Have you ever slept ‘wrong’? You wake up and you hurt all over. You hurt in your spine and your muscles and right up into your neck. I do it sometimes – mostly because even if I make myself sleep on my side, I wake up on my tummy. Just the way my body wants to lie down, I suppose. But my point, is that I wake up after sleeping wrong, and I walk like I’m 60. My roommate makes fun of me when it happens.
Then I do some stretches and mostly I feel better while I walk to the streetcar that gets me to work.
Then I sit at a desk all day and my posture is bad and I don’t walk around as much as I should and I get so focused that I forget even to stretch. And then my back hurts again. So I stretch and I walk back and I stand on the way home, but it doesn’t really stop my back from hurting. Normally I take a hot bath and rub one of my favorite Essential Oil combinations on it and then I go to bed. It’s much better after that.
I make those same essential oil combinations for my mum. She spends most of spring and summer and fall in the garden. All that bending and three pregnancies and old age mean she needs them far more often than I do.
There are lots of causes for back pain. Old injuries, like a slip, or a fall, or a tackle; muscle or ligament strain, caused by frequent heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement can cause painful muscle spasms in your back; slipped or bulging disks, disks act as cushions between the bones in your spine and when they move they can press on a nerve causing crippling pain; arthritis can occur in the back and some rare cases arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis; and osteoporosis, which can cause your bones to develop stress fractures.
Aromatherapy Fix-It and How
Aromatherapy works. I know it’s one of those things that people are probably the most skeptical of when they start in the world of alt health. But there have been so many studies proving its efficacy that I thought I would share the science with you.
First the smell. The olfactory sense is the strongest of the five senses in the body. And certain scents are linked directly to certain responses in the brain. The limbic system, which controls our emotions is stimulated which bring about the release of happy hormones, decreasing stress, anxiety and generally helping us relax – right down into our muscles.
Second, the topical application of essential oils is the more effective method of getting the benefits. When applied to the skin, the molecules of the essential oils reach the bloodstream by combining with the natural oils of the skin. They are then absorbed into the skin through sweat glands and hair follicles and skin cells through osmosis over the semi-permeable membranes of the skin. They eventually make their way into the blood stream. This allows them to start achieving results in less than 10 minutes.
The Essential Oils
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Yeah, yeah, I know. You know it hurts and you want a solution and I’m rambling. Well, here are the best oils for the job. They’re not only effective, they smell pleasant too. Remember, these aren’t long-term solutions. If you have chronic back pain, head over and see a doctor.
When you make these remember you must use a carrier oil so that they don’t burn your skin or give you a reaction. A carrier oil is used to dilute the essential oils and mean that you don’t waste as much oil as you would otherwise (sometimes EOs are expensive).
Carrier oils: coconut oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil.
My Top 8 Essential Oils For Back Pain
Peppermint: good for both pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory, it helps stimulates your blood flow and uplifts your spirits (particularly if your pain is making you cranky). It creates a cool, tingly feeling that are going to ease any tension in your body.
Ginger: is the opposite of peppermint – it’s one of those oils that’s going to feel warm when you rub it on your skin. This is mostly good for easing pain in sore, achy back muscles.
Basil: another bright, happy smell to boost your mood and the scent is linked to creating relaxation in your muscles and has been linked to lowering cortisol levels. This is good to rub up and along the spines.
Marjoram: this essential oil reduces inflammation, making it particularly good if you suffer from arthritis, and it has the same pleasant warming sensation that you get from ginger.
Eucalyptus: is a warming, soothing oil that contains some strong anti-inflammatory qualities. It’s also an effective pain reliever.
Lavender: is wonderfully relaxing. This is the oil I almost always choose before I go to bed. It helps you sleep while it’s anti-inflammatory properties help your back.
Rosemary: like lavender, is another great all around oil. It’s effective for aches, pains, arthritis, among many other things.
Bergamot: is delicious smelling (it’s what gives Earl Grey tea it’s signature scent!) and both anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
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