There are several natural substances and methods known to help relax muscles, improve recovery and alleviate muscle pain. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of these natural muscle relaxers can vary from person to person, and they are generally most effective for mild or moderate muscle discomfort. Here are some of the most commonly used natural muscle relaxers:
This critical mineral is known for its muscle relaxation properties. Magnesium supplements, or foods rich in magnesium like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and almonds, can help.
Considering that around 75% of people aren’t getting enough magnesium due to our bad diets and depleted soils, people should consider supplementation.
Chamomile, recognized for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties, is an effective natural muscle relaxer. The herb contains flavonoids, which contribute to its ability to soothe muscle spasms and reduce tension in muscle fibers. This makes it particularly beneficial for relieving conditions like menstrual cramps and muscle aches. The sedative effects of chamomile also promote relaxation and better sleep, indirectly aiding in muscle recovery.
CBD oil, derived from the cannabis plant, is gaining popularity for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It is thought to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help reduce muscle pain and stiffness.
Essential for bone and muscle health, Vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle weakness and pain. Adequate Vitamin D can be achieved through sun exposure, diet (fish, fortified dairy products), and supplements.
With Vitamin D, you want to be in that sweet spot, right in the middle of the 25 and 80 ng/ml range recommended by medical experts. It’s always a good idea to get your levels tested to know your baseline before starting supplementation.
Applying heat to sore muscles increases blood flow and relaxes muscle tissue. It can also alleviate pain. Heat therapy can be applied using heating pads, hot water bottles, warm baths, or heat wraps.
Regular sauna sessions are also another way to exposure yourself to the heat and relieve tension in your muscles, particularly for those that work out frequently.
Cold therapy or cryotherapy reduces blood flow, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. It’s particularly effective for acute injuries or inflammation. Ice packs or cold compresses are the most common methods.
Cold plunges, cold showers and ice baths may be other ways to reap the benefits of cold exposure for your muscles.
Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension, increase blood flow, and promote relaxation. It can also help in the elimination of toxins from the muscle tissues.
Some essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus, are known for their anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can be used in massages, baths, or diffused in the air.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help in reducing muscle pain and inflammation when consumed in food or as a supplement.
Yoga and Stretching:
Engaging in yoga and regular stretching exercises can be highly effective in relieving muscle tension and improving overall muscle health.
Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to enhance flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Stretching helps in elongating the muscle fibers, reducing stiffness, and improving range of motion. Consistent practice can also enhance blood circulation, aiding in muscle recovery and reducing the risk of cramps and injuries.
Proper hydration is crucial for muscle function. Muscles are composed of approximately 75% water, and dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and reduced strength. Adequate water intake ensures that electrolytes, crucial for muscle contractions, are balanced within the body. It also helps in maintaining lubrication of the joints, reducing the risk of muscle strains and joint pain.
Sleep & Rest:
Muscles need time to recover after exertion. Without adequate rest, muscles can become overworked, leading to increased tension and pain.
Quality sleep is particularly important as it’s during this time that the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissues. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep can impede this recovery process. Rest doesn’t just mean sleep; it also includes taking breaks between intense physical activities, allowing muscles time to recuperate.
Regular relaxation practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can also help in reducing overall muscle tension and stress.
Valerian root is a herb traditionally used for its sedative and calming effects. It’s believed to work by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps in regulating nerve impulses. This regulation can lead to relaxation of the muscles. Valerian root is often used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and stress, all of which can contribute to muscle tension. It’s available in various forms, including capsules, teas, and tinctures. While valerian root is generally considered safe for short-term use, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider before using it, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on other medications.
This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. It is believed to stimulate the nervous system and can be effective in treating muscle pain and tension.
There you have it, folks! You have all these natural muscle relaxants to try first before going to your doctor and requesting a prescription medication. Also, remember that while these natural methods can be helpful, they should not replace professional medical advice or treatment, especially for chronic or severe muscle pain that can be a sign of an underlying issue.
If muscle pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor or healthcare professional for further diagnosis.
Amine is a Toronto based entrepreneur who is passionate about Fitness, Diet and Health. He is passionate about teaching other entrepreneurs and “office workers” how to stay fit using simple yet effective bodyweight workouts that can be accomplished anywhere.