alternative wellness

Alternative Wellness Practices for Managing Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects over 50 million Americans. That’s more than 20% of our population!

Many rely on heavy-duty prescription painkillers to get through the day. Pain medication comes with side effects and doesn’t treat underlying causes.

It’s good to know there are gentler, safer ways to find relief.

Consider alternative treatments if you’ve already tried anti-inflammatory diets, medications, topical creams, vitamins, and physical therapy.

Here are our favorite alternative wellness practices that may just transform your life. Ready? Let’s dive in.


Chiropractors focus on aligning the spine to take pressure off nerves that may cause pain. Gentle chiropractic adjustments bring vertebrae back into proper position, restoring range of motion and reducing inflammation.

Chiropractic therapy is effective for back and neck pain, headaches, and joint pain caused by arthritis or injuries. Chiropractic doesn’t just treat symptoms; it improves function.

See a licensed chiropractor and be wary of any who promote frequent X-rays or radical twisting methods. Most patients need 10-20 visits to retrain muscles and stabilize changes.

Naturopathic Physician

Naturopathic medicine uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself.

A naturopathic doctor can address underlying causes like nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and food allergies that contribute to chronic pain.

They also use herbal medicines, nutrition therapy, homeopathy, and lifestyle changes to support wellness.

Naturopathic medicine is a holistic approach that recognizes the connection between mind, body, spirit, and environment in health and illness.


Acupuncture originated in ancient China over 2,500 years ago. It involves inserting ultrathin needles into specific points on the body to restore the flow of qi (vital energy).

The needles are so thin they don’t hurt. However, the effects can be life-changing for those suffering from chronic pain.

Acupuncture activates natural painkilling chemicals in the brain. It changes how the nervous system processes pain signals.

It’s proven effective for chronic pain conditions like osteoarthritis, headaches, and low back pain. Acupuncture also improves sleep, mood, and well-being.

Make sure you find a licensed acupuncturist. Most treatments involve 6-12 weekly sessions.


People have been using marijuana for centuries to treat pain and other ailments.

It can reduce chronic pain, especially neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage or inflammation. Cannabinoids in marijuana bind to specific brain and spinal cord receptors, regulating pain perception.

Cannabis-based products like CBD oils are also gaining popularity as a natural alternative for pain relief without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Some states have legalized medical marijuana for chronic pain, but it’s essential to consult with a doctor before using any cannabis products.

Mindful Exercises

Mindfulness-based exercise is a combination of gentle movements and mindful attention to breathing, posture, and sensations.

Multiple studies show that Mindfulness-Based Exercise improves chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and migraines.


The mind-body practice of yoga combines gentle stretching, focused breathing, and meditation to relieve pain by reducing inflammation and muscle tension.

Studies confirm yoga’s ability to relieve lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, and more. Yoga’s mindfulness component also reduces anxiety and stress, which can exacerbate pain.

The gentle poses and deep breathing retrain muscles to move through a full range of motion without strain or spasms.

Yoga releases feel-good endorphins, too, which are excellent for relieving stress. Try a few beginner-level classes or follow online videos designed for your needs.

Qi Gong and Tai Chi

Qi Gong and Tai Chi address many common root causes of chronic pain, including tension, stress, and poor posture. The slow, graceful movements build strength, balance, and flexibility while reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation.

Studies prove both practices reduce arthritis pain by almost 50%. Qi Gong also improves fibromyalgia symptoms.

Rewire Your Brain

Chronic pain creates a vicious cycle of stress, pain, and negative thoughts. The more you focus on pain, the more it can amplify.

Techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) train your brain to respond differently to chronic pain. Here are some alternatives to consider:


Hypnosis is an effective mind-body technique. It harnesses the power of suggestion to induce deep relaxation.

Research confirms hypnosis reduces chronic pain from cancer, arthritis, neuropathy, and more. It lowers stress hormone levels and blocks pain perception.

Self-hypnosis teaches you to mentally “dial down” pain with relaxation techniques.

Clinical hypnotherapy involves one-on-one sessions where a therapist uses guided imagery and visualization to alter pain perception. Most people need 3-8 sessions.

Biofeedback Therapy

What if you could voluntarily control physical processes like circulation, muscle tension, and inflammation?

With biofeedback therapy, you can! Here’s how it works:

You wear sensors that provide real-time feedback on subtle changes inside the body. With practice, you can learn to relax muscles, control breathing and heart rate variability, and raise your pain threshold using visualization and cognitive-behavioral techniques.

Biofeedback therapy re-trains the mind-body connection. It can give you greater control over pain responses.

It also improves focus and resilience against stress. Most clients see results within 8-12 weeks of training.


Like yoga, meditation is a mind-body practice that helps you achieve deep relaxation and focus.

Meditation has proven effective in reducing chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, and arthritis.

Studies show that meditation reduces pain by promoting changes in brain activity, decreasing stress hormone levels, and increasing the production of natural painkillers like endorphins.

Meditation also improves well-being by lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and depression, and boosting the immune system. Try meditating for 10-15 minutes each day to reap the benefits.

Find Alternative Wellness For Pain Relief

Consult with a licensed practitioner to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Don’t be afraid to try several options until you find what works best. The key is never to give up. Keep trying until you find something that makes a difference.

Remember, every person’s experience with pain is unique, so what works for one may not work for another.

Keep an open mind and continue to educate yourself about alternative wellness for pain relief. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Check out some of our other articles to learn more ways to unlock your body’s innate healing abilities and start living life to the fullest!

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