Saturday, May 20, 2017

What I learned in Boulder, Part 2. (Pain relief)

More information from Madeleine Kerkhof's "Aromacare in Palliative Care" four day seminar. And this was just part of Day 1!

Madeleine focuses on a brief list of essential oils, her "top ten" list.  The criteria for admission? They must be both effective and readily available.  (And this is why, in teaching, she doesn't address some of our "Must haves."  More on that later, or not.)

A few notes on Pain Relief, first from her basic top 10 oils:
German Chamomile (Blue Chamomile)

German Chamomile:  (I have tended to use this soothing oil for inflamed skin, rather than for pain relief.)  Madeleine recommends it for nerve pain, swelling and inflammation,  for over-strained tendons and ligaments.  And she comments that in blends for pain, it is best to use a blend of both the CO2 Total and the distilled oil since they bring slightly different components. I would not have thought of blending them!

Geranium: I had never considered Geranium for pain relief, but she recommends it for any sort of nerve pain, as well as for emotional pain

Ginger CO2 Total: As well as using alone, in dilution, she recommends blending with Sweet Marjoram. 

Lavender: Add to any pain blend.  (Madeleine uses a first aid gel, food grade Aloe Vera gel with 2% helichrysum, 2% lavender and 1% peppermint.)

Sweet Marjoram
Sweet Marjoram: Amazing for use with Neuralgia. Marvelous for smooth muscle spasms of all types, and for cramps of any type.  It also improves microcirculation which also contributes to pain relief.  She urges us to combine the CO2 and the distilled oil, especially in treating Fibromyalgia.    Madeleine strongly recommends the CO2 extraction for its emotional effects, as well as for pain relief.  She recommends the CO2 for what she calls "emotional cramping"... when a patient is for some reason embracing their sickness and clinging to it, or to ease perfectionism, another form of emotional cramping.

Peppermint:  Cooling.  Helpful for shingles pain, in a 10% dilution. (That surprised me. And I am wondering if Aloe might be a better diluent than a carrier in this case.  I also would want to use the proven Ravensara diluted in Calophylum for Shingles.)  She recommends low dilutions for muscle and joint pain, and to stimulate circulation.  She also recommends substituting Corn Mint (Mentha arventhis) since it is higher in Menthol and it is the Menthol content that gives the effect we want.

Scotch Pine: (she says these recommendations apply not only to Scotch Pine but to most other conifers.  I am thinking Black Spruce or Siberian Fir.)  Stimulates circulation, and in Germany is used in baths to remove lactic acid from overused muscles.

Other oils also recommended for pain relief:

Helichrysum: (At last, I was afraid she would omit this treasure.) Although it is not in her basic 10, she stressed its use for pain of any type and origin.

Lemongrass:  Like Helichrysum, another Cox2 enzyme inhibitor, and powerful anti-inflammatory. Madeleine recommends Lemongrass for detoxifying inflamed joints, and recommends a blend of Pine (or other conifer oils) and Lemongrass for muscle pain and discomfort.

Rosemary (ct Camphor):  Highly recommended for muscle spasms, for restless leg syndrome.  Madeleine warns us never to use Rosemary ct Camphor in cases of epilepsy, brain tumors, or mental disorders.  There are no contraindications for dementia, however.

Spikenard: We are used to Spikenard for insomnia, and for spiritual uses, but I had not considered it for pain relief.  Madeleine recommends Spikenard specifically for sedating, calming, and especially recommends its use in blends for nerve pain.

Addendum: Not an oil that Madeleine teaches, or is familiar with, is our new favorite pain reliever, Kunzea ambigua from Tasmania, off the coast of Australia.  We are seeing amazing results with this relatively new pain reliever and getting amazing feedback.  When Madeleine finally settles down in the Netherlands I have to send her some to add to her tool box. 

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