Back Pain Solutions

 Alternative options to help reduce and heal back pain

When it comes to treating pain the market is saturated with gadgets and supplements all promising amazing results. Some of them actually do work while others are a waste of time and money.

Check out these 3 interesting products that may offer you an alternative option for support and relief from pain.

SHAKTI MAT: The closest thing available to the “original bed of nails”.


Sounds terrifying right?! Why would you add more pain to an already tender area? The bed of nails – I mean the actual bed of nails has been around for thousands of years and was used to attain peace and balance within the mind, body and soul.

Its like giving yourself acupressure – but more intense. If you have a low pain tolerance then it can take a bit to get used to. When my Shakti mat arrived in the post my 11 year old immediately set about trying it out. He enjoyed it for about 15 minutes and it left him looking dreamy and relaxed. Then the cat, who didn’t want to be left out, decided to have a lay down on it. I think she lasted about 5 minutes.

Why would you want to lay down on sharp things?

  1. It can induce feelings of well being and calm by triggering our body to release feel good endorphins

  2. Endorphins are our built-in natural pain killers

  3. Circulation to that area of the body is increased, which can help reduce inflammation

  4. The increased blood flow to the area can also have a detoxing effect which speeds up the healing process


SHAOLIN ELECTRONIC ACUPUNCTURE: Similar to a TENS machine and nowhere near the price!


This is an interesting little device. It has a thick gel like coating on the side that goes on the skin. This is made from a herbal infusion and it sticks to the skin without leaving any residue behind. I paid around $30 NZD for one of these from AliExpress. I really wanted a TENS machine but I didn’t want to pay all that much for something I had never tried before.

What does it do and how does it work?

  • It works like a TENS machine by sending tiny electric impulses into the skin

  • The electric stimulation causes muscle contraction which strengthens the muscles

  • It increases circulation to that area of the body

  • The small amount of pain  the impulse causes tells our body to release endorphins our natural pain killers

  • Intensity of the electric impulse can be customised to suit your own personal tolerance

  • Each session goes for around 20 mins



Zen herbal liniment in spray, gel or tablet form.


Zen is a blend of Chinese and Western herbs, some of which have been used traditionally for centuries. The gel and spray are for external use only.

The herbs work together to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. I find the spray works really fast. If you suffer from neck tension then this is a great quick option, a couple of sprays brings fast relief. The herbs provide a cooling soothing feeling and promote repair to the painful area by working deep into the tissue.

Zen is a good option for the following:

  • Sporting injuries – bruises and fractures

  • Strain, overuse

  • Arthritis – Rheumatism

  • Neck tension, back pain

I find the spray is the best option for external use, it seems to be more potent than the gel. I immediately feel a cooling soothing feeling with just a couple of sprays. The gel is probably better suited for hard to reach areas. The tablets offer a deeper acting level of support for chronic on-going pain.

The herbs in Zen may interact with other medications you could be taking, always check with your doctor first.

Zen ingredient list:

Each 1mL contains tinctures eqiv. to dry:
Panax pseuedoginseng root 25mg
Angelica polymorpha root 15mg
Spatholobus suberectus stem 15mg
Commiphora molmol stem bark resin 13mg
Boswellia carterii stem bark resin 185mg
Drynaria fortunei rhizome 10mg
Dipsacus japonicus root 9mg
Arnica montana flower 1mg
Each 1mL also contains:
Mentha arvensis herb oil ess. 100mg
Cajuput oil 5mg
Non active ingredients: Camphor and Alcohol



Fish oil or Krill oil… Is one better than the other?

This can be confusing with so many omega 3 products on the market right now.


For some people its about ethics, sustainability and the impact this product has on the food chain since Krill is the primary food source for whales and other marine life. This company recently made it into the media with regards to sustainability and impact.

Here I narrow it down to 3 main points.*

  • Priceexpensive
  • Omega contentminimal
  • Benefitscontains the antioxidant (Astaxanthin). Contains phospholipids (Fats that are quickly and easily absorbed into our cells)

The price versus the amount of omegas and antioxidants is not proportional.

Phospholipids work in the following way: The omegas contained in krill oil are bound to phospholipids, this allows your body to absorb the omegas directly into the cell membranes without having to break it down first.

Astaxanthin helps reduce cellular damage from free radicals. You can buy this product on its own in a higher strength.

Astaxanthin has many benefits : (pronounced “asta-zanthin”), It is a powerful antioxidant that comes from the red colouring of the krill. They are this colour due their diet – the foods they eat contain the astaxanthin.

  • To sum it up you get a minimal amount of omega 3 that is well absorbed and the added bonus of a minimal amount of astaxanthin. You pay a lot of money for this!

*Because ethics is a personal preference I haven’t included it – I am in the ethics group. I don’t care about the possible benefits of krill oil but I do care about the planet and the animals on it. Marketing/labelling is a clever way of making consumers believe they are buying a sustainable product because it may be in the label name. Be wary and do research if you are not sure about the background of how a company operates with regards to ethics and sustainability.


  • Price – depends on the quality and brand
  • Omega content – variable, can be quite high
  • Benefits bigger range, higher doses

There are some super cheap fish oils out there! Be warned that cheaper is definitely not better. Sorry but there is no such thing as a good cheap fish oil.

