Aromatherapy for Arthritis
I used to have the sweetest elderly neighbor living near me. Each summer, we would chat it up every time we see each other working outside, and as each new season began, I progressively saw his sadness as he could not do as much as the year before. A strong man with a fun-loving and active spirit, it saddened me beyond words to see him discreetly try to hide the tears that welled up in his eyes when he talked about the pain he experienced from his arthritis. Arthritis robbed him of his ability to golf, bowl, cater to his garden like he used to and most all of his other passions. And arthritis doesn't just afflict the aging. It can be instigated by other illnesses, diseases or injuries at any age. A foot injury has lead to arthritis in my foot. And from my personal experience, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle had directly contributed to arthritis in my knees.
Aromatherapy can't cure arthritis. Essential oils aren't a miracle cure, but they have the potential to help significantly, depending on the situation and form of arthritis. I am not a medical professional and my knowledge of the various forms of arthritis is quite limited. But... my successful experience in using an anti-inflammatory blend of essential and carrier oils for my own personal situation is one of the largest reasons that I became passionately involved in aromatherapy.
When I turned 28, I experienced severe pain in my knees that resembled the symptoms of arthritis. My doctor at the time was not thorough and did not believe it was arthritis, so I was faced with dealing with my pain on my own. At the time the situation occurred, I was living a sedentary life due to long working hours. I had also gained quite a bit of weight. The symptoms would last for several years until I began a rigorous exercise program, lost weight and significantly reduced processed foods from my diet.
It would take me several years to begin to eat better, increase my activity and shed the weight because the pain limited my mobility so severely. I began to make anti-inflammatory blends to use to gently massage my knees. This reduced the inflammation, brought comfort during the actual massage process and brought significant but temporary relief from my discomfort. The blends gave me what I needed to be able to increase my mobility and begin to significantly increase my activity level.
The crippling pain I had is a distant memory. Though I can still predict rain. ;) My new doctor believes I indeed have arthritis but that my lifestyle changes and use of my essential oil blends drastically improved my situation. I attribute my use of the blends for having dramatically contributed to my ability to make the long term lifestyle changes that have now virtually eliminated the pain I previously experienced.
List of Essential Oils for Arthritis
- Black Pepper
- Copaiba Balsam
- German Chamomile
- Ho Wood
- Roman Chamomile
Sources: Neryls Purchon and Lora Cantele, Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Toronto ON: Robert Rose, 2014), 160. Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 181.
Before using essential oils to ease the discomfort of arthritis, it is important that you first talk with your doctor or qualified practitioner and doublecheck for any contraindications associated with the particular essential oils that you wish to use.
Essential Oil Blends for Arthritis
Visit AromaWeb's Aromatherapy Blends for Arthritis page for two aromatherapy blends that utilize anti-inflammatory essential oils that may also help reduce your arthritic pain.