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.

 

 

 

 

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.