Did you know that…
Chronic pain affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, making it more prevalent than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined?
Or that ~1 in 3 Americans have chronic pain?
Pain can derail our health, motivation, vitality, and longevity.
And here’s the worst part.
We’ve completely misunderstood it.
Pain isn’t some villain we must fight against. Instead, it has an essential role as a BioSignal. So in this post, I’m outlining the biohacker’s approach to powerful pain relief. All the best natural methods, great manmade solutions, and most importantly, the framework for addressing the root cause.
What is Pain?
Pain is your body’s alarm system. It’s designed to make you change something. Pain is an incredibly useful signal that’s helped humans survive.
There are two primary categories of pain:
- Nociceptive Pain — comes from tissue damage like stubbing your toe or burning your hand
- Neuropathic Pain — like a faulty alarm system that still goes off even when there’s no fire, this occurs when the wires (nerves) that carry these signals get damaged themselves
The multifaceted phenomenon of pain involves complex interactions between the senses and the brain. I’ll summarize it here.
Experiencing pain occurs due to a sophisticated system of receptors, pathways, and centers:
- Transduction — specialized nerve endings called nociceptors convert harmful stimuli into electrical signals
- Transmission — signals get transmitted to the spinal cord and then to the brain
- Perception — the brain processes and interprets these BioSignals as pain
On the molecular level, various neurotransmitters and signaling molecules like substance P, glutamate, ion channel activity, opioid receptors, cytokines, prostaglandins, and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) together transmit and modulate pain signals.When you feel pain, it’s simply your brain interpreting signals from nerves Click To Tweet
Factors like your mood, attention, and previous experiences with pain all impact your experience. This explains why pain level is quite subjective.
Although we mostly talk about physical pain, it comes from many different sources (each sharing virtually the same underlying biology). The primary sources also include emotional, psychological, social, and “existential” pain.
All pain types are interlinked. Physical pain can lead to emotional distress, and long-term emotional or social pain can manifest as physical symptoms.Using a pain-killing drug also (temporarily) relieves social or emotional pain too Click To Tweet
Usually, there’s a layer of emotional/mental/existential pain underneath the physical. For example, people with phantom limb pain. These people are missing a physical limb, yet can still experience complete pain resolution by addressing the other sources of non-physical pain.
A holistic approach addresses the root causes of pain. Reducing damage and providing long-lasting relief.
Benefits of Pain
Pain, while uncomfortable and potentially debilitating, serves several roles vital to our overall health and survival.
By masking it with modern interventions, we neglect invaluable information. Some of the beneficial roles of pain include:
- Warning — pain alerts us to serious potential harm. If you touch something hot, for example, pain causes you to automatically remove your hand, preventing severe burn
- Recovery — it often forces us to rest, recover, and set aside time to heal
- Awareness — chronic pain often signals serious underlying health condition(s) that need medical attention
- Avoidance — uncomfortable experiences teach us what to avoid in the future
- Empathy — experiencing pain deepens our emotional intelligence and relationships by increasing our compassion towards others currently suffering
- Resilience — painful experiences can strengthen our personal resilience and teach us to thrive in difficult situations
- Diagnoses — location, intensity, and type of pain give health professionals key insights into what’s going on inside the body
Essentially, pain acts as a teacher.
The harder we resist resting and recovery, the worse our fatigue, pain, illness, and eventually disease.No matter the means, relieving chronic pain without addressing the root causes will eventually lead to disease Click To Tweet
First and foremost, do NOT ignore pain. Work with a professional to understand it and take corrective action.
For a long-term, effective, and natural pain solution, I highly suggest working with a skilled practitioner. As mentioned in my CHEK Institute review, these professionals understand the true origins and interconnectedness of pain better than anyone.
At the same time, powerful and rapid pain relief has its place too.
Pain-Relieving Modalities & Biohacks
Anti-pain biohacks, strategies, and protocols often provide the best and longest-lasting benefits.
Whatever your reason, you’ll want to first understand the root causes (and their significance) that underlie your pain.
These do a ton to address the core dysfunctions causing pain.
Later, we’ll also cover the best natural ingredients, supplements, and substances.
All humans experience pain. When we do, the associated memory gets stored in our nervous system. Over time, and with repeat triggering, these experiences grow.
