Bracing against the bitter cold can leave you a bit stiff and sore. Thankfully, experts say these relaxing at-home remedies can melt away pain flares — and fast!
Coconut wraps end back pain.
Coconut oil is packed with healing compounds that block the production of pain-triggering hormones — and applying heat relaxes spasming back muscles, plus boosts the flow of nutrient-rich blood to damaged tissues. No wonder Canadian researchers say rubbing 1 tsp. of coconut oil into an achy back — then covering with a heat wrap — can make pain and stiffness plunge by 70 percent in 15 minutes.
Soothes muscle soreness with couch time.
Lie down on a comfy couch. Breathe deeply while you gently stretch your arms, hips, and legs. You could cut your muscle stiffness and pain by 57 percent in 20 minutes! Explains psychologist Miles Thompson, PhD, combining stretching with relaxation calms pain nerves, loosens tight muscles and reduces the production of the pain-triggering stress hormone cortisol.
Minty massages tame headaches.
Fall’s weather fluxes and diminishing sunlight can trigger tension headaches. The soothing fix: Mix 8 drops of wintergreen essential oil into 1 oz. of MSM lotion, and massage into your shoulders, neck and forehead. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University say this can halt a headache in 10 minutes, thanks to wintergreen’s painkilling compounds and sulfur-rich MSM, which calms spasms.
Fruity seeds loosen stiff joints.
Eating 1⁄2 cup of pomegranate seeds daily could cut joint pain by 62 percent in a week, report researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois. Pomegranates are nature’s best source of ellagic acid — a natural anti-inflammatory.
Bonus: Treat your feet to sleep deep.
A blissful bedtime foot massage can flush out trapped fluids and swelling, making foot pain plunge by 67 percent in 10 minutes. Plus, a relieving rub can add 42 minutes to your nightly slumber!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.