “Kizhi” means “pouch”. It is filled with medicinal powders or other ingredients according to the requirement. Gently punching the body with a kizhi disturbs and breaks the stored and hardened inflammation and swelling. It is highly effective for treating inflammatory pain and stiffness.


Dry cupping - This is a very effective therapy for relieving pain and inflammation. A special glass is used to create pressure in certain points that induces blood circulation and diffuses the tension. This also helps with diffusing the trigger points that hold a lot of tension.


Bio

Dr Vignesh Devraj is a fourth-generation Ayurvedic healer. He is the founder and chief physician of Sitaram Beach Retreat, Kerala – a space for authentic healing and transformation. Sitaram Ayurveda has a 100 year legacy in Ayurvedic practice and healing. He also has a weekly podcast on Ayurvedic wisdom and insights @ Ayurvedic Healing and Beyond. You can connect with him at hello@vigneshdevraj.com