Current pain can direct us inward to re-discover these stressful memories from past traumatic events. Memories that we never addressed.
Pain can help guide us towards growth, or pull us down into degeneration. Beneficial eustress, or destructive distress.
The difference comes down to reason.
Why are you experiencing the pain?
Most of us unconsciously create our pain. In career, relationships, and everyday living. Pain can act as a catalyst to get clear on your core values. Showing you how lifestyle aligns.
The greater the discrepancy between the two, the more detrimental the pain. If you focus on the gift of its message (which I understand is harder than it sounds), the intensity lessens.
First, take some time to explore potential reasons for pain—physical pain often results from unaddressed issues on the mental, emotional, or existential level.
Eliminate Seed Oils
Industrial seed oils (“vegetable” oils) include canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower, grapeseed, rice bran, and many others.
These polyunsaturated (PUFA) fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily. They undergo heavy processing and refinement and require a ton of nasty chemical additives to last on the shelf.
Worst of all and most relevant, they contain extremely high levels of pro-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and little anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Inflammation drives and worsens many types of pain.
PUFA seed oils are among the worst and most ubiquitous contributors to pain and inflammation. They’re also terrible for human health. Worse than sugar.
Instead of highly refined “vegetable” oils, cook with a more stable oil like butter, ghee, avocado oil, or even olive oil.
Lack of movement leads to chronic low-grade inflammation. It causes metabolic waste to accumulate. It also reduces the flow of nutrients, oxygen, and water to muscles.
In fact, exercise is sometimes referred to as…
“The great analgesic”.
Not only do you produce natural pain-killing endorphins, but you also circulate fluids through areas of the body that need it most.
Most of the ancient medical systems view pain as a byproduct of inflammation. Inflammation is a condition of excess heating. Gentle, active recovery movements cool down and nourish the body. Acting as an antidote to the heat.
Walking, yoga, stretching, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and the like work to rebalance and soothe the rest and recovery systems.
Research shows that gentle movements like yoga reduce pain intensity, increase quality of life, elevate mood, and even reduce pain-induced disability [R].
Sleep is one of the foundations of virtually every aspect of health. Including pain regulation.
During sleep, the body regulates inflammation, repairs damaged tissue, and strengthens the immune system. Each of these diminishes pain.
Even minor sleep deprivation significantly impairs these functions and worsens perceived pain.
Additionally, research suggests that getting sufficient sleep increases your pain tolerance.
It helps regulate the transmission of pain signals, decreasing pain intensity. On the mental front, sleep stabilizes mood and energy, both lowering pain perception.
Getting ample sleep quantity and quality works in many ways to regulate perceived pain.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a device that sends very low-voltage electrical currents through the skin to aid pain.
Delivered via electrodes, the TENS machine produces electrical pulses to interfere with and block pain signals from reaching the brain.
Earning the nickname…TENS is like digital aspirin Click To Tweet
Interestingly, TENS also stimulates the body to produce natural pain-killing substances called endorphins. It works especially well to relax tense or spasmed muscles.
I like to use one of these systems when I’ve slept weirdly and gotten a knot in my neck. Or when I pinch a nerve (after ensuring no other damage and while getting plenty of rest).
TENS devices are a cheap, modern, and effective substance-free way to mask the perception of pain.
Earthing (sometimes called grounding) is a therapeutic technique that involves electrically reconnecting you to the Earth.
It’s based on the idea that our electromagnetochemical bodies historically always remained in contact with the bare ground (until we began wearing insulative rubber-soled shoes).
Earthing appears to diminish pain in several ways. First, some research suggests that it lowers inflammation by neutralizing free radicals.
Indirectly, it can improve sleep quality and reduce stress.
Some researchers propose that it enhances circulation, aiding the removal of metabolic waste products and helping deliver nutrients and oxygen to tissues.
Experts believe that it helps synchronize the body’s biological circadian rhythm (such as cortisol secretion).
Earthing can improve inflammation, stress, circadian entrainment, blood flow, overall health, and pain.
In 2023, a practice called “cold plunging” (cold water immersion) became quite popular. It’s a form of cold therapy where you very briefly immerse yourself in chilly water.
This is the most beneficial type of cryotherapy. It reduces pain by acting like a pump. Here’s how.
