One thing I haven’t been able to mention when I talked about my dad’s fibromyalgia stages was how much aromatherapy has been of help to our family. To be honest, I’ve been meaning to write about this subject in a separate post anyway. I’m super into essential oil lately, and if you wish to know, I’m a self-proclaimed oil expert in my family already. But I’ll just talk about essential oils for fibromyalgia first, since they’re the reason why I became obsessed over these extracts.
If you aren’t already familiar with the term yet, it’s a type of treatment that uses scents to improve the patients’ well-being. “Doesn’t that sound a little suspicious?” you might ask, and I completely understand.
I too was skeptical about it at first. It totally seemed like another case of placebo effect, rather than a proper medical treatment. However, as I gradually looked into its origin and how it actually works, my opinion certainly changed (for the better, if you can’t already tell).
Rather than just healing your mind, there is actual science behind how essential oils work on your body as well. The most common practice of aromatherapy is probably through inhaling the essence, with the help of diffusers and inhalers. But do you know that essential oils can be absorbed by the skin also? They can be infused with body lotions and creams, or even dispersed through steamers.
The way aromatherapy works is by stimulating the sensory receptors, specifically your sense of smell. The receptor proceeds to send a message through your nervous system to the limbic system. This is the part of the brain that’s in charge of your emotions and hormones. Therefore, if it receives positive signals – a relaxing smell for example, you will feel a sense of soothing and relief.
It is proven that different essential oils will have unique healing effects on your body. This is because the way they stimulate your sense of smell also differs. Thus, combining different oils into a blend just for you will show even more health benefits. In general, aromatic essences are believed to bring these common effects:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Reduce headaches and migraines
- Improve the quality of sleep
- Boost your immune system and metabolism
- Manage pain and sooth sore muscles/joints
The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia And Essential Oils
Now we know the benefits of using essential oils, let’s go back to how they have helped improve my dad’s fibromyalgia condition.
As for now, there isn’t any perfect cure for fibromyalgia, unfortunately. Patients can only do so much to relieve their pain, but it won’t go away forever. That’s why a long term and sustainable therapy is very important for the patient’s well-being, both mentally and physically.
This is where fibromyalgia essential oils come in handy. Compared to some other types of therapy such as acupuncture or massage, they cost less and are easier to maintain at your own home. For people whose pain is too much for them to exercise, or are suffering from mental distress as a result of bearing pain for too long, they are incredibly helpful.
However, one thing you need to remember is that you can’t rely solely on aromatherapy to improve your health. Don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor to know what combination of treatments suits the level of your condition. You might need additional pain relievers or vitamins, but essential oils will undoubtedly provide extra therapeutic effects.
Finding suitable oil blends for fibromyalgia is also a process that requires attention. No fibromyalgia patient experiences the same kind of pain, and different types of oil will have different benefits. In addition, some scents don’t go together when mixed (from my own experience!).
Thus, you might need to confirm with an experienced therapist to see if a specific blend will do the job or not. But you can always try separate oils to see how they affect your condition.
What Essential Oils Are Good For Fibromyalgia?
Based on both my research and our family’s experience, these are a few suggestions for the best essential oils for fibromyalgia pain and fatigue:
Capsaicin – a component typically found in chili peppers – is very commonly used in pain relieving creams and supplements.
In a study in 2013 and 2017, researchers have confirmed that the regular use of highly concentrated capsaicin can have the same effects with other therapies of chronic pain. Not only did they relieve the pain, there were also improvements in sleep, fatigue, depression, and quality of life.
Capsicum oil extract, when applied topically, can help soothe the aching in areas such as the joints or lower back.
In a study conducted in 2015, researchers have looked into the effect of basil leaf oil extracts on chronic non-inflammatory pain, specifically fibromyalgia. The demonstrations showed that basil essential oils have an important anti-hyperalgesic characteristic – meaning they can help reduce the sense of pain.
Therefore, this oil is a great therapeutic option for treatment of chronic pain conditions. Further studies will provide more insights on its mechanism, and can very likely increase its pharmaceutical use.
My personal favorite, lavender extract might probably be one of the best essential oils for fibromyalgia. Even if you don’t have chronic pain, it will still bring you many health improvements. This oil can be a pain reliever and stress reliever at the same time.
Inhaling lavender scents will result in a calming effect, which improves the quality of your mental health. Fibromyalgia patients can find themselves less anxious and have better sleep quality.
Moreover, when diluted and applied directly to the skin, lavender oil can produce responses similar to analgesic medications. It significantly reduces inflammation and sores.
Ginger has been proven to have many medical benefits. Other than improving your digestive system and ease stomach pain, it can aid in managing pain as well. Ginger essential oil smells amazing, and when applied to the skin, it can have the same effects as capsicum oil.
5. Peppermint and citrus
Finally, some extra essential oils for fibromyalgia that I want to suggest are peppermint and citrus. Though my dad found them less effective than the oils mentioned above, it was probably because of his own condition. These oils also have pain relieving results, and I love how fresh and calming they smell. You can definitely give them a try, and chances are they might work wonderfully for you.
A final reminder to anyone who is thinking about buying essential oil, is that many of these oils are toxic and should not be ingested. They can also cause allergies and side effects, so make sure to do your research and patch testing. The oil should not be applied directly on your skin as a concentrated extract – always dilute them with carrier substances.
Thanks again for reading! I hope that you find this post helpful as well. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Don’t hesitate to comment or contact me through the form! See you in the next post!