An aromatherapy massages promotes relaxation, which can be difficult to achieve when you are trying to cope with the pain, stiffness and immobility of a severe arthritic condition.
Massage with essential oils also makes you feel cosseted, cared for and soothed, all positives states of mind which can powerfully aid the physical healing process. As with other complementary treatments, aromatherapy cannot cure arthritis, but it may relieve or improve the condition. As the effects can be strong, your aroma therapist should ideally be someone who has been trained to treat arthritis sufferers. An aromatherapy massage should be viewed as a medical, rather than a beauty treatment.
The stress factor
Aromatherapists believe that essential oils affect our health primarily at the level of the mind and the emotions. The many chemicals in the oils directly influence our brains to promote positive thinking and optimism. Relief of stress sets the healing process in motion and alleviates any physical problems that may have resulted from stress and tension being held for a long time in the emotions. Another pioneer of aromatherapy as a medical treatment, developed severe arthritis at the early age of 26. She was prescribes drugs that were later found to be dangerous, and her condition gradually worsened.
The combination of a healthy balanced diet and aromatherapy relieved her arthritis. When she trained as an aroma therapist in the 1960s, the treatment was derived by orthodox doctors. Times have changes, and aromatherapy is now widely accepted. If you are interested in using essential oils to treat arthritis, it is advisable to book an initial consultation with a qualified aromatherapist who can recommend a holistic regime appropriate for your particular condition, lifestyle and inclinations. Their professional organization can put you in touch with suitably qualified aromatherapists.
Treatments for arthritis
These self help aromatherapy treatments are suitable for safe, effective home use by arthritis sufferers. They have been devised by a practitioner:
1. Dip a small towel in a basin containing very hot water, mixed with 15 ml of cider vinegar, two drops each of pine and cypress oils, and one drop of lavender oil. Apply this compress morning and night to the affected areas. Follow with an application of olive or nut oil and keep the areas warm.
2. Using a mild, unfragranced body shampoo as a base, make up an emulsion containing one drop each of pine, juniper and cypress oils. Run hot water into the bath, and then add the emulsion. Lie in the bath for as long as possible. Afterward, wrap yourself in a warm toweling dressing gown and rest on your bed for 10 minutes.
Pimento massage oil
This oil is very warming, and can thus help to relieve the pain of arthritis. You will need:
10 ml soya oil
2 drops wheatgerm oil
3 drops pimento oil
Mix all ingredients together and apply to affected areas. Massage in well, then cover with a hot compress. Although aromatherapy treatments can help to soothe the pain and inflammation of arthritis, relief is not guaranteed. As with all arthritis treatments, these will help some people more than others. They work best in conjunction with an anti arthritis diet and a generally holistic, healthy regime.