When you get into cold water, your body responds by constricting blood vessels (vasoconstriction). Reducing blood flow to the area, decreasing inflammation and swelling. Once you get out and your body starts to warm up, blood vessels dilate (vasodilation).
The net effect is improved blood flow which helps flush out toxins and waste products.
Cold temperatures also slow the speed of nerve conduction, basically numbing nerve endings and reducing pain sensations. This is why we apply ice packs to injuries like sprains and strains.
Athletes use cold immersion to reduce muscle pain and stiffness that sets in after intense or unfamiliar exercise (called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS). Minimizing inflammation and tissue breakdown that contribute to muscular pain.
The shock of entering cold water triggers a rush of adrenaline and endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural “feel-good” pain-relieving chemicals used to cope with pain or stress.
Regular cold plunges appear to upregulate your general pain threshold. Over time, it helps you become less sensitive to pain.
I consistently cold plunge several times per week, and it makes a huge difference.
More so than the others on this list, cold plunging isn’t suitable for everyone. Check with your healthcare professional before trying it out.
Cold therapy is well-known to help numb pain, increase pain tolerance, reduce inflammation, and flood the body with feel-good endorphins.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy is a type of holistic treatment that uses small electromagnetic fields to rebalance the body.
It’s especially effective against chronic issues. PEMF works by emitting specific electromagnetic waves that stimulate the body’s natural healing & recovery processes.
Most notably, PEMF therapy stimulates cellular repair, accelerating the regeneration of damaged tissues.
PEMF enhances circulation by restoring proper cellular voltage and by inducing a tiny electrical magnetic current into damaged cells. Slowing the release of pain signals and inflammatory mediators. While also increasing their efficiency with the blood and also improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
As you may have guessed, PEMF has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help some chronic pain. It also improves cellular oxygenation.
The most expensive systems aren’t always the best. I’ve researched, consulted with industry experts, and tested a ton. These are the best at-home PEMF machines for every goal.
PEMF provides multi-faceted pain management support, along with all kinds of other health benefits.
If you recall from earlier, the brain is heavily involved in the processing and interpretation of pain.
While many of the above lifestyle habits, gear, and technologies can make a marked difference, there’s another option with even greater potential.
You must be willing to suspend disbelief to give this a shot. I’ll admit that I was quite skeptical too.
Skilled professionals can completely shift mental representations. This can completely disrupt the normal sequence of pain signaling, and thus alleviate the sensation.
Of the ones I’ve come across, Dr. Robert Dee McDonald is the most impressive. I’ve seen him help people resolve decades of grief and pain in as little as an hour. 20+ years of suffering, resolved at the roots, just like that.
Not just mental or emotional, but chronic physical pain too. He’s accumulated countless testimonials from 50+ experience and helping 250,000 people globally. Click here to visit his website, and you’ll get a special deal if you tell him Nick Urban sent you.
Best Pain Relief Supplements & Ingredients
Chronic pain often serves as a message. In some circumstances, however, tweaking lifestyle takes too long.
Not only does high levels of perceived pain feel unpleasant, but it can actually slow down your recovery.
Whether acute or chronic, once we understand the message behind the pain, we may want to dampen it to accelerate healing.
This can also give you the energy, resources, and ability to sustain the necessary behavior changes.
These are my favorite pain-relieving biohacks, natural ingredients, and substances.
CBD is just one of many compounds extracted from hemp. Full-spectrum hemp is the more powerful, non-psychoactive derivative of the whole Cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum means that it contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids naturally found in the plant, including traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
These components work together, to create the optimal, beneficial biosynergy. With greater effects and fewer side effects. Scientists call this phenomenon the “entourage effect”.
One of these benefits is pain relief. Full-spectrum hemp balances the body’s built-in endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Sometimes called the body’s “master regulator”, the ECS is a complex system involved in countless biological processes like inflammation responses and pain management. By influencing the ECS, full-spectrum hemp helps reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
THC itself, although psychoactive, has significant analgesic properties, which is why some endurance athletes use it to enhance their performance.
Hemp activates the body’s ECS, the built-in self-regulating system, helping manage inflammation and pain.
Use the Ojai Energetics promo code URBAN to save 10%
Peptides are compounds consisting of two or more amino acids linked in a chain.
