Some essential oils are said to relieve stress, anxiety, headaches, and other minor ailments, but did you know that certain extracts could also help to relax achy joints and muscles? From some, essential oils may be an ideal alternative to over the counter drugs as they don’t require digestion to absorb into the bloodstream if applied to the skin or inhaled. When applying the oil to the skin, always mix it with a carrier oil first as the concentrated oil can cause skin problems or other ailments.
Essential oils are often administered in one of several ways: Massage therapy, aromatherapy, topically (to temples, joints, or areas of pain), hot compresses, or via steam in the bath or shower. No matter how you use them, essential oils are reported to have few if any side effect. If you have skin sensitivities, consider diluting the oil and applying it to a small area of the body first.
When looking to choose an essential oil that is right for you, things can become complicated. The potential benefits of essential oil are fluid according to the user’s needs. The specific benefit that one oil provides may not have the same effect in someone else. The good news is that the oils are not too expensive and you can combine one or more to create a new, more desirable aroma. Take your time and experiment with the below oils and see if they make a difference for you!
Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera has long been used to support skin health after injury, but it can also be applied topically to the skin around achy joints to help address discomfort.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus leaves contain tannins, which may help to reduce swelling that has been linked to arthritic pain. It also holds analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which are known for helping soothe achy joints and muscles.
Frankincense – It has been suggested that frankincense can block leukotrienes, a type of inflammatory mediator that the body produces in response to allergens and exercise. Unregulated production of leukotrienes can result in excess inflammation in healthy joints. Additionally, frankincense has a mild sedative effect that some may find useful when general discomfort keeps them from rest.
Ginger – Ginger is a divisive aroma that some people swear by, while others find it a bit too strong. Even if its a bit much for you, it is still good for the back and joints. Individuals with rheumatism and arthritis may benefit from experimenting with this one.
Lavender – Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils. It promotes relaxation by helping to ease muscle swelling, spasms, and headaches, as well as providing temporary relief from occasional pain.
Peppermint, Rosemary, and Thyme – These three herbs contain antispasmodic properties that when applied directly to the problem area may help to provide some relief during the time between other forms of more conventional therapies.
Vetiver – Vetiver is popular with Ayurvedic medicine and comes from the lemongrass and citronella family. This oil is good for aches and pains caused by arthritis.
Yarrow – Yarrow is an analgesic flowering plant with properties that help to regulate a health inflammatory response.
While these are the primary oils used for muscle and joint aches and pains, there are many essential oils that contain stress relieving properties.
Chamomile is another plant that is believed to help lower blood pressure and ease stress. Spruce may offer additional for those with arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, sciatica, and bone pain. Combine these essential oils to Palo Santos, a type of wild tree native to Mexico and South America, to create an optimal soothing and pleasant aroma that fills the rooms and provides all-day support for feelings of relaxation.
Lavender and bergamot is another popular combination, as is eucalyptus and ginger. Replace ginger with rosemary, thyme, and lemon to create the scent that is best for you. Never force yourself to inhale smells you don’t like as this can create more stress and frustration.
If using an essential oil diffuser, you can run it around the clock. Not only will this help you feel better, but you will get to enjoy a deliciously scented home or office as well – just make sure to ask around the office as certain smells can trigger a negative reaction in some people.
While nothing can replace a visit to your chiropractor, consider one of these oils for additional at home support when problem areas, stress, or other health challenges disrupt your feelings of health and wellness.