Natural Cures for Sciatic Pain

Update October, 2015

As I move blog posts to a new platform, I’m reading them with new eyes. It amazes me that I rarely think about sciatic pain, though in early 2012 it ruled my life. The sciatic pain never came back, and every time I think there might be a twinge I take a magnesium supplement and munch on candied ginger. Miraculous.

Original Post

In mid-April 2012, I developed a pain in my left hip. Within two weeks, the pain was severe, often extending all the way down my leg. It wasn’t until I could hardly move from sitting to standing without searing pain that I recognized I was experiencing sciatica.

You have to experience sciatic pain to know how all-consuming it can be. I was exhausted  from being unable to sleep. I couldn’t sit for more than a few minutes. Riding in a boat here at Lake Atitlan was torturous due to the bouncing of the boat on the swells.

Through my training in energy healing and my work as a holistic coach, I’ve found that all symptoms have an emotional, mental, or energetic source. I knew the emotional/energetic cause of my pain and set to clear it. At the same time, I wanted to treat the physical symptoms through natural means.

My initial online searches yielded little useful information: a few exercises that were completely ineffective for me, and several videos about injectable medications. No thanks.

I went to a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, a traditional bone healer, and an herbalist. I received lessons in QiGong. I tried trigger point therapy. I bought a back stretcher and a foam roller. I tried exercising and not exercising.

Most of those things helped for short periods of time. After a while, however, the pain would come roaring back.

Finally, I found some things that really made a difference. As I write this at the end of July, I have been nearly pain free for a week. So what finally made the difference?

  1. Magnesium. Even though my diet is pretty high in magnesium, stress was depleting it. When I started taking magnesium supplements (I don’t generally take any supplements) the pain quickly decreased.
  2. Ginger. After the pain started to decrease with the magnesium, some activities would still aggregate it. Munching a couple pieces of candied ginger helped immediately.
  3. QiGong healing. Combined with acupuncture, a QiGong healing technique taught to me by San Diego, California TCM practitioner Wendy Goldman helped pave the way for the pain to clear.
  4. Adequate rest. It’s a bit of a Catch-22: when you’re in pain you can’t sleep and when you don’t sleep, the pain is worse. Cutting out anything that disturbs sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol, can make a big difference.

Everyone seems to have a difference experience with sciatic pain, and what worked for me might not work for you. But it sure would have been nice to find out the powerful effects of magnesium and ginger much sooner!

For more information about magnesium, check out this video on The Real Food Channel.

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