BPC-157 and TB-500 are two very popular peptides, well studied for their wide-ranging health benefits.
BPC-157, derived from a protein found in the stomach, helps heal various tissues (skin, muscle, bone, the brain, GI tract, and more).
TB-500, on the other hand, is a synthetic version of a protein found in all human and animal cells. TB-500 acts as a signaling molecule, promoting tissue repair and healing.
Both peptides promote wound healing and recovery from injuries by accelerating the repair of damaged tissues. They also reduce inflammation.
These are just two of the many top therapeutic peptides. Others are more adept at handling certain kinds of pain.
Peptides are widely used due to their unparalleled safety profile and wide-ranging but powerful health-optimizing benefits.
Use the exclusive Limitless Life Nootropics code URBAN for 15% off
Turmeric, a spice revered in India and Southeast Asia, is a plant in the ginger family.
Traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda have used it for millennia. Turmeric’s principal active constituent is curcumin. This compound has been widely studied for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Curcumin inhibits the production of key signaling molecules that mediate inflammatory responses. Called eicosanoids.
It also suppresses several key inflammatory pathways within cells, including the NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB) pathway.
By neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body, curcumin also reduces oxidative stress.
Furthermore, this substance modulates the release of neurotransmitters and hormones, including dopamine and serotonin, which can affect pain signaling and perception. Curcumin can also enhance the body’s natural production of cortisone, a hormone that acts as a natural painkiller.
Most people conflate turmeric and curcumin. When in reality, turmeric itself contains a variety of other powerful ingredients that contribute to its therapeutic efficacy. Some of these include:
- Volatile oils
The best way to add this to your life is to cook with organic turmeric (and combine it with fat for enhanced absorption). Or to use a quality whole-food-based turmeric complex supplement.
The many constituents within turmeric, especially curcumin, are well-researched to support healthy inflammation and help manage pain.
Click the button above to save 15% on Paleovalley products
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally occurring fatty acid derivative essential to several cellular functions.
Although you’ll find it in various foods, it’s often used as a supplement. Particularly, for pain relief.
PEA interacts with several mechanisms involved in pain signaling. Including the endocannabinoid system, the same built-in master regulator system we discussed previously. This alone has a profound impact on pain.
Plus, PEA enhances the effects of naturally occurring endocannabinoids (like anandamide). Further amplifying the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory benefits [R].
PEA also lowers the release of pro-inflammatory substances from mast cells (particularly white blood cells) [R]. Letting it act as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
Research has shown that it helps a variety of pain syndromes, from neuropathic pain to fibromyalgia to osteoarthritis. Likely due to its multi-targeted pain and inflammation-regulating mechanisms [R].
It also seems to alleviate inflammation in the brain and G.I. tract.
Most PEAs have very low absorption and don’t last long. You’ll want to use a quality liposomal PEA to bypass these issues.
P.E.A activates the body’s built-in inflammation-regulating systems and has been studied to help pain management.
Use the exclusive Renue by Science code GVQCUKN6 for 15% off
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an organic substance with all kinds of unique properties. One of the most versatile and powerful natural medicinal remedies (that virtually no one has heard of).
It’s derived from lignan, a natural substance within trees. Though it’s a byproduct of papermaking, laboratories use it because it penetrates the skin and other biological membranes. It’s both fat and water-soluble.
Among its most notable therapeutic uses, is its role in pain management. Specifically, it helps block a type of nerve fiber that transmits chronic and persistent pain. Reducing pain sensations.
DMSO acts as an analgesic (painkiller). It’s hypothesized to reduce inflammation by scavenging hydroxyl radicals. Hydroxyl radicals are the most dangerous and damaging kind of free radicals.
DMSO also reduces levels of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Since it penetrates the skin, DMSO can deliver these anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits directly to the source of pain. It is especially useful for topical pain relief.
This substance enhances the absorption of just about everything—good and bad—so make sure to work with a skilled practitioner if you use it.
DMSO rapidly penetrates the skin where it neutralizes the most dangerous inflammatory hydroxyl radicals and inflammatory molecules, just make sure to work with a professional.
Black Cumin Seed
Black cumin seed (Nigella Sativa) is another ancient yet effective herbal medical remedy.
