resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Adding a New Dimension: Sedative Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
Since a large percentage of massage clients come seeking relief from muscle and joint pain, it is good to know that the sedative group of essential oils can provide another level of lasting relief for these common issues.The sedative group of essential oils also provides benefits for clients whose issues stem from stress and those who simply have a need to relax. Sedative essential oils address all of these areas while adding a pleasing fragrant dimension to your therapeutic work. Within this larger "sedative" classification are other therapeutic properties. Knowing which essences have which properties helps the therapist select the right ones to make the most effective massage blend for an individual client. The properties found in the sedative essences are:
The most famous essential oil for pain relief and relaxation is Lavender. Distilled from the flowering tops, the best lavender oil comes from Bulgaria, France, England, Yugoslavia and Tasmania, though it can be grown all over the world. Lavender vera is grown in higher altitudes which produces more esters and a finer scent. Lavender has a long list of applications for skin and because of its anti inflammatory and cell regenerating properties, it can sometimes be applied neat, or undiluted, to the skin. This would be best when there is a burn, cut or immediate need for the infection fighting effects. Lavender is antimicrobial and antiseptic, making it effective in the treatment of wounds and as a front line defense against respiratory infection. It is tonic to the cardiovascular and digestive systems, lowers blood pressure and due to the presence of coumarins, helps thin the blood. Lavender is indicated for muscle spasm, sprain, strain, cramp, contracture and it aids rheumatic pain. It is sedative to the CNS and relieves headache, nervous tension, insomnia and can help balance mood swings. Spiritually, it is said to balance the physical, astral and etheric planes.
Because of Lavender's many therapeutic properties, many aromatherapists say that if they were stranded on a desert island with only one essential oil, they would hope it was lavender (it also takes the itch out of insect bites and helps heal sunburn). But here in civilization, what other essential oils can be called in to use? And what should be used if the client doesn't want the deep relaxation or sleep inducing effect of Lavender, or if they have a tendency toward lowered metabolism or low blood pressure? What if they need to relax because they are about to take an exam, give a presentation, walk down the aisle? It's a good idea to ask the client who indicates a need to relax what their stress is about and what life circumstances may be contributing to their pain cycle. This will help you select an essence that is most appropriate for their needs. Keep in mind, too, that when too much Lavender is used in a specific treatment or over time, it takes on the stimulating affect of a cup of espresso, so it's good for both you and your client to vary the relaxing, pain relief blend.
We'll begin with an exploration of aromatherapy for pain and stress and profile some of the other sedative oils. Space allows for only a partial listing of the properties and you can consult books such as The Aromatherapy Practitioner Manual, Vols I and II, by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, by Gabriel Mojay and others for more information on each essence. When you want slightly less sedation but powerful pain relief, there is another type of lavender, lavandula latifolia, L. spica or Spike Lavender. Lavindin, lavandula-super, is a hybrid consisting of lavender officinalis and latifolia. It is less expensive and often used to adulterate true lavender, but is still a powerful antispasmodic, well suited for muscular, respiratory and circulatory problems and not as sedative for the mind.
Moving away from the Lavenders altogether, more information follows on the other pain and stress relieving sedative oils, Chamomile (roman, anthemis nobilis and German, marticaria recutita), Clary Sage (salvia sclarea), Helichrysum (H. angustifolium), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana), and Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides). Chamomile is a highly effective anti-inflammatory. It eases headache, neuralgia, dull muscle pain, low back pain and TMJ syndrome. It relieves dysmenorrhea, PMS and stress that manifests as digestive symptoms.
Clary Sage (not to be confused with Sage, Salvia officinalis), is considered mildly intoxicating and euphoric and should be used in small quantity and preferably not before an evening of cocktails, as it augments the effect of alcohol. Apart from this, the ability of Clary Sage to relieve spasm, muscle ache and cramping makes it extremely useful in massage. It is a digestive aid and can be blended effectively with Chamomile for tension and discomfort due to PMS and dysmennorhea. Along with Lavender, it is one of the essences chosen to ease labor. It is also associated with dreams and increased inner vision.
Helichrysum has a long history as anointing oil, but well deserves an honored place in therapeutic massage. With many of the properties of Lavender, Helichrysum is also indicated for bruising and burns, for depression, shock and phobia and is helpful in detoxification from drugs and nicotine. Helichrysum is said to improve the flow along the meridians and to increase spiritual awareness.
Sweet Marjoram is highly sedative. It relieves pain, stiffness, sprain, spasm, neuromuscular contractions and is indicated for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhea and migraine. It has a powerful effect on the mind and emotions, relieving deep trauma, grief and heartache.
Vetiver is an interesting oil because it relieves arthritis, muscle ache, pain, sprain and stiffness, but increases venous circulation to help detoxification of tissues. It is said to balance the Central Nervous System and is grounding and revitalizing, while it relieves insomnia, tension and depression.
All of the sedative essences listed, apart from Lavender, are pretty potent and require few drops in a blend. More expensive but highly effective, the flower essences: Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Ylang Ylang, relieve anxiety and have properties that induce relaxation and pain relief. Only a small amount of the flower oils is needed for the affect. Less expensive, the citrus oils: Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine and Mandarin, reduce tension and instill courage and optimism. Most of these, however, are phototoxic and must not be applied before prolonged sun exposure. Both flower and citrus oils blend well with the other sedative oils and add their own special dimension to the therapeutic experience. In the next Aromatic Message, we'll look at some of the stimulating oils used for pain relief.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.