Aromatherapy and essential oils have many uses and one usage that can be incredibly successful for a lot of people is pain management. However, there are also a number of drawbacks when using aromatherapy and essential oils in general. Probably, the main downside is that most essential oils cannot be ingested. While all good quality essential oils are 100% natural, that fact alone does not mean that they are safe for all manners of usage. By saying that a product is natural, a lot of people will believe that the product is also 100% safe when in reality, it may not be.
Essential oils are extremely potent and should be used only in ways that are completely safe for all aspects of the human body. You should never use essential oils on your children and certainly never let a child ingest essential oils. Adults on the other hand, need to use a little common sense when using any essential oil.
Menstrual and physical muscular pains are areas where aromatherapy comes into it's own. One of the most widely used oils in this context is peppermint essential oil. Other mint oils can and are used, but peppermint oil has a particularly relaxing effect on muscles.
Many women apply peppermint oil to their bellies when menstrual cramps start. This sort of essential oil usage is essentially the same as applying a hot pack to the abdomen. Peppermint oil relaxes the muscles and has a slightly numbing effect to help you forget the pain. While many women do this off their own back, it is advisable to ask your doctor in your specific case, just to be on the safe side.
Although applying essential oils directly to the skin is generally safer than ingesting them, it is a good idea to dilute the likes of peppermint oil in a carrier oil before using it on you abdomen.
Many athletes also use peppermint essential oil to help relax and numb overworked muscles or aching joints. Sufferers from arthritis often enjoy the effect of peppermint oil applied to aching joints. As with menstrual cramps, consult with your doctor before using this sort of treatment, especially if you will potentially be using this technique on a daily basis. Not all doctors are convinced that essential oils are safe for use by everyone.
A highly contested form of pain management is in managing internal abdominal pain with either peppermint or basil oil. Typically, essential oils should not be ingested because they are not tested by the FDA for this type of usage. On the other hand, many faithful essential oil users swear by this remedy for stomach ache. If you would like to try this but are unwilling to ingest essential oils, you could try an herbal tea that is either peppermint or a mint mix, or simply make your own basil tea.
The safest way to use aromatherapy for pain management is to keep it only in the air and breathe it in through steaming which will have the effect of calming the senses and relaxing the body.