It’s primarily known for one potent bioactive compound, thymoquinone, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
Black cumin seed has many health-promoting effects. The pain relief is primarily attributed to thymoquinone’s potent anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
Thymoquinone suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines, a family of proteins that increase inflammation.
Black cumin seed also inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help produce prostaglandins—inflammatory substances that cause pain. This is the same mechanism of the most common NSAID analgesic drugs.
Finally, black cumin seed increases the body’s production of natural opioids. These bind to the same opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals.
Black cumin seed (particularly a compound called thymoquinone) is an anti-inflammatory that safely works on similar mechanisms to NSAID drugs, while simultaneously increasing natural opioid production within the body.
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa), is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest. It’s another traditional medical remedy, used for a wide variety of health benefits.
Cat’s Claw contains several active compounds, including alkaloids and polyphenols.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (cytokines and prostaglandins). Cat’s Claw also modulates the immune response.
Naturopathic Doctors often use Cat’s Claw to help with arthritis and joint inflammation.
Plus, it has antioxidant activity, protecting cells from oxidative stress and damage.
It’s been studied for immunomodulation (helping regulate the immune system). Making it useful for pain associated with autoimmune conditions.
Compared to other natural remedies like turmeric, P.E.A., or DMSO, Cat’s Claw doesn’t have as much research.
Cat’s Claw is a potentially useful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant adjunctive to add to a pain management protocol.
Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) is a tree endemic to India and the Middle East. Resin extracts of this tree contain various bioactive compounds.
The family of boswellic acids is the most well-known.
Herbalists traditionally used Boswellia to reduce inflammation.
Like some of the others in this list, it inhibits enzymes related to inflammation. Such as 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Inhibiting these enzymes reduces inflammatory molecule production and thus many forms of pain.
Plus, it improves the health of cartilage while simultaneously helping protect joints from breakdown.
Boswellia serrata also neutralizes excess free radicals.
Boswellia is a traditional remedy that blocks the production of inflammatory molecules and scavenges excess inflammation-inducing free radicals.
Saffron is a prized (and incredibly expensive) spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower.
While most commonly known today for its unique flavor, it has a history of usage in traditional medicine too.
Saffron contains multiple bioactive substances, including crocin and safrana.
Limited research has investigated how saffron helps with pain. It appears especially helpful for conditions like menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
These studies suggest it reduces pain intensity and duration by reducing the release of certain pain and inflammation-inducing chemicals.
Possibly more universally applicable, Saffron has antidepressant properties, acting like a natural SSRI to indirectly help pain. Both physical and emotional.
Across the board, the nootropic community (myself included) loves it as a great mood-boosting brain supplement.
Work with a healthcare professional before testing saffron. High doses may interact with certain medications.
Saffron is among the ultimate mood-lifting natural substances, and it appears to help with many forms of pain and inflammation.
Capsaicin within chili peppers gives them their characteristic heat.
Although it’s one of many active constituents, among nutraceuticals, capsaicin is well studied and understood.
Its analgesic properties make it a prime candidate for the topical treatment of various types of pain [R].
Interestingly, it desensitizes nerve fibers over time. Leading to reduced pain sensitivity.
Capsaicin works by binding to specific receptors in nerve endings called vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1) or TRPV1. This reduces the release of a neurotransmitter called substance P. Reducing pain signal transmission in the brain [R].
Capsaicin also slows the production of inflammatory molecules like prostaglandins and cytokines.
Capsaicin is potent, so use it with caution. Topical application can cause a burning sensation.
Capsaicin applied topically is one of the top nutraceutical ingredients to reduce pain sensitivity, lower inflammation, and increase pain tolerance.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and also certain medications.
Of course, it’s best known as a central nervous system stimulant, but caffeine has also been studied for its role in pain.
Researchers have discovered that caffeine enhances the effectiveness of common analgesics like acetaminophen (paracetamol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It improves their absorption and ability to inhibit pain-causing molecules.
That’s why you’ll often find it in over-the-counter and prescription painkillers alike.
Moderate doses of caffeine also constrict blood vessels in the brain. This vasoconstrictive effect helps alleviate some kinds of headaches—especially those caused by blood vessel dilation.
It has its fair share of tradeoffs too. I would imagine that caffeine’s superior molecular cousin, called paraxanthine, would share these benefits too (but without the downsides).
