No one ever wants to experience pain, whether it's as small as a stubbed toe or as great as recovering from surgery. Yet so much of our lives causes pain, lasting or brief in its form. With a few mental tricks and unusual home remedies, you can relieve some of the most common aches and ailments that arise painlessly.
The next time you accidentally reach into your oven and grab a hot casserole dish, reach for the mustard rather than the ice. Although you're familiar with the soothing, though stinging, burn of placing cold immediately onto a hot, scalding burn, it's better to let the yellow "lotion" heal you.
As the National Mustard Museum writes on its website, a spoonful of mustard applied to a burn not only immediately cools the stinging, but also helps to heal its discoloration quickly. Any redness disappears within a few hours, leaving you with nothing more than a tiny reminder of your previous pain. Its composition contains vasodilators, which increase blood flow to the injured area and relieve the soreness.
However, if you own a company and someone burns him or herself, don't rub condiments on them—get them appropriate medical care or have medicated burn cream on hand. Learn from McDonald's mistakes.
There's a reason you always resort to screaming obscenities when you meet pain—expressing the hurt vocally is one of the best ways to relieve it.
As TIME writes, we become better able of handling pain when we express the feeling vocally. If you're someone who isn't a constant swearer, allowing yourself to shout curse words when you stub a toe or run a knee into a sharp corner releases an effect on your brain similar to that of drugs like oxycodone and morphine. It helps to relieve the instantaneous ache with a release unlike your body is used to.
When we feel pain, our first instinctual response is to tense our body and shield ourselves from the pain. While this usually causes us more pain, making us more vulnerable to pain as we try to resist, the act of tensing and relaxing actually helps to combat it.
It's a natural reaction to tense up your entire body—but relaxing will eliminate the pain, just as calming yourself after any expected pain relieves stress. When you anticipate, or are experiencing pain, tighten and tense your muscles. After a few seconds, when you release and let the pressure subside, the pain fades along with the tension in your body.
Although acupressure might not be a practice you're quick to follow and understand when you're in immense pain, an ice cube combined with the powers of this practice can relieve sharp pains like toothaches in a pinch.
By rubbing an ice cube between your fingers, you can hit the pressure point that most requires soothing for lighter pains. According to Dental Wellness, doing this between the space of your thumb and index figure can calm gum and tooth pain (and is good for headaches)—so try it for other aches, and you might find all of your pains soothed, even if just for a few minutes.
Want to get your mind off of the pain at hand? Think about what it is that brings you the most pleasure: think about sex.
According to WebMD, when you visualize an enjoyable and pain-free memory, you are more likely to forget about the injury at hand. In previous research studies, those who reminisced about sexual fantasies or experiences found themselves in enjoyable mental states, completely forgetting about what it was that caused them pain.
This method not only relieves pain, but also makes it easier to tolerate prolonged periods of anguish. When you elicit a positive emotional response, whether in the face of something painful or not, the pain is minimized and the pleasure highlighted. Of course, as WedMD notes, you have to choose a powerfully positive experience—otherwise, an overwhelming sense of physical pain can't be overwhelmed by the positive.
Actually having sex is great for eliminating migraines, too.
Your pediatric nurse might have suggested you cough as she took your blood—and though it seemed odd, there's method behind this trick.
When children were asked to cough during an administered vaccination, they were less fearful and reported feeling less pain. Because the children felt the power of the cough within their bodies, they were distracted from the short prick of the needle as the shot took place.
Although it may not remove the pain entirely, giving a great cough in the midst of perceived or expected pain can reduce both worry and feeling about the act.
There's no better remedy for healing quickly than touching the source of your pain. Surgeons recommend rubbing stitched wounds, and therapists of all kinds suggest touching spots of injury until they're comfortable with movement again, but sometimes the best medicine is getting touchy-feely.
When you have wound or area that aches, try the techniques of massage. The more we cling to whatever it is that hurts, the better we are able to handle the the physical effects of the injury. By rubbing and touching the spot that's in pain, the more we "ease" the soreness back into our bodies, alleviating the original ache.
No matter which method you choose, don't rely on aspirin and other slow-fix remedies to sooth whatever it is that's hurting you. Don't feel as though you have to rely on a traditional fix—sometimes, the answer is as simple as what's hiding in your refrigerator. Just remember, if it seems bad it probably is, so the emergency room might be the best course of action just to be safe.
What weird remedies work for dulling your pain? Share below!