resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
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.