Caffeine can amplify the pain-killing properties and benefits of other substances.
Use exclusive DrinkUpdate code URBAN for 10% off
Magnesium is perhaps the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, with an estimated 90-95% of humans living with inadequate levels. Magnesium deficiency is linked to increased pain sensitivity.
This essential mineral plays a vital role in thousands of physiological processes throughout the body.
One of the many ways magnesium helps with pain is by relaxing the muscles. Magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker, preventing excessive calcium from entering cells.
Helping relax muscles and reduce muscle spasms or cramps. As well as putting the nervous system into a parasympathetic “rest and relax” state.
Magnesium also has anti-inflammatory effects. It reduces levels of inflammatory cytokines and balances the immune responses that contribute to pain and inflammation.
Importantly, magnesium helps regulate brain systems involved in pain perception. Things like N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Altering this activity helps magnesium regulate the central nervous system’s pain signaling.
Magnesium is one of the most important universally needed nutrients to consider adding. Not all products are the same. Check out my ultimate guide to the best magnesium supplements to learn more.
Magnesium benefits thousands of processes throughout the body, including pain signaling and sensitivity.
Use the BiOptimizers exclusive promo code URBAN to save 10%
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is a derivative of the amino acid cysteine. It’s a commonly used precursor to glutathione, which is one of the body’s strongest antioxidants.
NAC has antioxidant properties and works mainly by replenishing the body’s glutathione levels. Which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
It also has some direct anti-inflammatory effects. Via inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules like cytokines and also reducing immune cell activation.
More recently, it’s gained popularity as a longevity agent and to combat addictions.
Also, NAC indirectly helps pain relief by improving the balance of a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Dysregulated glutamate levels lead to heightened sensitivity to pain.
NAC also appears to help modulate the brain chemistry related to psychiatric conditions like depression or anxiety that often accompany chronic pain. By addressing these comorbidities, NAC can lessen pain perception.
NAC is a multi-use glutathione precursor that has both direct and indirect effects on inflammation, brain chemistry, and pain.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia famous for its role as a “natural opioid”. It too has a long history of traditional use as a pain remedy.
Kratom’s leaves contain various bioactive alkaloids, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
Kratom works on opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. The alkaloids in kratom interact with these receptors similarly to opioid drugs but with different pharmacological profiles.
Resulting in pain-killing effects similar to opioids but with milder side effects and reduced risk of respiratory depression—when used responsibly.
Interestingly, kratom at low doses has stimulating effects because it interacts with adrenergic receptors. This stimulation provides energy and focus that indirectly induce feelings of overall well-being.
At higher dosages, however, kratom works more like a traditional opioid with quite powerful pain-killing and sedative effects.
Finally, certain other alkaloids within kratom leaves exert anti-inflammatory benefits.
Kratom is by far the strongest and most euphoric of any of the pain management substances listed here. It has definite recreational use and potential for abuse. That’s why Dr. Peter Attia and Dr. Andrew Huberman often denounce it.
Major warning that kratom can be addictive and should only be used under medical supervision. That, and the legality of kratom varies by country and region.
Kratom is by far the most powerful natural pain reliever I’ve discovered, although it is habit-forming and should be used with caution.
Use Feel Free code URBAN40 to save 40% on your order!
Black Walnut Hull
Black Walnut Hull is derived from the black walnut tree’s nut. Specifically, from the outer covering. This is another substance used in traditional medicines.
Black Walnut Hull contains several bioactives, like tannins and juglone. Studies support these compounds for their anti-inflammatory effects.
It also has antimicrobial properties, which is particularly helpful for pain induced by infections or microbial overgrowth.
Lastly, Black Walnut Hull contains oxidative-stress-reducing antioxidants. Further helping manage inflammation and pain.
I haven’t tried it personally, but it’s worth considering.
Black Walnut Hull’s anti-microbial properties make it ideal to address inflammation and pain caused by infection.
Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia annua) is a common remedy originating from Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Although one of the active ingredients, called artemisinin, is best known for its anti-malarial properties, it also shows promise for pain relief.
Artemisinin possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory molecules and modulates pain receptors. Making sweet wormwood potentially helpful for conditions related to chronic inflammation and pain.
