Aromatherapy for Pain

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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Unexplained Weight Gain

 

 

Weight gain is frustrating enough, but when you can’t seem to identify the cause(s) of it, the frustration is compounded. Emotional overeating is a somewhat sneaky problem – because it can involve mindless eating, it’s the sort of thing that can occur without you realizing it. If you are having trouble figuring out what’s causing your weight gain, here are some tips on identifying emotional overeating (as opposed to just overeating).

Seemingly Unexplainable Weight Gain

If you are gaining weight and you can’t seem to figure out why, this is (ironically) a sign that the problem may lie with emotional overeating. As noted above, you often don’t know you’re doing it when it comes to emotional overeating. You may even be working out regularly and preparing healthy meals and still gaining weight, because you are mindlessly eating other foods when you feel negative emotions.

A Sudden Urge

Sources say that emotional “hunger” comes on quite suddenly, perhaps in the form of an irresistible craving for a certain food or just the urge to eat right now. True hunger is usually more gradual than that – unless you have low blood sugar or have gone a very long time without eating, true hunger does not usually take the form of an urgent need to eat a whole lot right away.

Depression

More and more the connection between emotional overeating and depression is being discovered. Do you feel depressed periodically? When you even think of feeling depressed, what goes through your mind? How do you cope? If you are picturing a big serving of your favorite comfort food, then this may be a sign that your overeating is emotion-based.

Stress

Are you going through a stressful time in your life simultaneous to your weight gain? Have you seen that pattern before? Stress, with its accompanying anxiety and other negative feelings, can trigger someone to overeat in response to those feelings.

Guilt

How do you feel after you eat? Are you consumed with guilt? Do you feel ashamed? These feelings are signs that you have a problem with emotional overeating. Normal eating to satisfy normal hunger does not make a person feel guilty.

Specific Cravings

As many parents know, genuine hunger usually means that you’re more open to various food options. In emotional overeating, though, cravings may be so specific that no other food will do to satisfy your “hunger.” You feel like you have to have that particular food to feel satisfied.

 

How to Support Your Health When You Quit Smoking

 

When you quit smoking, your body undergoes quite a change. You have to detoxify, and various body tissues need to heal. It’s a good idea to support your health as you go through the transition. In fact, good nutrition and healthy habits may make quitting easier. Here are some ideas and tips.

1. Rest

Try to give your body lots of rest during this time. Without the “rush” of nicotine from cigarettes, you may feel washed out, nauseated, or otherwise generally yucky. Resting helps your body to build new tissue and heal. Resting does not mean you don’t move around; just try to take a break from all the running around and stress for a while.

2. Exercise

Exercise is said to help the body detoxify by increasing circulation and other ways. Few would argue that exercise is a boost to your health, whether you smoke or not. Incorporating regular exercise may help you quit if you use it as a distraction tool – maybe you could take a brisk walk or bike ride when you feel a craving for nicotine. Just don’t walk or bike to the store to buy more cigarettes!

3. Nutrition

Your body will need lots of nutrients to support it during this transition. Vitamin C is said to be very important for soon-to-be-ex-smokers, and it is an important antioxidant vitamin. Magnesium is important for muscle relaxation and nerve function. Fruit and vegetable juices can help deliver lots of nutrients and could make a healthy addition to your diet. Berries may help, too, as their antioxidant activity is well known.

Foods with a lot of Vitamin C include bell peppers, citrus fruits, mangoes, and broccoli. Magnesium-rich foods include black beans, most nuts, spinach, and whole wheat bread.

B-complex vitamins are also something to consider – they are reputed to boost the immune system. Try snacking on raw celery sticks to get some B vitamins. Cauliflower, bell peppers, tuna and greens (like kale) are also good sources of these important vitamins.

4. Supplements

Herbal and nutritional supplements may be helpful. A good multi-vitamin is probably a good place to start. You might consider some herbal supplements or teas that can help boost your system while you quit smoking. There are actually herbal and nutritional supplements that are blended specifically to help smokers who are quitting.

Some soothing herbal teas that might help include chamomile, lemon balm, and/or catnip tea (yes, the same catnip cats go crazy for!). Herbal blends that contain oat straw and dandelion may also help – oat straw has magnesium, and dandelion is purported to help prevent and treat water retention.

 

10 Tricks To Eating Healthy While Eating Out At Restaurants! 

Just Brittany Moments

1. Ask for it your way!

Don’t be afraid to ask for a customized order. After all, you are the one consuming the food! For instance, if an item is fried, see if it can be grilled instead. If your order comes with fries, ask for a side of veggies instead. Very often the restaurant will cooperate with you requests.

2. Ask to “triple the vegetables, please.”

Sometimes a restaurant will provide a side of vegetables where the portion seems more like a garnish. When ordering, ask for three or four times the normal serving of veggies, and offer to pay extra. It’ll be well worth it and your body will thank you later!



3. Order from the “healthy, light, low fat” entrées.

Most restaurants will list the calorie amount and nutritional content of those particular foods and some chains even list nutritional information for their entire menu!

4. Ask…

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