Guest Blogger: Trevor McDonald / https://trevormcdonald.me/
If you go to the doctor for pain, he’s likely to prescribe something. That’s just how our system works. Modern medicine may try to find and fix the root of the issue, but that’s always the case. Either way, prescription painkillers are likely to make an appearance in your treatment protocol.
And anyone who has television can turn on the nightly news for examples of why prescription painkillers are dangerous. Painkiller addiction is common, and it's a problem that's plaguing our nation.
If you’re sure you don’t want to follow that path, you’ll be happy to know that there are other options. We tend to think of pain as something that’s localized. If you break your leg, your leg is the problem, right?
Somewhat surprisingly, the answer isn’t that simple. Your leg is the root of the problem, for sure, but there are other things involved.
Your perception of pain has nothing to do with your leg.
Even opioid painkillers don’t work on the source of pain. They work by blocking pain signals in the brain. Short-term pain relief must focus on the brain while long-term relief typically must focus on the pain source.
Here’s how to adopt a holistic approach to pain management.
Learn how to meditate
Do you know how some lucky people just seem to have a higher tolerance to pain? We usually chalk it up to genetics and nothing more. And while genetics may play a role, there’s most definitely more.
A Frontiers in Human Neuroscience study suggests that mindfulness training, including meditation, can change a person’s subjective experience of pain.
When it comes to pain management, perception is everything. You cannot stop a bee from stinging you, but you apparently can alter the way you perceive the pain. Of course, we’re not talking about turning pain into pleasure like water to wine, but meditation may help alleviate the literal and figurative sting.
Researchers found that participants in the pain study showed significantly less pain after meditation, but they also showed an increase in brain activity in the area responsible for self-awareness and perception.
Find natural remedies to alleviate pain
Through meditation, you may be able to tolerate pain better, but it may not be enough when you're battling an extreme case. If you find yourself in a situation like this, experiment with various natural remedies to alleviate pain.
If you’re in a state where medical marijuana is legal, this may be an option. Research has shown that marijuana may be effective at treating some types of pain. Other natural remedies include turmeric, devil’s claw, capsicum, comfrey oil and glucosamine (specifically for joint pain).
Treat the source of your pain
Perception and mediation are great stop-gap solutions to help live your life while experiencing pain, but they will do nothing to help alleviate your pain in the long run. To accomplish lasting pain relief, you must find and address the root cause of the problem. This will be different for different people, but your doctor should be able to help you determine and address pain at the source.
With a holistic approach to pain management, you can get back to a state of good health without having to rely on dangerous prescription medications.
Labor Day marks the end of the vacation season. For many, it is the last hurrah before heading back to school or returning to work. Over the last decade I have had to adjust to what this means for a Tahoe business owner. My schedule is completely different from what it was when I lived the “typical life” of going to school and working for someone else.
Moving to Tahoe and opening my own business has forced me to make significant changes to my lifestyle. Some of these changes are really great, some are a bit awkward, but all afford me the opportunity to enjoy everything the basin has to offer and more.
Summer is Great, Autumn is Better
I am originally from New England. The Autumn there is unbeatable. I love the smell of Fall flowers and the sound of the leaves as they crunch under your feet while you walk. I miss those Summers that last late into September and early October. What I don’t miss is humidity and mosquitos. This is where my love for Tahoe began.
I moved here in 2008. As we drove up Kingsbury Grade one early August evening towing all of our belongs upward to our new home we could smell the juniper and pine waft through the air. The crisp evening temperatures and warmth of the day made it easy to want to play outside all day and cozy up for a peaceful rest all night. I have fallen in love with this season that slowly drifts from Summer to Winter with surprising moments of Autumn in-between. I have decided to call it "Sumtumn." Although apple trees are far and few, the changing of the Aspen and slow trickle of the local creeks signals the shift from the hot Summer days and warm evenings to cooler mornings and chilly nights.
This season is perfect for a morning paddle, mid-day hike, afternoon of swimming and an evening around the fire. Tomorrow, how about a morning of coffee, mid-morning tee-time, afternoon bike ride and cocktails fireside? I might even spend some time before bed in the hot tub to recover.
Peace, Ease and Privacy
Since moving to Tahoe I have made it a priority to make the time, each day, to go to the beach. Whether I am out guiding a Paddle Yoga or Beach Yoga Class, or simply spending some time out on the sand, I have found that the time I spend close to the water always helps me to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
During the time of year between Labor Day and when the snow finally falls, it is as though every beach has been reserved, just for me. I love it when there are hundreds of feet between me and whom ever else has discovered this secret out on the sand. Having gotten so used to having this space I sometimes forget, in the middle of Summertime, that not everyone, everywhere, enjoys the same experience on their home beaches.
If you’re planning a week or weekend of restoration or escape, this is the time to visit Lake Tahoe. Book a Private Yoga Practice, a ride with Tahoe Boat Rides, Cruise Tahoe or head out on the Golden Rose. Take a walk, a hike, a bike ride. You will feel as though you have the lake, the beach, the basin to yourself. You can literally get away from it all when you visit Tahoe during Sumtumn.
Taking a More Relaxed Attitude Toward Business
No longer am I responding to ten or fifteen booking requests each day. As soon as the Labor Day weekend ends, so do the many inquires that had been coming in. I take a deep breath and walk away from the computer, for just a few minutes. The best thing is, since I now have the time to breathe and relax as a business owner, I am also able to take a more relaxed approach as a teacher and in my interactions with clients.
Some business owners head out on their vacations. A deserved respite from the non-stop of the Summer Season. Some of us remain here, happy to continue to serve the residents and visitors who value what we do and this unique season in Tahoe. Now that things have quieted down it is worth it to check out some of the smaller, locally owned, businesses in the area. You might happen upon a spot you didn’t know existed or receive special treatment as a result of your patronage during a time when we are all a bit more relaxed.
Take the time to visit Tahoe during this unique time of year. Call it "Sumtumn," "Suall," or "Local's Summer." Whatever you name it, it is a magical time in the basin that all of us can enjoy.