Studies also show that sweet wormwood has neuroprotective properties. By helping protect nerve cells from damage and promoting their repair and regeneration, it can aid neuropathic pain.
This wouldn’t be one of my first choices, but it’s still worth considering.
A remedy from Traditional Chinese Medicine called sweet wormwood is mostly known as an anti-malarial, but it does have some effects on inflammation and pain receptors.
Many different essential oils help with pain. I use mint. Specifically, peppermint.
Peppermint essential oil (coming from the peppermint plant) has strong cooling and soothing properties. One of its many uses includes pain relief.
Of peppermint oil’s bioactives, menthol is the most prominent. It has strong anti-pain and anti-inflammation actions and causes a noticeable numbing effect.
Topically applied peppermint oil helps alleviate muscle and joint pains, headaches, and even menstrual cramps.
This essential oil also stimulates blood circulation, which aids the healing process and further relieves pain.
Do note that peppermint essential oil is quite potent. You must dilute it before applying directly to the skin. Consider performing a patch test to rule out any allergic reactions.
Peppermint essential oil is a natural pain relief option and works great with other management strategies.
Peppermint is a natural anti-pain, anti-inflammatory, and numbing option that can stimulate the body’s healing systems.
White Willow Bark
White willow bark is a go-to extract used by traditional medicines for its powerful pain-relieving properties.
This bark helps alleviate many kinds of pain. Mostly, pain is related to inflammation. Such as headaches, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
White willow bark also helps counteract oxidative stress.
Salicin is the key active compound within it. Your body converts salicin into salicylic acid. This substance works quite similarly to aspirin, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Many folks say…White Willow Bark is "Nature's Aspirin" Click To Tweet
Similar to aspirin, white willow bark can cause stomach upset. It’s also not as fast-acting, due to the necessary conversion of salicin into salicylic acid.
White willow bark has earned the nickname “nature’s aspirin” and is an excellent natural alternative for inflammation and pain relief (though use it responsibly).
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a widely used medication with pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and other properties.
It’s by far the safest member of the class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Long-term studies have documented its safety. And it’s among the oldest and cheapest NSAIDs too.
As an NSAID, aspirin reduces inflammation by blocking the activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes.
This is one way aspirin works. Another is by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that contribute to pain, inflammation, and fever.
Another of the well-known benefits of aspirin is its ability to reduce platelet aggregation. Platelets are small blood cells involved in clot formation. This antiplatelet effect explains why medical professionals use aspirin to protect against blood clot-induced heart attacks and strokes.
Some of the other potential benefits include slowing the oxidation of free fatty acids and powerfully increasing mitochondrial uncoupling.
Though it’s not as powerful as some newer painkillers or opiates, it still works well. This is a synthetic drug, so use it responsibly and ideally not too often.
If you must use a synthetic painkiller, aspirin has the best track record for safety, efficacy, and affordability—just try to save it for special occasions.
Biohacking Pain: The Most Powerful & Natural Remedies
Pain is a double-edged sword.
Acutely, it forces us to rest and recover, giving our body ample time to heal.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, serves as a BioSignal that something has gone quite wrong. It can act as an early warning sign. Warning that without making changes, chronic pain may lead to serious disease.
Even the most advanced biohackers often overlook this…Masking pain via natural or synthetic means does little good without recognizing the pain’s intended message Click To Tweet
Without pain, we’d have no way of knowing that we need to course correctly. We’d hurt ourselves, and/or blindly end up in dysfunctional states.
We’d keep our hand on the burning hot stove, for example, and suffer permanent damage.
This is the bioharmonous route to healing pain at the root:
- Understand the lessons of the pain
- Implementing the lifestyle change
- Cautiously reduce the underlying inflammation and pain
- Slowly remove the crutch pain-relieving substances
If you’re able, work with a knowledgeable pain management specialist. Ideally, someone who understands the intricately connected nature of human biology.
While pain can cause awareness, it can also debilitate us. Unchecked pain can make the necessary behavior change virtually impossible.
I hope some of the concepts outlined in this post give you the tools to address the root cause of your pain.
Go ahead and drop a comment below. Let me know your experience and thoughts. If you found this useful, please go ahead and share it on social media or send it to anyone you think it’ll help.