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Home Page > Aromatherapy Articles & Guides > Essential Oil Uses and Applications > Aromatherapy for Arthritis

Aromatherapy for Arthritis

Elderly Woman with Arthritis Holding a TulipI have the sweetest elderly neighbor living near me. Each summer, we chat it up every time we see each other working outside, and as each new season begins, I progressively see his sadness as he cannot do as much as the year before. A strong man with a fun-loving and active spirit, it saddens me beyond words to see him discreetly try to hide the tears that well up in his eyes when he talks about the pain he experiences from his arthritis. Arthritis has 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, but it can help significantly, depending on the 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 discovered aromatherapy around this time, and 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. Frequent massages gave me what I needed to be able to increase my mobility and begin to significantly increase my activity level.

I'm now 42 as I write this. 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 drastically improved my situation. I attribute my use of anti-inflammatory essential oils and gentle massage for having dramatically contributed to my ability to make the long term lifestyle changes that have now virtually eliminated the pain I previously experienced.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Recipes for Arthritis

Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Helichrysum and Black Pepper are essential oils that have personally helped me.

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.

It is strongly recommended that you first talk with your doctor about your planned aromatherapy routine and also about proper massage techniques for your particular form of arthritis. Depending on your situation, your doctor may advise you not to massage your joints. If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use and consult your medical practitioner.


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Wendy Robbins (Cert. Aroma ACHS), Founder of AromaWeb, is a Professional Level Member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

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