The Arthritis Foundation is just one of many respected health organizations that believes in the power of aromatherapy for pain treatment. Furthermore, different scents and essential oils have proven effective for treating different types of pain. Some essential oils and other aromatherapy products even contain natural chemicals and products found in over-the-counter pain relievers.
How can a simple scent or a whiff of smell positively treat chronic pain associated with anxiety, depression, arthritis and a “bad back” as well as muscle, bone and joint pain? It has to do with the way your nose communicates with your brain.
Mehmet Cengiz Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon and author, better known as Dr. Oz. He and other renowned physicians and health care professionals agree that aromatherapy works by affecting your amygdala. This is your brain’s emotional center. Pleasurable smells go to work immediately on your brain, easing pain and relieving stress.
Although you do have a “thinking side” of your brain, it does not have the power or the hardwired ability to inhibit the pleasurable and healing effects of aromatherapy. That means that the effect is nearly instantaneous. Listed below are some popular aromatherapy scents available in essential oils and other products, as well as the healing benefits they provide.
Lavender – Antiseptic and Pain Reliever
Lavender offers a fresh floral scent with just a hint of sweetness and herbs. This is one of the most versatile essential oils. The calming effect helps depression and anxiety sufferers, and this essential oil’s antiseptic and pain relieving qualities can be used to treat bites and stings from insects, minor burns, sunburn and muscle or joint pain.
Peppermint – The “Bengay” or “Icy Hot” of Nature
Peppermint is simultaneously soothing yet stimulating. As an essential oil applied directly to knees, elbows, shoulders and joints, peppermint aromatherapy acts as an invigorating but soothing pain reliever. Also effective for treating migraines and other headaches, digestive problems and congestion.
Green Apple – Migraine, Headache and Joint Pain
Doctor Alan Hirsch is a neurologist with the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. His studies have found that green apple aromatherapy scents, and the application of green apple essential oils, reduces both the duration and severity of migraine and minor headache pain. The same benefit also extends to joints and muscles.
Eucalyptus – Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
Eucalyptus aromatherapy and essential oils can best be described as “clean and fresh”. They open your airways, and function as a healthy anti-everything-bad. As an antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, this versatile aromatherapy scent can alleviate pains associated with asthma, colds, congestion, coughs, muscle pain and mental exhaustion.