Beyond the Basics of Using Essential Oils
Using essential oils goes beyond just aromatherapy. Essential oils can provide your clients with added pain relieving benefits when applied appropriately. There is much to learn about using essential oils for the relief of pain and a basic understanding of what essential oils work best for each physical cause and pain is important. Here is an overview of two types of essential oils that are of the most benefit to massage patients: analgesics and anti-inflammatory.
The Benefits of Essential Oils and Massage Therapy
Combining essential oils and massage therapy can see almost instant results when applied properly. Although some essential oils can make a change to a person’s mental and physical health by simply inhaling them, when essential oils are applied through massage to assist in easing pain the combination of oils and manipulation using massage has also been shown to have immediate results on muscle tissue. Effective relief from musculoskeletal pain can also be achieved with the use of essential oils containing natural analgesics and anti-inflammatory properties as well as anti-rheumatic and detoxifying capabilities.
Here is a list of essential oils that are considered analgesics:
- German and Roman Chamomile: The apple like scent is calming and can aid in the treatment of headache and PMS and also works as an anti-inflammatory.
- Eucalyptus: Commonly used in decongestants due to the stimulating smell, but also stimulates skin and muscle with a heating effect.
- Lavender: A lovely almost citrusy scent this oil can be used for almost anything including pain relief and calming.
- Sweet Marjoram: Aids in circulation as well as pain relief.
- Peppermint: Stimulating aroma also relieves headache and body pain.
- Rosemary: This is a principle stimulant used to aid headaches, pain relief and circulation.
Analgesics considered to have a sedative effect are chamomile, lavender and sweet marjoram whereas peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary are considered stimulants.
An anti-inflammatory is used to reduce swelling which can cause pain. Here are essential oils considered anti-inflammatories:
- German and Roman Chamomile: As an anti-inflammatory chamomile works well for strains, sprains and osteoarthritis.
- Helichrysum or Everlasting: Has a sweet fruity scent and is used most often to assist with sports injuries.
- Turmeric: Used to aid in relieving shoulder and chest pain, but is also believed to be a strong anti-oxidant.
- Yarrow: Yarrow helps increase circulation and has a number of benefits including aiding with digestive issues.
Blends and Preparation
Although each essential oil has pain reducing properties on their own, it is not uncommon to create special blends of essential oils to increase the effectiveness. Essential oils are added to a carrier oil to dilute the scent as well as to allow for effective application during treatments. For inflamed or painful joints a blend of Chamomile, Marjoram, Rosemary and Turmeric works well. When working with strained muscles and back pain you can blend together Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Helichrysum.
An in-depth study into the use of essential oils will allow you to provide an add on treatment that will both improve the effectiveness of your treatment plan as well as an additional source of revenue for this highly desirable area of expertise.