Can you leave the house without pain medication?
Do you always have some form of medication on hand?
Probably one of the biggest epidemics in the corporate world is the rise of the addiction to over the counter pain medication.
The general consensus being that if the medication was bought in a chemist rather than being prescribed, it is not at all harmful to use on a regular basis.
However, if we are honest, do we really actually believe this?
You are due to give a presentation at work and suddenly you realise that you have a completely debilitating work headache just before the presentation is due to start.
You go to the bathroom and and realise to your horror that while you had your box of pain medication, it was empty.
The pain medication in question was extra strength over the counter medicine.
Another woman walks into the bathroom and on hearing your story promptly pulls out her box of extra strength pain medication and offers it to you.
These are two perfectly healthy women, who are scared to leave the house without their pain medication.
And it’s understandable. Bearing in mind the strength of the medication without minutes of taking the tablets your headache has completely disappeared.
Is it any wonder that over the counter meds are so addictive – guaranteed relief from pain.
This is absolutely not to be confused with taking medications for serious health issues, this is about taking medication for lifestyle issues.
In that context, what is the point of the pain. Is it really the enemy?
At the time of getting a headache like the one above, you had been working far too hard, you were exhausted and dehydrated. The headache was essentially trying to help you, signal to you that you were pushing your body far too hard and that it needed a break.
Rather than listening to and working with those signals, by using the pain medication you completely decimated the signals. You may be exhausted and dehydrated, but with your headache completely gone, you could just kept pushing on and pushing on. The result being that after some time of doing this you end up ill.
If you had been able to listen to the signals, you may have been able to pick up the warning that your body was giving you that by simply going on auto pilot and pushing through you had did not realise that your body was crying for help and begging you to slow down.
How many of us do this, switch on to auto pilot because the only way we see the way forward is to just get on with it no matter how hard buoyed up with pain meds when needed.
The problem is that most women will say well that’s all fine but what’s the alternative?
The presentation could not have been cancelled just because you had a bad headache.
The solution then? Essential oils.
There are serious, incredibly debilitating conditions in respect of which you could not possibly suggest to someone that they abandon their meds without the assistance of a doctor.
However for day to day lifestyle stress and anxiety issues, there are few better alternatives to strong dangerous pain medication than essential oils.
So let’s go through how this works.
Swapping Headache Medication with Peppermint Essential Oils
Well one of the best essential oils for headaches is peppermint essential oil
At the outset of a headache, you can apply peppermint oil to the locus of the headache, often at the temples, the sides of the head or between the brows.
Peppermint oil is ridiculously strong and you should absolutely just start with the tiniest drop, to make sure you are not allergic and also because it has an intense deep freeze action as a result of which depending on your sensitivity, one drop may be enough for you.
The amazing characteristic of an essential soil like peppermint essential oil is that while it will certainly reduce the pain, it dulls it rather than completely removing the signals that your body is trying to send you.
So while you are no longer in pain, you are still left with a sense of awareness of your body that you can then work with.
You now know that you need to slow down. You are now aware that perhaps after the presentation you need to take it easy and factor that into your day / work week. Or perhaps you now know that your body is telling you that you need to hydrate and you can do that.
You are now working with your body rather than totally destroying it’s signals to you.
While it may not always be the case, the body’s aches and pains are often a way for it to communicate to you that something is wrong. Ignoring and consistently just destroying these signals would be like trying to drive a car when the engine is smoking in the hope that if you ignore the smoke, the cause of it will somehow magically go away.
Using essential oils helps you to work with your body’s signals and see them as friends not tiresome enemies.
So let’s look at some ways that essential oils can work as an alternative to meds:
One of the most common complaints of overworking are headaches.
Although we can tend to throw all headaches into the same category and reach for the pain killers to try and alleviate them, there are more natural cures available. However in order for the more natural remedies to work, it helps to identify the type of headache we are dealing with:
Migrane Headache A severe and painful type of headache associated with throbbing pain, nausea and heightened sensitivity to light. Migraines can be triggered by stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and hormonal changes. Massage lavender or peppermint oil into the temples and back of neck to relieve migraine headaches and ease feelings of nausea and anxiety.
