How can aromatherapy help with pain?

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I believe there is some benefit to using various aromas to help distract you from pain. These essences or oils have beneficial healing powers, helping to reduce anxiety, combat stress, fight infection, increase productivity, or serve as a powerful aphrodisiac. There are studies showing that lavender increases the alpha wave activity in the back of the brain, which can help lead to relaxation and feelings of contentment. Increased beta activity in the front of the brain shows greater alertness and is said to occur with the scent of lemon.

If you use therapeutic massage with aromatherapy oils, you can heighten the healing effect. There are numerous aromas, oils, and essences that are used with touch or energy-based therapies to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as support healing. For example, some patients claim that rubbing a dilution of peppermint (Mentha piperita) oil on a painful muscle has a momentary numbing effect. For decades, people have used dilutions of wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) oil for easing aching muscles or lower back pain. Wintergreen oil may have an analgesic effect as it contains methyl salicylate, an ingredient similar to that found in aspirin.

Continue Learning about Chronic Pain Treatment

Chronic Pain Treatment

Chronic Pain Treatment

Treatment for chronic pain is tailored to the characteristics -- cause, location, duration and type of pain, for example -- of your pain. Because of long-term side effects, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually not recommend...

ed. Alternative therapies such as electrical stimulation, acupuncture, meditation and psychotherapy to learn coping skills, stress management and relaxation are all helpful to people with chronic pain.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.