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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 

First of all, Thanks Carolyn for all your help with my previous posts, your advice is very useful. I have a boyfriend who has back pain, and he was told by his chiropractor that he has a pinched nerve. I was wondering if anyone may be aware of any essential oil blends that I can use to make massage oil (or anything else that may help) to relieve the pain for that condition? Thank you!


Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #2 

Good Morning Jade, and you're very welcome. There are really two main ways to modify the perception of pain; one is locally by providing some form of counter stimulation that interrupts the transmission of action potentials by competing for relay at the switching stations at the spinal 'gates'. Receptors that relay various ranges of touch sensations can do this. It's possible to use various essential oils that bring about a counter-irritant response and this cutaneous reaction - erythema = redness, tingling, warmth - and of course the action of massaging around the afflicted area plays an enormous part in the resulting relief of discomfort. Every time you buy a muscle liniment such as Deep Heat or Tiger Balm, you are using this principle to get relief from your aches and pains. Take a look at what's in some of those products and you'll see that apart from a number of long chemical names, there's often eugenol, methyl salicylate, menthol and thymol perhaps. These obviously were originally extracted from natural plant sources - before they discovered how to synthesize in the lab. Essential oils containing these components are peppermint, clove, cinnamon bark, thyme, wintergreen, sweet birch and there are others of course. Since these eo's can bring about erythema - which is an irritant effect and what you're after in this case, they're commonly tagged as being potentially hazardous in most aromatherapy texts - and unfortunately they can also cause sensitization reactions in some individuals. Most ATx texts recommend diluting eo's to around 2-5% for seafety in order to avoid potential irritant effects - but in this case you actually want this. Therefore, you should only use these potentially counter-irritant oils on a very localized basis, for short periods of time, not over broken or abraded skin, and watch carefully for signs of inflammation elsewhere in the body. So here are some well-respected suggestions for counter-irritant oils: Mantha x piperita Laurus nobilis Stureja montana Eugenia caryophyllata Gaultheria procumbens Betula lenta Thymus vulgaris, thymol Achillea millefolium The other way to dampen the perception of pain, is to sedate the brain (or render it unsconscious). There are many refs for some gorgeous eo's having the ability to calm, soothe and sedate the senses and thereby taking the edge of the pain sensation. Famous ones are lavender, Roman chamomile, Helichrysum, Vetiveria zizanoides, Ylang Ylang, Salvia sclarea and many others that are reputed to be relaxants. Oils that are high in linalool have been shown to sedate mice that were wired with caffeine. Franchomme & Penoel - and Mailhebiau and Schnaubelt - all indicate eo's high in aldehydes as having calming properties - Eucalyptus citriodora, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon winterianus, C. flexuosus, Litsea cubeba, and Melissa officinalis if you can get the real thing. Also eo's high in esters are considered to have sedative properties. Linalyl acetate in lavender and thyme linalool are good examples. Also try Salvia sclarea, Citrus aurantium var. amara po leaves and flowers, (Petitgrain and Neroli), Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), and Wintergreen again - 'cos methyl saclicylate the basis of aspirin is an ester. It seems that some lactones may have analgesic effects - especially nepetalactone a monoterpenoid lactone that's in Catnip - Nepata cataria or C. caesarea. It caused marked sedation in rats that dampened their reponse to mechanical pain - poor things. The conclusion was that nepetalactone had an affinity for certain opioid receptors and so worked much like codeine. Other noteworthy eo's I would suggest for this approach would be Mandarin - Citrus reticulata - according to Schnaubelt it has n-methyl anthranilate which is a sedative. There's refs for Tonka Bean, Dipteryx odorata as being sedative 'cos of it's coumarin content - sleep inducers according to Franchomme & Penoel - and Tonka Bean and the Balsam of Peru has a lovely vanilla smell - as does Styrax Benzoin and Vanilla absolute itself of course. Try Tillea millefolium - linden blossom - absolutely gorgeous and would send me off to la la land - but maybe not your partner. Which leads me to remind you that whatever you decide to try, the recipient has to LIKE. Involve the recipient in the final choice - encourage their instinctual dichotomous choice - and you stand a much better chance of the recipient 'opening' to the potential effect of the oils and their components. The body has it's own intelligence - it know's what it needs and given half the chance will choose wisely. Hope this helps, Best wishes Carolyn


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #3 

Hi Jade, This is a recipe that I found wonderful. I have had long term sciatic pain and this really halped me Add to your prefferred base oil Lavender 15 drops Eucalyptus 10 drops Frankincense 10 drops Juniper 10 drops Chamomile German can be added during the acute phase. hope it helps, Sue

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