Natural pain-free solutions… Have you tried them?

Pain can be all consuming, completely debilitating, cause anxiety, depression and make the sufferer feel like there is no way out. It is certainly safe to say that we have all experienced pain in our lives, both physical and emotional pain. Whilst each individual has their own pain threshold, it is important to recognise when to get medical help, and that there are so many ways you can help your body become pain free naturally.

In 2003 I had a series of unfortunate accidents. The last one was by far the most challenging to my physical and emotional bodies. It was totally self inflicted, I shouldn’t have been back horse riding again as I was recovering from a head injury, and my broken foot hadn’t healed properly, making my centre of balance totally out. I had a very simple fall whilst jumping my young horse.

As soon as my body hit the ground I knew I had done something serious. The pain felt like a knife had cut through my spine and pelvis. I heard a crunch, and then felt a terrifying numbness. I remember this accident as if I am watching it in a movie theatre, I remember my gorgeous dog crying as they placed me in the ambulance, I remember desperately wanting to tell my then boyfriend’s mum to shut up in the ambulance, she kept telling them I was a reflexologist (I wasn’t) and for some reason this drove me mad!! Also each speed bump we drove over brought so much more pain.
Luckily I can’t remember much after that because my body gave into the pain, my adrenaline ran out and I passed out into a drugged up haze.
I fractured 2 vertebrae in my spine, l1 and l2. My treatment was a back brace and many weeks in bed.

Looking back at this time in my life I can see now how depressed I became whilst my body was trying to heal. I felt totally useless, and I didn’t want to be here anymore. I wanted to leave. I felt like an embarrassing burden on the people around me. My turn around moment was my dog, she had puppies a few weeks before my accident. The day that I would have happily taken too much morphine, I was crying in bed, and had had enough of my own thoughts. She jumped up on my bed and lay beside me. I told her she needed to go and see her own babies but after that day, she would come and lay with me between feeding her puppies.

I learnt so much from this accident, I was one of the lucky ones, I walked away eventually. My back became much stronger than before. I developed a fierce passion for helping people that were suffering in pain, I wanted to also help their emotional well being as this is often forgotten about and yet it’s so vital in the role to become fully recovered. The anxiety, fear, and vulnerability that comes with pain must never be ignored.

Over the years of treating people at the clonmel acupuncture & therapy centre I have had the privilege of helping people get rid of their pain. There is no better feeling than seeing someone return without pain etched on their face, this is replaced by a big smile.

Pain no matter where it is in the body is a signal that something is wrong. This may be temporary, like a strained muscle, but also if pain continues anywhere in the body make sure you contact your general practitioner and get it checked out.

Acupuncture is one modality of pain relief that really can help so many types of pain. When I treat pain I always look at why the pain has appeared in the first place.

In traditional chinese medicine (tcm) pain is mainly caused by qi and blood stagnation. What does this actually mean? Qi is energy, you were born with a certain amount (conceptional qi), your body creates more from the food you eat, and the air you breathe. Qi and blood travel through the meridians in your body, through the veins, muscles and organs. When qi and blood become blocked, and do not flow smoothly through the body, these areas will not get enough nourishment of oxygen rich blood and energy, and therefore this will lead to swelling, stiff, sore muscles, joint pain, headaches, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, chest pain and sore throats. These types of pain generally respond very well to pressure, movement and adequate rest.

I treat pain with a number of techniques, acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, therapeutic massage, acupressure, moxibustion, chinese cupping, infrared mineral lamps, essential oils applied locally. Acupuncture is generally the principal treatment with the other therapies combined as it is believed to be the more effective solution for long term pain-relief.

What you can do at home to help live a pain free life:

1. Treat the pain as early as possible as soon as you sense it, get some help. Use the acupressure points below at home.

2. If your pain has been over a long period of time, get medical attention. An x-ray, mri or ct scan will generally be carried out. It is much easier to treat someone when we know exactly what we are dealing with. Always get checked out. Using anti-inflammatory drugs over a long period of time is best avoided if at all possible.

3. Exercise within your comfort zone. This helps regulate qi and blood within the body, this can be very beneficial and also help sleep.

4. Check your posture. Years of poor posture can lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. Remind yourself when you are driving, or sitting to drop your shoulders, lift up your head. So many teenagers are now experiencing severe neck and shoulder problems from continually looking down at their phones.

5. Try acupressure at home

Hegu  (Li4) is my go to point to help most pain. In many studies this point seems to really get to the point of pain, fast. It is safe, easy to locate and after 10 breaths whilst applying pressure to Hegu this can help to bring pain relief to most parts of the body. It appears to help release endorphins rapidly in the body, and help to reduce the feeling of pain.

Not to be used during pregnancy, however this is a safe point for all ages and all pain types. Toothache, headaches, migraines, back, neck and shoulder pain, period cramps, stomach pain all can be eased by this miracle point.

​Trust your body and treat yourself.

Pericardium 6  (PC 6) helps relieve stomach aches and nausea. Great to use at night to aid sleep when you are suffering with pain. This point works wonders for anxiety and stress that can cause serious muscular pain in the neck and shoulders.