Omega 3 content in some fish oils can be deceiving or misleading, just because a label may say “Fish Oil 1000mg” – this doesn’t mean the whole thing is 1000mg of omega 3 in each capsule. What it does mean is there is 1000mg of fish oil in the capsule and contained within that amount is the omega 3 content. Usually you will find out the omega 3 content on the back of the packaging and it will look something like this: where it shows EPA and DHA content.

The benefits of fish oil are numerous. Because there are so many different companies/competition on the market there is freedom to choose a company based on its values, sustainability, manufacturing methods and price.

The information on how a company processes and sources the fish should be easy to find. Fish that is processed as soon as possible is going to be the best in terms of omega 3 integrity. Methods vary, but there are processes that help the omega 3 stay viable and intact/undamaged.

I prefer this company over many others because they have a great range to suit everyone, they use third party testing to verify the purity and quality of the product. They are backed by clinical studies. All the information is super easy to find!

Liquid or caps? This is personal preference… I like the liquids because they contain a higher dose than a capsule, there is no capsule for my body to break down and this results in faster absorption. The brand I use doesn’t taste fishy or disgusting because their processing methods ensure the fish oil is super fresh – this eliminates the fishy odour. But for others capsules might just be that much easier or they maybe don’t like the oily texture of a liquid. Either way is fine really.

Omega 3 benefits:

They are essential fatty acids – we cant make them so we need to add them to our diet. They are essential to our health and well-being.

  • Joint health
  • Brain health
  • Skin, hair, nails
  • Immunity
  • Heart health
  • Cholesterol
  • Attention, focus, memory (comes under brain)
  • Pregnancy – foetus development: brain, eyes, immune system, nervous system
  • Inflammation
  • +many more!


Amazing Arnica!


Arnica Montana – The Mountain Daisy

Also known as: Leopard’s bane, Mountain tobacco and sneezewort.

This little daisy has many amazing qualities and  so many different uses!

It comes in pillules, liquids and creams (for external use).

The whole fresh plant in flower is used to make the tincture.

Key points:

  • Bruises
  • Shock and emotional shock (particularly when the person says : “I’m okay” – when you know they are not), person could be in a stupor or daze.
  • Fear of being touched
  • Body may be cold but the head is hot
  • Sprains, strains and twists
  • Can work in cases where a person says they have never been well since an accident or trauma.
  • There may be a feeling as if they have been beaten but with no physical evidence
  • A feeling of bruising, tender/painful areas – painful to touch.
  • Over exertion via exercise
  • After surgery/childbirth
  • Before surgery – this should be discussed with surgeons pre-op.

Arnica cream is great for applying to bruises or areas of skin that feel tender.

The homeopathic liquid can be taken internally for surgery recovery, or sprains and strains.

There are two really nice products that are great for tired overworked or achy muscles and back pain: Arnica Muscle Soak and Arnica Massage Oil.

For potentised remedies in pillule or liquid form you can find them at the Simillimum Homeopathic Pharmacy OR  Weleda Homeopathic Pharmacy.

This remedy is a must have for the first aid kit!!

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Cold sores!!! What supplements can help?

Cold sores are uncomfortable, unattractive and painful. Cold sores are caused by a virus – Herpes Simplex. They are not a serious disease, but in rare cases complications can occur.

Great news! There are supplements you can take to lessen the time the cold sore lasts. Supplements may also prevent cold sores from reoccurring.

What supplements can I take for cold sores?

For treatment and prevention I like to take Nutralife Cold Sore Formula. It has 3 cold sore fighting ingredients to help clear up the outbreak quickly.cold sore support

Another good product is the Go Healthy Go Cold-Sor Support which contains a blend of 5 ingredients known to boost immunity and combat cold sore recurrence.

Remember we are all different, sometimes you have to shop around to find a product that works for you. Sometimes these things can take time to work because you are building up the defences of your body to withstand attacks from this virus.

L-lysine – you cant go wrong with this amino acid:

  • Inhibits the virus and stops recurrences
  • Necessary for skin health – can help heal the affected area

Food sources: Protein rich foods

Olive leaf:


  •  Antiviral – the herpes virus is sensitive to the active ingredients in garlic
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Immune boosting properties
  • More information about garlic


  • Important for skin repair
  • Immune boosting properties (T-cells)
  • Reduces the recurrence of cold sores

Food sources: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, other shellfish, red meats. (Also – whole grains, legumes, but not as well utilized/absorbed by the body in these forms.)

Vitamin C:

  • Boost immune defence
  • Wound healing properties
  • Involved in collagen synthesis

Food sources: Capsicum, broccoli, potatoes, brussel sprouts, citrus fruits


  • Boosts the immune system
  • Antiviral
  • Antibiotic
  • Anti-fungal


They usually start with that annoying tingle and you think “Great, now I’m going to be stuck with one of these ugly little suckers for a week or so!

The symptoms of the virus are the cold sore, and any pain or tingle that comes with the sore.


  • Stress – lowers immunity
  • Illness – also lowers immunity
  • Basically as soon as those immune defences are down the virus can become active.


Foods to avoid: foods that are high in L-arginine – Chocolate (What!? Chocolate!? – enjoy some chocolate, just dont go overboard), peanuts, almonds, other nuts. This amino lowers our L-lysine allowing more outbreaks to happen. Work out your trigger, everyone is different.



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