Counseling Sheet

Pain and Fever Control Without Aspirin - 2

Agatha M. Thrash, M.D.
Preventive Medicine

Pain is a problem influenced by many factors simultaneously. The fact that a deep frontal lobotomy will block pain is evidence that the frontal lobes of the brain are somehow placed right in the middle of pain and are able to influence it greatly. This explains how martyrs go to their death able to think, sing, and even preach, right up to the very last breath.

It is the work of Satan to cause pain to cascade in the world. He frequently provokes others to be his agents to increase pain. When Peter denied Christ, he gave great pain to Him. And on the cross, the feeling of rejection by His Father caused Jesus intense anguish. "So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt." (The Desire of Ages, p. 753.) The addition of mental anguish to physical pain causes a patient who develops a sense of rejection to believe the trials are more than can be tolerated, and the whole situation is expressed simply as an increase in physical pain. Jesus is the Master Model in dealing with pain, as well as the solution for pain and for sin. Suffering can be sweetened into a fellowship with God.

Relatives and friends can influence pain. If the patient is kindly and tenderly regarded by members of the family, if special efforts are put forth to make everything comfortable that can be comfortable, even the painful part will seem to give less pain. If family members are unsympathetic or indifferent to the needs of the patient, the parts of the brain that sense discomfort will go into high gear, and pain will become unbearable. Everyone should plan thoughtful little remembrances for the patient.

Pain always carries an associated ministry, both to and from people who have it. Those who are in pain must learn to be patient and kind, even when the mind is distracted and the energies have been depleted by long-continued discomfort. There is never an excuse for irritability or harshness. The patient can make nursing duties more pleasant by making a thoughtful effort to consider the feelings of those who perform the duties.

Counterirritation can relieve pain. Block pain in nearby tissues by a cold compress applied over a nerve helping the patient to understand what is being done, what his pain means, and what measures are being contemplated. Reassurance is needed that he can bear the pain and that God loves him. Transcutaneous stimulation over the spinal cord (hydrotherapy and massage) can reduce pain.

MH 235: "In the case of sickness, the first thing is to ascertain the true character of the sickness and then go to work intelligently to remove the cause."

Exposure to Chemicals

We have become known as a chemical society. Many of our prominent diseases are intimately associated, often in a way that we do not realize, with our exposure to chemicals of various kinds from kitchen detergents and exhaust fumes to powerful drugs like cortisone.

Our exposure to chemicals is so common that we do not recognize that a number of these chemicals are giving us injury. We become so accustomed to contact with chemicals and drugs that we have idiomatic expressions in our language, such as "harmless as aspirin," using a common chemical as a prototype of harmless things.

We should not regard any exposure to a chemical that is not native to the body or the natural environment as being harmless or to be used safely without restraint. Aspirin is particularly harmful and should be looked on with strong suspicion. About 10,000 Americans each year lose their lives because of taking aspirin. These deaths are entirely separate from accidental overdosage in children. Aspirin is the trade name for acetylsalicylic acid.

The two most common uses of aspirin are pain relief and fever reduction. Approximately 17,500 tons of aspirin each year are used in these ways, to the tune of $600 million a year. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is used similarly, but contrary to earlier advertising, it appears to be even more toxic than aspirin. I agree with the many physicians who feel that aspirin should be a strictly controlled prescription item, not an over-the-counter drug.

Approximately 5% of persons taking aspirin will have heartburn after a single dose. Bleeding in the stomach and ulceration may follow in susceptible individuals, and is the affliction, which results in most of the deaths from aspirin. Nearly 70% of persons taking aspirin daily show a daily blood loss of ½ to 1 ½ teaspoons, and 10% of patients lose as much as 2 teaspoons of blood daily. Aspirin may double the time necessary for human blood to clot, increasing the likelihood of hemorrhage.

By far, the most disabling of the adverse reactions to aspirin is that of asthma. Attacks of asthma are often caused by very small amounts of the drug, and may be accompanied by swelling of the larynx, abdominal pain, and shock. In an occasional case, death may occur within minutes. Fortunately, this type of sensitivity is unusual, occurring in less than 0.2% of the general population.

Aspirin is a major cause of death in children up to 6 years of age, accounting for more than 500 deaths from overdosages each year. One should never consider any drug, whether over-the-counter or prescription, to be totally safe. No one, and especially not children, should be exposed unnecessarily to any drug. And never expose the unborn baby to drugs, no matter how mild, including antacids used for heartburn, antihistamines for motion sickness, or any other drug or chemical. This point cannot be emphasized too strongly, as many infants are marked for life because of a small exposure to a chemical, which the mother took while she was pregnant. Often the defect in the child is of a biochemical nature, rather than a structural abnormality. Perhaps the baby will not be able to make a certain enzyme needed to digest a particular nutrient, or make an essential blood component.


Most pain and fever can be easily controlled without aspirin or Tylenol. To control pain use heat or cold, or alternating applications of both, applying the heat or cold by a variety of different routes—heating pad, hot water bottle, ice cap, an ordinary fruit jar filled with ice or hot water and wrapped in a towel. Other methods include a hot tub bath, a hot shower, a "short cold bath" (30-120 seconds in cold bath water of 50-65 degrees). Usually, hot water applied directly to the part, if practicable, is the most effective, the temperature of the water being from 105-110 degrees, depending on the health of the individual and the part to be treated, but the easiest method should be tried first. Generally, the hot applications should be as hot as can be tolerated, and the cold applications should be as cold as you can get them. Alternating hot and cold packs may be applied to the chest, to the abdomen, or to any part for aches and pains. Wring a towel from hot water and place it on the painful part for 3-6 minutes. Replace the hot compress with an ice-cold compress for 30-60 seconds. Alternate in this fashion for 3-5 changes.

