Unfortunately, in my only 34 years of life so far, I've had extensive experience with pain management. In fact, this is how my health journey began. I was a gymnast with constant sprained ankles while young, and a competitive springboard diver who pushed my body to the limits through high school and college. With the stress of a course-load in physics at Columbia University, poor study habits that left me up writing papers through the night, and the daily grind of training as a collegiate athlete, my neck gave out. In my final year of undergraduate college, I suffered a major injury to my cervical spine, discovering partial herniations in three (out of my only five!) disks between my cervical vertebrae. I spent 10 days in bed, helpless for the first time in my life, on a steroid taper and muscle relaxants, unable to sit up without assistance.
After this first time, I had "Events" like this once or twice a year until 2014, with the most severe event occurring in 2010. That time, I spent weeks bedridden, and then three months on pharmaceutical muscle relaxants and painkillers, while doing graduate level Astronomy coursework. I wanted so badly to come off the muscle relaxants, but every time I tried I was driven into such pain and tension that I could only cry and grab that pill bottle. Like clockwork, within the hour that I was scheduled to take my muscle relaxants (every 8 hours), for months and months of painful effort.
Like this, events continued once or twice a year until 2014. And shortly after the long-term (multiple month) pharmaceutical drug use, various, seemingly disconnected things began going wrong in my body. First incessant viral attacks. Then yeast infections. Severe pain in my gut. My first (and only!) autoimmune diagnosis. And my introduction to the term "diagnosis of exclusion", which reads something like: "Your tests don't tell us what is wrong with you, but the symptoms are like blah and the tests don't show that you have A, B, or C, so we just put you into this bin over here and call it this!" The more I went to the doctors, the more doctors I needed it seemed, and the worse my health was.
Let's fast forward. I got away from that! I threw the meds out the window (proverbially), I learned about food, I learned about supplements, and I learned a bit about the body. I became close to exactly the right person that empowered me to question the course I'd walked and empower myself through my habits and knowledge.
Just then, as I came to know this person, I flew across the country and just happened to sit beside a naturopathic doctor that found my astronomy research and health path fascinating. He told me "Boswellia and Curcumin together are as effective as a Vicodin without the side effects". Well that was a start for me! Everyone who dips their toe into the natural health water knows about Curcumin, the "active compound" in Turmeric that is potently anti-inflammatory, but Boswellia is less commonly known. Boswellia is the oil extraction of Frankincense, and it's easily made on the stove at home!
Curcumin and Boswellia form the core kernel of our pain & muscle tension protocol. Bromelaine, Cherry Juice, and a tea -- Skullcap or Tulsi do well, extend its power further. Ooh, and Magnesium! We supplement it orally, bathe with it (through epsom salts), drink it in through our skin with Shea Butter, and swear by it! These form our chemical remedy.
Practices of stress management, Vagus nerve activation, and exercises that strengthen the tiny, supportive muscles and facial tissue, form our experiential remedy.