We all occasionally deal with muscle aches and pains. Everyday activities like carrying children or shopping bags, working in the garden or sleeping in a weird position can leave us uncomfortable and with a limited range of motion. Add to that strenuous activity from sports practices or fitness routines and many people stay sore much of the time.
There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies for sore and strained muscles, but most are full of toxic chemicals that, when absorbed by the skin and bloodstream, can react with other OTC and prescription meds to harmful effect, especially if overused or not used properly. Plus they are usually sticky and stinky!
Fortunately, it is possible to relieve muscle pain naturally with the use of essential oils. Cypress, Birch and Wintergreen are great for muscle soreness and can be applied topically by putting a few drops into grapeseed, coconut or sweet almond oil. Combinations of Rosemary, Black Pepper, Lavender and Ginger help in de-stressing the body after too long in the same position or too much physical activity, and can be added to a dollop of unscented lotion for easy massaging into affected areas.
These oils offer the same, often better, effects of the OTC solutions, including the warming and cooling sensation, without the harmful chemicals and side effects.
Many essential oils manufacturers, including CBD and menthol, offer ready-to-use prepared oil blends in roller and lotion forms. Some favorites are the Deep Blue blend, which is great for reducing inflammation and muscle soreness, and AromaTouch, which helps with inflammation and muscle soreness, and is very relaxing for the nervous system.
The benefits of using essential oils are increased when combined with massage therapy.
A one-hour massage can reduce muscle recovery time by three days. In addition, the experience can improve concentration and circulation, increase energy levels while reducing fatigue, and allow a greater range of motion and flexibility for better performance. Carefully chosen oils enhance the muscle recovery effect of a massage, and the scents make for an even more relaxing experience.
It’s important to always use therapeutic-grade oils for maximum efficacy and to always add your oils to a carrier oil or lotion before applying it to the skin. Even though these oils are plant-based and natural, skin irritation can occur when some oils are undiluted. Plus, they go much further and are more soothing when applied in a creamy consistency.
Many products use essential oils in their formulations due to their soothing, natural healing properties and relaxing, pleasant scents. Whether you buy one of these or make your own muscle balm, you can feel good knowing that essential oils can relieve your muscle inflammation and soreness in a safe and chemical-free way.