Tension or Stress Headache Characterized as dull, constant pressure or pain. Tension headaches are typically brought on by feelings of pressure. Use eucalyptus or peppermint oil topically on the temples, forehead and wrists to alleviate stress and reduce tension. To ease the mind, add 5–10 drops of lavender oil to a warm-water bath.
Headaches / Insomnia Due To Mental Agitation Or Overwork As above. See also clary sage, marjoram, ylang- ylang, and neroli
Sinus Headache Eucalyptus oil topically on the chest, top of nose and temples to open up the nasal passages and relieve sinus tension.
Sugar Headache Combine equal parts lavender, rosemary and coconut oil, and apply topically to the back of neck, temples and forehead. Or take 1 drop of rosemary internally – it is important that only the best quality essential oils suitable for digestion are used when taking internally.
Dehydration Headache Probably the most common of work headaches – a combination of air conditioning, large consumption of tea / coffee and remaining for long periods at the desk without taking any / enough water. Solution? Throw away the plastic cups and small plastic water bottles and invest in one large 1 – 1.5 litre bottle. Have the full bottle on your desk at the beginning of your work day and try and ensure that you have emptied it twice by the end of your working day.
Essential Oils for Period Pain
MENSTRUAL CRAMPS Chamomile, lavender and marjoram.
MENSTRUAL CRAMP OIL 4 drops lavender essential oil 2 drops marjoram essential oil 2 drops chamomile or clary sage essential oil, 3 drops geranium essential oil 1 drop ginger essential oil 1 ounce carrier oil. Combine ingredients. Apply to abdomen, hips, and lower back.
DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH PMS Clary sage, neroli, jasmine, and ylang-ylang.
WATER RETENTION Grapefruit, juniper. Can be used as massage or bath oils.
PMS HEADACHES inhale lavender or marjoram.
For best results begin using it a couple of days before symptoms are expected.
Essential oils for Anxiety, Stress and Insomnia
CEDARWOOD sedative properties
LAVENDER sedative, anti-anxiety and stress reducing properties
NEROLI sedative, anti-anxiety and calming properties
VETVIER calming, alleviate stress and improves sleep quality.
CHAMOMILE sedative quality, anti-inflammatory properties that may help if kept awake by pain.
SANDALWOOD natural sleep aid properties.
Burn your oils in a diffuser, add to a candle, or just smell them. If you want to apply them to the skin, for example as a fragrance or massage add them a few drops to a carrier oil such jojoba oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, almond oil or shea-butter oil. Be sure and test for skin irritation by putting a drop of essential oils at the back of your palm to see if they cause a reaction.
Essential Oil Alternatives to Over the Counter Pain Medication
If medications are not easing your pain, you might be interested in finding alternative remedies for relief. Essential oils are one of the natural ways to relieve pain. The following essential oils will help you to relieve your pain:
- Clove oil- The pain relieving capacities of clove oil has been known for centuries. Historically, it has been used to assist with cold sores, abscesses, ear ache, dental pain and even as a pain reliever for corneal pain.
- Peppermint oil- Peppermint oil targets headache pathophysiology. The efficacy of peppermint oil is comparable to paracetamol. Due to it’s strength, it’s highly recommended to use a carrier oil when applying peppermint oil topically to painful areas.
- Lavender- Lavender oil is an effective oil for sleep and relaxation. It can be an effective analgesic and anti inflammatory remedy. It is effective in lessening the severity of migraine headache symptoms.
- Rose oil- Women experience abdominal cramping during menstruation. Rose oil aromatherapy relieves pain associated with periods when paired with conventional treatment.
- Myrrh oil- It is known for it’s ability to support immune system. It has significant analgesic, anti inflammatory properties. It is used for the treatment of pain, inflammation and hyperlipidemic.
Essential oils are not drugs so they do not replace the role played by pharmaceutical medicines. But when they are used appropriately, essential oils may help to support a healthy, functioning and pain free body.
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