Using Essential Oils for Sport

Written by on January 16, 2011 in Health & Wellness, Natural Living - No comments

The essential oils may be used to tone and condition joints, both before and after exercise. They are a wonderful addition to a sport program and can for example be used in a bath to soothe and relax your aching body after a hard exercise. Essential oils can also be put in a invigorating foot bath for tired, aching feet.

Before the training you want to increase the circulation and after the training you want to release waste.

The musculoskeletal system is often misused and abused by physical wear and tear. Aromatherapy is very effective in treating musculoskeletal problems. Essential oils used in bath or massage have an almost immediate effect on muscle tissue. Some essential oils bring warmth to the body and can provide pain relief.

Many oils  with anti-inflammatory properties also have analgesic properties. Eucalyptus, cajuput, sweet marjoram, peppermint, rosemary and thyme linalol are some of these oils.

Rubefacient oils are used to promote circulation to the muscle tissue and skin. This will not only bring warmth to the area but also relief from pain and an anti-inflammatory effect as well. Some rubefacient oils are black pepper, cajuput, ginger, juniper berry, spike lavender, rosemary, sweet marjoram and thyme.

Juniper berry, grapefruit, lemon and rosemary are considered detoxifiers and may aid in detoxifying the system of acid  waste.

Essential oils can be mixed with a carrier oil and be used before or after the work out. For example I like to use analgesic and rubefacient oils like  black pepper, ginger, peppermint, rosemary and cinnamon in a blend before an event in order to keep the muscles warm and to prevent injuries. I also like to make my own ointments and add the same oils. See my post on how to make your own ointment. If you like to know how to dilute the essential oils in carrier oils you can go to my post about massage. You can also add essential oils to aloe vera gel, body lotion or use as a body spray if you think it is too greasy with massage oil. Massage oils have different properties and they enhance the absorption of the essential oils and here is a list to make it easier to choose the right oils.

Warm and cold compresses are also a great way to use essential oils when doing sports. Cold compresses are used for treating, sprains and swelling and hot compresses are used to reduce muscular or rheumatic pain. Alternating warm and cold compresses may be used to speed up heeling in pulled muscles, sprained ligaments and bruises. Add 8-10 drops of essential oils to 4-8 oz of water and dip gauze, cloth or cotton wool into it and wring it out, cover the area being treated. Follow the RICE method when injured, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

After Exercise Muscle Relief Rub

  • Marjoram 5 drops
  • Rosemary 4 drops
  • Eucalytpus 3 drops
  • Peppermint 2 drops
  • Thyme 1 drop

Add the oils to 1/2 ounce of carrier oil or aloe vera gel and rub into muscles

Night Time Muscle Relief Cream

  • Marjoram 5 drops
  • Lavender 4 drops
  • Roman Chamomile 2 drops
  • Ylang Ylang 2 drops

Combine this in a cream based lotion, or read my post on how to make your own cream.

Muscle Pain Bath

  • Clary Sage 3 drops
  • Roman Chamomile 2 drops
  • Helichrysum 1 drop
  • Lavender 5 drops
  • 2 cups of Epsom Salt (do not use with low blood pressure)

Mix the oils with the Epsom salt before adding to the bath water.

Some of the rubefacient and analgesic oils require some precaution if used in massage or in bath. Please read my blog entry about essential oil safety to make sure you are aware of any contraindications.

For more information about how to avoid injuries when doing sports read my post about sport injuries.

Johanna Pedranti

About Johanna Pedranti

Johanna Pedranti is a an Aromatherapist. She makes her own products especially designed for sport. As an Aromatherapist she designs products specializing in maintaining the wellbeing of the body which is pushed by the sports to the limits of endurance, stamina and skill.

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