Neuropathy is a complicated condition that affects the nervous system of the body. This is usually felt as tingling, burning pain, and numbing sensations. It is most common in the extremities and it does not affect the central nervous system. It is incredibly debilitating and many people end up having a significantly reduced quality of life as a result of it.
Neuropathy is actually a blanket name for a range of disorders. The specific disorder is described by how the nerves have been damaged. Diabetic neuropathy, for instance, is common in people with type 2 diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy usually happens as a result of injury or trauma to the nervous system. It may also be caused as a result of illnesses, or due to cancer treatment. Either way, it is a condition that is painful and restricts an individual's ability to live a normal life.
What is so restrictive about neuropathy is that it makes people less productive. It stops them from functioning like a normal person. As a result, it is absolutely vital that someone who suffers from it finds treatment such as Nerve Renew that works for them. There are many options to choose from, and most patients end up combining different types of treatment in order to find something that works for them. One treatment option that is often overlooked is aromatherapy and essential oils.
Aromatherapy and Neuropathy
Neuropathy is generally a chronic disorder and it can have a significant negative impact on someone's quality of life. While medication does exist, it is limited in its effectiveness, as well as having side effects. As a result, people often look for alternative treatments, either as a way to find relief from neuropathy on its own, or as a supplementary therapy to whatever options they are already using.
It is difficult to cope with neuropathy because it is an invisible disease that somebody cannot just “get over”. Neuropathy will not get better by simply living with it, or by hoping it will go away at some point, no matter how much you will it to. Fortunately, aromatherapy can be used as a treatment that helps not just with the physical problems associated with neuropathy, but also with the psychological symptoms, including depression and anxiety, that many patients suffer from. It can help decrease the level of pain that people experience, while at the same time improving their outlook on life and overall mood.
Aromatherapy is still classed as an alternative treatment, but it is becoming increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that so many people have now reported that they have noticed significant improvements on their pain levels and their mood. This is actually a blanket term for a range of different administration techniques for essential oils. These include:
- Direct inhalation
- Indirect inhalation
- Water sprays
- Massage oils
- Bath salts
Choosing Your Essential Oil
One of the greatest things about aromatherapy is that there are so many different essential oils that you can choose from. Some of them are specifically helpful for certain issues, concerns, and needs. What you will find with neuropathy is that no two cases are exactly the same, and symptoms and types of pain vary greatly. This means that you should think about which issue is most pressing to you at the moment, and choose an essential oil that is helpful for that particular issue. Here are a few examples include:
- For pain relief, you can try peppermint, helichrysum, lemongrass, clary sage, German chamomile, Roman chamomile, lavender, sweet marjoram, or spike lavender. As an added benefit, if you mix helichrysum, peppermint, and spike lavender together, you can enjoy their anti-inflammatory properties.
- For anxiety, stress, and depression, you can try jasmine, tangerine, rose geranium, lavender, mandarin, neroli, sandalwood, ylang ylang, grapefruit, bergamot, sweet orange, or frankincense.
- For sleep improvement, you can try Roman chamomile, marjoram, jasmine, neroli, or lavender.
- For improved circulation, you can try rose geranium, lemongrass, peppermint, black pepper, ginger, or rosemary.
- For increased energy, you can try geranium, grapefruit, or lemon.
- For relaxation, you can try geranium, grapefruit, or lemon.
- To help ease pain in your muscles and joints, you can try juniper, peppermint, eucalyptus, and black pepper.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. Considering the list above, you could use your essential oil topically during a massage, diffused into the air, or during a bath. Do be aware that essential oils are very potent, and it is usually not recommended to have direct skin contact with them.
Research on the Effects of Essential Oils on Neuropathy
There has actually been some research specifically into the effects of essential oils on people with neuropathy. These studies have demonstrated that peppermint, lavender, Roman chamomile, and frankincense have been particularly effective. The nerves in someone with neuropathy are damaged, and this is why the condition is so painful. Fortunately, if the nerves are damaged rather than destroyed, they can regenerate although this often takes a long time. What essential oils can do, according to studies, is make that process shorter. Initially, they provide pain relief as well as relaxation, enhancing physical and psychological well being, but they also help to actually heal the nerves.
Essential Oils for Sciatica, Shingles and Other Conditions
In sciatica, where the nerve is pinched, studies have shown that marjoram, chamomile, and lavender are found to be very beneficial. Helichrysum, a lesser known essential oil, is actually used specifically for sciatica. This oil can be applied directly to the hips or back, depending on where the sciatica is, and pain will be reduced. It is also beneficial for people who have shingles, which also affects the nerves. Furthermore, essential oils have been found to be beneficial for people with serious problems relating to their nerves, including chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis. This is particularly true when they use a combination of essential oils using the following aromatherapy recipe:
- 4 drops of chamomile oil
- 3 drops of helichrysum
- 3 drops of marjoram oil
- 2 drops of lavender oil
- 1 fluid ounce of St. John's wort oil or vegetable oil
Simply combine these ingredients and use whenever needed. Try, if possible, to keep the mixture in a dark bottle so that the oils don't lose their integrity.