Liver 3 (Liv 3) helps relieve all types of body pain. It helps relax tendons and muscular spasm. Great to use with both points above to bring the body back into balance fast. Use this point with Hegu and Pc 6 if you suffer with period pains (start early in the cycle), Headaches, and migraines. 

Make sure you press until you feel the tender point. Use your breath and release on the out breath. Do this each morning for at least 4 days.

Visit my youtube channel for more points. Katie Murphy Clonmel Acupuncture.

  1. Positive Affirmations 




Telling your subconscious mind that it no longer feels pain is a proactive method of becoming pain free. When someone is in constant pain, it can be very hard to imagine life without it. Our bodies become so used to feeling this way that it can take time to reprogram our way of thinking so we can live a pain free life again. 

When someone has put up with a pain in their body the short term emotional impact is often a feeling of agitation, tiredness, and anxiety. Pain is always shown in the face, it can literally add 10 years over night. How Acupuncture can help with the emotional impact of  pain can be very profound. Working on the Liver Channel can quickly take away the feeling of agitation and frustration. Using Acu-points along the Kidney Channel help with the feelings of anxiety and fear. Acupuncture doesn’t just treat the pain as a singular entity, it looks at why the pain has arisen within the body, and where possible works on re-balancing the Qi and Blood flow within that area and creating harmony once more in the body.

  1. Diet – This perhaps should be higher up the list. You are what you eat. Put rubbish into your body and soon enough you will begin to feel that way. Here are just some of the foods that many of us consume every day that can have a detrimental affect on the body, causing inflammation.

Processed Sugar is one of the main culprits that actually trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines. It is vital to limit processed sugar to an absolute minimum, or better still remove from your diet totally.

Foods high in refined carbohydrates are white flour foods, white bread, pasta, cakes. Foods that are high in hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, processed foods like donuts, cookies. These foods are not only linked to weight gain, blood sugar imbalances but also can cause inflammation within the body.

MSG – Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavour enhancer that is added to many Asian foods, crisps (such Taytos, pringles). This chemical can trigger 2 important pathways of chronic inflammation and also can affect liver health. 

Aspartame – An artificial sweetener found in many diet drinks, (diet coke), in fact it’s found in over 4000 products. Some people, especially those with an autoimmune disease, found sensitivity to this sweetener, causing their immune system to react to the foreign substance and attacking the chemical which in return will trigger inflammatory response within the body.

Alcohol – drinking whilst in pain is not only an added burden to the Liver. But excessive consumption weakens the liver function and has a knock on effect to the multi organ interactions, this can cause inflammation.

Try to get into the healthy habit of drinking plenty of water (filtered) instead of diet drinks, fruit juice or any drink that gives your kidneys more work. Drinking more water in the morning is much more beneficial than overloading at night time. Remember hydration is vital for a healthy body. 

8 Essential Oils for pain relief.

Each essential oil has many therapeutic properties. Some in particular really can provide relief for swollen joints, sore muscles, cramps, headaches etc. I have developed a Roll On applicator for blends of key pain relieving oils. Please note however, each person is unique, so too is their pain and therefore I blend oils by consultation only, this way you get a bespoke blend just for you. Essential oils are very powerful and must be treated with respect. Oils that help with pain can be what we call volatile and must be diluted into a carrier oil. Here are my top 8 oils for all pain types;

Marjoram – relaxes muscle spasms, inflammation and pain.

Rosemary – stimulates the central nervous system, great for nerve pain. Can help bring relief to degenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Caution not to be used if you suffer from epilepsy or during pregnancy.

Roman Chamomile – helps with pain and inflammation, also helps soothe muscle tension and reduce spasm. My favourite oil to help with teething.

Black Pepper – antispasmodic, great for IBS, muscle stiffness, general aches and pains with fatigue.

Lavender – calming, relieves headaches, great for after exercise, one of the best oils for all types of back pain, rheumatism, sciatica, arthritis. Lavender helps reduce local pain, lowers the reaction to pain of the central nervous system, reduces inflammation.

Vetiver – deeply relaxing, helps us to withstand stress. I use this oil when people have had a road traffic accident, or have experienced a sudden death, as it helps to bring them into a more relaxed emotional state. Also a brilliant immuno-stimulant.

Peppermint – digestive spasms, stomach pain, warming effect on muscles making this oil great for aches and pains associated with the flu.

Eucalyptus – rheumatism, muscular aches and fibrositis as well as sinus pain.

You can make your own blend at home using a carrier oil. A carrier oil literally carries the essential oil to the skin, where it is absorbed into the body. Using Sunflower, Coconut, or Grapeseed these are all easily absorbed into the skin. 30 mls of Carrier Oil to 10 drops of Essential Oil for Adults. Always consult a qualified Aromatherapist if you have High Blood Pressure, Pregnant or taking any medication. 

Pain Relieving Bath can be easily achieved combining a large handful of Epsom Salts and dropping 5-8 drops of essential oils onto the salts. Add these to your bath just before you get in.

Many oils are analgesic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. From a TCM point of view they help the Acupuncture session when used alongside chinese cupping as they are absorbed through the skin and help with muscle tension and to increase the local blood flow. ​

Visit my website for more information on how essential oils can help you in your own individual journey through pain. Feel free to contact me below.

Remember you are not alone, always ask for help. Pain doesn’t have to be your future.

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