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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
January, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 01
Rubefacient Essential Oils for Pain Relief
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
According to Mosby's Medical Dictionary, the word 'rubefacient' derives from two Latin words: ruber, red, facere, to make, and it is defined as:
This redness is caused by dilation of capillaries and increased blood circulation; a property that is useful for many client issues where pain or stiffness is present. An abstract published in Medline in 1982 reports the effects of a rubefacient commonly used by massage therapists and containing essential oils of cassia and clove called Tiger Balm. They tested application on rabbit skin to discover the effect of long term use and found that, "Tiger Balm Red (which contained 5% cassia oil plus 5% clove oil) caused irritation consisting of erythema, eschar formation and some oedema, to which a degree of tolerance developed. This irritation resulted in hyperkeratosis and sometimes inflammatory changes but no major damage to the skin. Tiger Balm White (no cassia oil and 2% clove oil) was better tolerated and produced less irritation and histological change than either Tiger Balm Red or a mixture of commercial waxes similar in composition to the wax base for Tiger Balm Red. None of the treatments produced any signs of systemic toxicity."
From this study, we learn two important things: rubefacients are well tolerated and don't cause permanent damage, and cassia oil is much more irritating than clove. Trained aromatherapists know this and also how important it is to dilute the rubefacient essential oils by putting them into carrier oil (such as almond, sesame, or my favorite, fractionated coconut) before use on the skin. And cassia (cinnamomum cassia) is listed in Sylla Sheppard Hanger's Aromatherapy Practitioner Manual, Vol. I as being a "DERMAL IRRITANT, avoid use on sensitive or damaged skin; use very highly diluted if at all."
There are many other essential oils that deliver the rubefacient property and which are more commonly used in massage application. They increase circulation in the skin and muscle tissue, creating relief from pain through an anti-inflammatory effect as well as helping to clear the tissue of byproducts of prior inflammation. They provide a comforting feeling of warmth as they accelerate metabolism in the area. Rubefacient essential oils are used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, back pain, bunion, bursitis (application to area without massage or manipulation), muscle cramps, sciatica, strain and sprain. Frequently, they are paired with essential oils that increase detoxification, such as juniper berry (Juniperus communis), carrot seed (Daucus carota) and lemon* (Citrus limon). This is especially helpful for joint pain and arthritis. They can also be blended with more relaxing anti-inflammatory analgesics like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula spica) or German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) where stress and tension is known to be a major cause of muscle pain.
The commonly used rubefacient essential oils are:
You can read profiles on some of those essences in an article on the stimulating essential oils published in the November 2011 issue of Massage Today. Nutmeg is less commonly used and has a reputation for having psychotropic properties. Studies have shown that this is true for whole nutmeg, while the essential oil is weak in the myristicin and elimicin content that metabolize to produce hallucinogenic effects. It is unlikely that non-oral use of the essential oil of nutmeg (the only safe method for delivering this and most essential oils) would have any such affects at all.
An example of a blend for chronic arthritis might be (in 1 oz of carrier oil):
An example of a blend for neck and/or back pain due to tension (in 1 oz of carrier oil):
Blending tip: Essential oils of higher aroma intensity require fewer drops.
*Expressed lemon essential oil is phototoxic. Avoid exposure to sunlight for 18 hours after use, or use distilled lemon essential oil.
Shellie Enteen resides in Greer, S.C., and can be reached at . Shellie will be teaching a three day aromatherapy CEU workshop at the AMTA South Carolina Chapter Spring Mini-Convention in Charleston, SC, March 16-18th, 2012. More more information, visit www.amta-sc.org. For a brief biography, a printable version of this article and a link to previous articles, visit Shellie's columnist page at www.massagetoday.com/columnists/enteen.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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