Aromatherapy and Fibromyalgia

Posted by Kathleen Flanagan on

Fibromyal­gia (FM) is accord­ing to some sources of infor­ma­tion the most com­mon of all rheumatic con­di­tions despite the fact that it has been rec­og­nized and diag­nosed as an ail­ment for only the past 10 years. It man­i­fests as a mul­ti­tude of symp­toms that cause much dis­tress and pain to the suf­fer­ers. So far, allo­pathic med­i­cine is only able to relieve the dis­com­forts and pains with anal­gesic and anti­de­pres­sant drugs to ease daily life.

My work with fibromyal­gia began more than 4 years ago at a request from the local Fibromyal­gia Group of the Rheumatic Asso­ci­a­tion. Ini­tially, the aim was to find some way to ease the pain and to help with the sleep­ing prob­lems expe­ri­enced by those who suf­fer from FM. The first stage in pro­gramme was to cre­ate a self-help blend of essen­tial oils. For this, case his­to­ries were taken from 20 FM suf­fer­ers. Infor­ma­tion on their past and cur­rent state of health and med­ica­tions was col­lected and then a blend of essen­tial and base oils was for­mu­lated the (sub­se­quently called Fibromix) and the group then tested its efficacy.

Half the group served as con­trols and the other half used the blend. Next, the con­trol group used the blend and the orig­i­nal test group served as the con­trol. Two of the sub­jects did not com­plete their part of the test, but suf­fi­cient pos­i­tive infor­ma­tion was gained to encour­age mak­ing another shorter, sim­pler trial. In this sec­ond trial, seven FM suf­fer­ers took part in a 3-week test. Each of them recorded on a numer­i­cal scale their level of pain for one week with­out using the blend and then con­tin­ued the same style of record­ing whilst using the oil blend for 2 weeks. The result showed low­ered pain expe­ri­ence in all but one of the test subjects.

Fol­low­ing this suc­cess, aro­mather­a­pists here in Fin­land began to treat FM suf­fer­ers with aro­mather­apy mas­sage. This arti­cle reports on these treat­ments (case stud­ies) and shows effi­cacy of aro­mather­apy as a pos­si­ble treat­ment for FM.

The treat­ment offered by allo­pathic med­i­cine to those with FM aims to improve the qual­ity of life by reduc­ing pain and improv­ing sleep. Com­bin­ing the avail­able infor­ma­tion on FM and its treat­ments with my knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence of essen­tial oils, the aim was to give the same relief as allo­pathic med­i­cine offers by using essen­tial oils and aro­mather­apy massage. The results of the treat­ments were very positive.

Essential oils that help with fibromyalgia pain are lavender, peppermint, sandalwood, ginger, nutmeg and eucalyptus.

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