If headache relief is needed, put the feet in hot water for 30 minutes. The headache will dissolve into the footbath! Of course, if one is a severe diabetic on insulin, or has known blockage of arteries to the legs, this treatment should not be used, for even ordinary temperatures can sometimes cause blisters in these persons.

Common fevers can easily be treated by sitting in a hot tub bath from 105 to 110 degrees, until the skin is quite red and profuse sweating occurs. After the first five minutes, keep an ice cold cloth to the forehead, or from the beginning if the fever starts out over 101 degrees. Take a cup of hot water or hot herb tea when sweating begins. When the skin is red and the patient is sweating profusely, after 10-20 minutes, finish off the remedy as follows:

  1. Work fast to take a brief spray of cool water over the entire body from the chin downward;
  2. then do a quick friction rub-down with a coarse towel;
  3. wrap a bathrobe around you, jump into bed, and sweat for half an hour;
  4. arise, take a brief, normal shower, if needed, to cleanse the skin and relieve a sense of chilliness after sweating, and
  5. re-dress.

At all times that the body temperature goes above 101 degrees or when one begins sweating while taking any kind of hot bath, a cold cloth should be kept on the face, forehead or throat. When one finishes the hot soaking bath, if the treatment has been a good one, a sensation of weakness may develop after a minute or so of standing, because of the transfer of blood from the interior of the body to the exterior, much as in sunburn. This is normal, because of extensive reddening of the skin.

  • Ice or intensive heat: skeletal, abdominal. An ice massage on skeleton, 12-15 minutes, ice bag on the abdomen as needed. Apply heat by water, lamps, electric pads, water bottles, etc.
  • Fasting, enemas, baths, or showers can soothe pain.


  • Feet comfortable: massage, correct shoes, warm water soaks.
  • Physical fitness: avoid inactivity and muscle weakness in skeletal pain. Use walking, swimming, gardening, etc., at least 20 minutes, 5 times weekly. Stretching exercises also help.
  • ~First: Hang daily (traction for the spine) from a pull-up bar, until you can;
  • ~Second: Hang, elbows locked at 90-degree angle, building up to 10 - 15 seconds.
  • ~Third: While hanging, elbows 90 degrees, swing a small arc, flexing knees and hips toward abdomen with each swing. May take weeks to build up to a 90-degree arc.
  • ~Fourth: Chin-up at the bottom of the swing, working up to 15-20 consecutive pull-ups.

Maintain excellent posture: cheek bones perpendicular to collar bones (use mirror), shoulders back and down, no excessive spinal curves, knees relaxed, feet not pronated.

  • Push-ups to strengthen arms and shoulder muscles: Begin at any angle you can. After you successfully perform 5-10, progress to the next level: first, counter level; then couch, arm level; then couch, seat level, building up to 50. Then start push-ups on the floor, pushing up off the toes, if possible, and building up to 30 repetitions.
  • Strengthen forearms and wrists. Use a commercial hand gripper, available in easy, medium, and heavy strength. Chose one you can squeeze only 3-5 times. Do not use the thumb to squeeze(!) but partially close the gripper to fit in the palm between the fingers and the base of the thumb. Squeeze the gripper rapidly a distance of 1-2 inches with each hand once or twice a day, building up to 10 times more than before strengthening began.
  • Topical capsaicin, 6 times daily for 6 days, then 2 times daily thereafter. Any counterirritant can relieve pain. HEET, Zostrix, red pepper with rubbing alcohol.
  • One glass of water every 10 minutes for one hour. Very good for pain, headache, backache, or stomachache.
  • Vigorous, light friction or rubbing of the skin, or vibrations with a mechanical vibrator for 5 - 45 minutes helps some, not others. A 10-minute back rub helps some, not others.


  • Long, slow, rhythmic breathing to relax. Continue up to 20 minutes or more.


  • Apprehension, discontent, overbreathing, noise, irritating music, fear, or agitation can enhance pain by lowering the pain threshold. Pain is of complex cause and involves many systems: immune, endocrine, cardiac, circulatory, mental, and gastrointestinal. Do not dwell on pain, or it is more likely to continue. Create a loving and peaceful atmosphere.
  • Maintain proper weight, optimum nutrition, and obey the eight natural laws of health.

Herbal Teas

  • Herbal teas for pain. Recipe: Boil gently one tablespoon white willow bark and one tablespoon valerian root in one cup of water for 25 minutes. Then add one tablespoon wild lettuce, and steep 20 minutes. Take one tablespoon per hour. Also useful are wild yam, licorice root, flaxseed oil (2 teaspoons, three times daily), and skullcap. May need to use several days before getting relief.
  • Slippery elm tea for stomach or bowel pain, 1 teaspoon in 1 cup water.


  • Rub DMSO on sore muscles or joints.
  • Trigger point pressure or stretching may help, 5-10 seconds each trigger point or stretch, for chronic skeletal pain.
  • Cutaneous stimulation over the spinal cord by hydrotherapy and massage can alter the central nervous system's receptivity of painful stimuli.

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Uchee Pines Lifestyle Center
30 Uchee Pines Road #75
Seale, Alabama 36875