As massage therapists, one common complaint our clients have is pain. Most massage therapists use essential oils in their practice to provide pain relief to their clients. Sometimes, this pain is just everyday aches and pains associated with muscular overuse or an injury, but there are a lot of people that experience pain because of arthritis.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million adults have been diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis was once consider a condition of old-age. Here’s a surprising fact: although the risk of arthritis increases with age, nearly 300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is typically caused by wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the joints in the body. Besides pain, many people who have arthritis also have an emotional/energetic component that is helpful to address when making any aromatherapy preparations. When we are in pain and having difficulty moving around, it can also lead a person to feel depressed and hopeless. By using essential oils to address pain and these emotions, the effects can be dramatically enhanced. There was a study done with 40 arthritis patients in a hospital in Korea investigating the effect of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and feelings of satisfaction in life. The result of the study showed that aromatherapy has major effects in reducing pain and depression levels.
How to use essential oils for arthritis relief
When looking for a carrier oil to use in making a blend for arthritis, our Anti-trauma oil is a great choice. It is an amazing herbal-infused oil containing Arnica flowers, St John’s wort flowers, and Calendula flowers. Another great option is the Balm of Gilead infused oil, which is great for rheumatism.
When choosing essential oils for use with arthritis, we want to look for those that will help with inflammation and pain. Some that are quite beneficial include Spike Lavender, Balsam Copaiba, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary Verbenone, Sandalwood, Plai, Ginger, Lemongrass, Black Pepper and of course, Wintergreen.
Caution: Wintergreen should not be used with anyone taking anticoagulant medications such as Warfarin or Courmarin as they contain methyl salicylate.
Recipe for Arthritis Pain
In 1 oz Balm of Gilead infused oil add:
5 drops Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
5 drops Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)