According to Mary Margaret Chappell in a recent article in ‘Arthritis Today’, recent studies corroborate the use of aromatherapy for pain relief.
Apparently Aromatherapy is effective because it works directly on the amygdala, the brains emotional center, says Mehmet Oz, MD, professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. This has important consequences because the thinking part of the brain cant inhibit the effects of the scent, meaning you feel them instantaneously.
Dr. Oz, a cardiovascular surgeon, studied aromatherapy to find alternative methods to expedite recovery time and reduce anxiety in heart patients. Dr. Oz and his collaborator, clinical aromatherapist Jane Buckle, PhD, recommend using 15 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, chamomile or eucalyptus, diluted with 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) of a carrier or neutral oil, such as almond, avocado or jojoba, dabbed directly on the skin. This means you literally have scented relief on you when you need it, says Dr. Oz.
Alan Hirsch, MD, neurologist at the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, believes you dont have to limit yourself to essential oils. Limiting the length of your exposure to certain scents, however, will ensure they remain effective. Short-term exposure is key because people stop responding to scents after a few minutes.