Featuring Young Living Essential Oils

What about Muscle Pain?

Over my 20 years tenure as a massage therapist, I have dealt with muscle and joint pain in my clients, and ever more frequently, in my own case as well! (Doing 20 years of deep tissue massage tends to take a toll on the hands!) So, I have tried a lot of things for managing my own issues, and one of my favorite support tools (other than massage therapy) is essential oils.

Helichrysm is one of my personal favorite essential oils I go to for my own personal use.  Helichrysm is one of the primary active ingredient in the Young Living Oils blend, PanAway*.

As a Massage Therapist, I know that one factor in muscle pain is muscle tone, or tension. Often, to reduce pain and inflammation, one must reduce the muscle tone, because having the muscles too tight restricts the blood flow to the area. What does restricted blood flow cause? Many things which are not good!  Chronically tight muscles and reduced blood flow in an area can mean:

  • The tissues are not getting enough blood, which means the cells are not getting enough oxygen
  • Lack of blood supply also means the cells are probably not getting enough of their nutrients
  • With reduced blood flow, the toxins are not being removed as quickly, which may contribute to inflammation
  • Often edema, or swelling is present, which further contributes to the feeling of pain, and this can even restrict range of motion in some cases.

This is one reason that massage can help reduce muscle pain. The massage creates a relaxation response in the muscle tissue, which restores blood flow, and the oxygen and cell nutrients can be restored to the cells in that area, and the toxins and swelling are able to move out, which the movement of the massage actually furthers along quite quickly. Applying synergistic essential oils can enhance the effect.

Essential oils which calm and soothe the stress response can also lower muscle tone, and some essential oils may support muscle tissues in maintaining their proper tone and homeostasis.

Have you ever had a sports massage or deep tissue massage? I bet you were sore the next couple of days! I always use essential oils on my sports massage clients to soothe and balance them out.

My favorite oils for pain in my practice, which are affordable for daily use are:

  • Marjoram
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Aroma Siez blend*
  • Idaho Balsam Fir
  • Release blend*

Headaches: I see many people who come in with headaches. Whether the headaches is from muscle tension or is more of the type caused by hormones or environmental sensitivities, there are a couple of things that may help.

  1. Peppermint oil – place a dot on the temples, being careful not to get it in your eyes, and around the back of the neck and base of the skull. I often put some across the forehead also. For simple tension headaches, this can give a soothing, cooling sensation to the area.
  2. Release the muscles in shoulders and neck – if you can’t get a professional massage, get a friend to rub your shoulders and neck. I have some tools, such as a Theracane, which you can use to release your own shoulders, if you cannot get someone to help you. Theracanes are a plastic device that looks like a shepherd’s crook with knobs on the end, that you can dig into your shoulder muscles and back muscles to release the tension buildup and relax the muscles. It is a band aid approach, and won’t substitute for a full massage, but often can reduce or eliminate headache pain which originates from muscle tension.  Some essential oils can support the balance of the muscle tone and restore harmony in the muscles.
  3. Neck and shoulder stretches – Rotate your shoulders, stretch your neck, especially the back of the neck.

Even when you have migraines, often muscle tension is contributing as either the trigger or helping to maintain the intensity of the headache. If you suffer from chronic headaches that are not chemical, but are caused by muscle tension, you may need to see a competent sports massage therapist to correct any postural body mechanic problems that may be causing your shoulders and neck to be chronically tight. Those who have to sit at a computer all day often have chronic shoulder and neck issues.

Chronic muscle tension can be caused by stress, and most of us have more stress than we would like in our lives! Dealing with the physical components of pain, and addressing posture and repetitive use issues sometimes clear up the issue, but often, until the underlying emotional issues and/or mental stresses are dealt with, the physical issues will recur. If you are experiencing chronic stress related issues, consider checking out the Access Bars® or Access Body Process sessions I offer.

*Blends are made by Young Living Oils, a company in Utah that I recommend, especially for beginners to aromatherapy. The U.S. is a “buyer beware” marketplace for essential oils, and it is important to get unadulterated, pure essential oils with no additives, chemicals or quality issues.  See Article on Essential Oil Basics for more information.  I do sell essential oils in my office to clients.

**”Essential Oils Desk Reference” compiled by Essential Science Publishing, @2004, www.essentialscience.net, 1-800-336-6308

***This author makes no medical claims for essential oils.  Please seek a doctor’s care for any condition of pain, inflammation, or injury.

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