"Ecstasy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth."
On Friday night I was feeling good watching a film on TV, chilling out with my companion animals, and pain free--until it happened. I went into another room for a minute and then heard that tell-tale familar sound of Seth, my three-year-old Brittany chomping on a plastic bottle of water that I left behind. I scurried towards the bedroom to catch him in the act (before the water spills and he gets the bottle cap). But in my great attempt to beat him to the punch I tripped in the dark hallway. I fell on the gate room divider (a must-have for active Type A pooches). And BAM! as the famous Chef Emeril says. Down, down, down I went onto both the oh-so hard floor and wooden gate. The visible damage: One red and swollen lump the size of a hard boiled egg on my right cheekbone. The day after: I am sporting two pesky black eyes, a sore shoulder, bruised thigh, and aching back. Ouch...
Coincidentally, an eye-catching new October study published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that both chocolate and drinking water can help curb pain. Well, it worked for the lab rats.
Meanwhile, today my cheekbone smarts. A lot. So, I'll choose both natural painkillers. As a Libra who loves balance, I'll take mine in all forms. For starters, have I been in the mood to bake? No. Swim? Yes. But the tourists are here till tomorrow so no pool today. I'll nurse my wounds with the help of hot tea, bottled water (yes, watching the pooch), and dark chocolate chips. Not to forget ICE and a heating pad.
Take Two Chocolates and Pet the Dog
So how can chocolate also help to soothe pain, anyhow? Well, in my chocolate book I discuss the multiple feel-good compounds for aches and pains--but for now I will tell you something you may already know. Dark chocolate is a known natural painkiller. Plus, both swimming and hydrotherapy (hot tub) paired with dark chocolate can help you to relax (like pets can do) and boost pain-relieving endorphins. It's a double effect to soothe pain and help you feel better...
And tea? My tea of choice is chamomile. Not only does it ease inflammation (yeah, I've got that going on), protect against infection, but it also soothes and relaxes. It can help soothe your nerves (enough for me to go get highlights put in my hair to match my orange and white Brittany pair)--and that can help you to look and feel relaxed.
Chamomile & Chocolate Pain Recipe
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers or 1 tea bag. Steep at least 5 minutes.
Take one or two premium dark chocolates (70% cacao) or drink a cup of hot dark chocolate twice a day during a bout of pain.
One more thing. Ouch. My cheekbone throbs. Where's the chocolate? Note to self: Train the pooch to brew me a cup of tea. Can dogs do that?