It’s hard to believe that feeling something pleasant can also dull the feeling of pain. Yet a growing body of research shows that it is possible. Here are the essential facts about using essential oils for arthritis symptoms.
Since the beginning of human history, people have used fragrant oils extracted from plants to improve their health. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that studies began to prove that aromatherapy has definite benefits.
For people with arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), aromatherapy’s potential for pain relief as well as sleep, depression, and more means you might want to take a fresh look at this old complementary approach.
Aromatherapy can help people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, both in terms of specific pain symptoms and general lifestyle issues. Aromatherapy can be a useful tool in generating a sense of well-being in a person. It’s a way to heal yourself, a way to build calm, reduce irritability, improve sleep and encourage a quiet mind.”
The benefits of essential oils for pain
When 36 adults with RA or other inflammatory conditions had their hands massaged twice a day for five consecutive days, using either an essential oil blend or coconut oil base, the group of aromatherapy reported less pain and more strength in the fingers, according to results published in November 2018 in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
And a review of 42 small studies on the use of aromatherapy with all kinds of pain, published in November 2016 in the journal Pain Research and Treatment, concluded that: aromatherapy can successfully treat pain when it is combined with conventional treatments.
Sleep, mood disorders: aromatherapy useful too
In addition to pain, many people with RA also have sleep and mood problems. Aromatherapy seems to be helpful in this area as well.
A sleep study was conducted with 50 Taiwanese nurses who worked night shifts. Half of them received weekly aromatherapy massages, while the other half benefited from a regular massage.
After one month, nurses receiving aromatherapy reported better sleep quality, less sleep disruption and less daytime dysfunction, according to results published in July 2017 in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
How can essential oils work to relieve joint pain?
One of the ways aromatherapy works its magic is that our sense of smell is directly linked to our brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for emotions and our response to stress. This is why when you smell intense smoke your body immediately goes into a fight or flight response, or why when you sniff a rose bush your whole body relaxes.
A study on women established a direct link between aromatherapy and our sympathetic nervous system, which is controlled by the limbic system. This research, published in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology, found that levels of stress hormones like adrenaline decreased when women smelled rose oil, but increased when they smelled pepper oil. more restless.
Some experts are also beginning to link aromatherapy to the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which appears to play a role in pain relief.
According to a January 2018 report in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Brazilian researchers pointed to the endocannabinoid system as the reason mice had less post-surgery pain after aromatherapy.
How to use essential oils
Aromatherapy oils can be massaged into the skin, but most must be diluted in a carrier oil, such as almond oil, avocado oil, or fractionated coconut oil. .
You can also add drops of essential oils to your bath water, spray them on your pillow or in the air, or inhale them through an aromatherapy diffuser.
You can also just smell the oil from the vial. Remove the lid and place it under your nose while you take a few deep inhalations.
Essential oils to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
For people with RA, it involves gently massaging areas of discomfort, which are supposed to be calming and cooling. Exactly what a person with hot and inflamed joints wants.
This is exactly what a person suffering from joint heat and inflammation wants: Copaiba (obtained from the trunk of a tree of the same name) and vetiver. You can use them separately or, even better, mix them together.
Once symptoms are under control, aromatherapy can be used to improve your overall health. Managing stress, decreasing toxic load, supporting the immune system and aiding sleep, essential oils are good for those aspects as well.
To improve sleep and relaxation, use oils of lavender, cedar, sandalwood and frankincense. Again, use them individually or in combination, or even mix them with your vetiver-copaiba mixture.
Some oils that will lift your spirits when you need a pick-me-up include wild orange and peppermint, which can also be added to your vetiver-copaiba blend.