Aromatherapy, a form of therapy that uses scents and essential oils from plant extracts to relieve the body of discomfort and pain, has been used for thousands of years across many cultures and countries.
Different types of aromatherapy have been used throughout history to manage both acute and chronic pain for centuries. Different types of aromatherapy are integrated in different ways.
How you treat chronic pain will vary from how you treat acute pain and oils are used for different ailments. Here is a list of common oils and their uses:
• Chamomile – an essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties, it has been known to help with tension, headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, and back pain. It is also known to be a digestive aid. Check with your GP before using if you are pregnant.
• Lavender – an essential oil that is touted as being one of the best for pain management. It is helpful for muscle cramps and strains, headaches, neuralgia, nervous tension, and can help relieve mood swings. Check with your GP if you are pregnant before use, especially in the first trimester.
• Sandalwood – an essential oil that is considered to be one of the most valued for aromatherapy. It can soothe muscle tension, improve circulation, and help with the sciatica. No known contraindications.
• Marjoram – an essential oil that has potent sedative properties. It helps soothe muscle stiffness and cramps, improves circulation, and is used in treatment for Rheumatism and osteoarthritis. Do not use if you are pregnant.
• Rosemary - Rosemary essential oil is one of the best oils to help relieve pain, which is why it's widely used in treating headaches, muscle pains, and even arthritis. Massage the affected area lightly with the essential oil blended in a carrier oil. Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use if epileptic or have high blood pressure
• Peppermint - Peppermint is great if you suffer from back pain as it relaxes muscles in the lower back. It helps reduce tension headaches and pain due to fibromyalgia. And it helps relieve headaches due to sinus congestion. Check with your GP before using if you are pregnant, do not use on children under 2 years old. It can also irritate sensitive skin.
• Frankincense - Frankincense is both painkilling and anti inflammatory. Frankincense also reduces muscle tension by helping you to relax and reduce stress.
If you are looking for pain management and don’t want to contaminate your body with chemicals, aromatherapy may be just the outlet that you are looking for.