Essential Oils and Sport

6:56 AM Posted by Jo Pedranti



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.

Properties of oils
According to Battaglia, 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 may also give relief from pain and it has an anti-inflammatory effect as well. 


According to Battaglia, 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.

How I use
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 make 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. Here is a list to make it easier to choose the right oils.

I often use warm and cold compresses for my son's football injuries, it is a great way to use essential oils when doing sports. According to Battaglia, cold compresses have historically been used for treating, sprains and swelling and hot compresses have historically been used to reduce muscular or rheumatic pain. He also says, alternating warm and cold compresses may be used to speed up heeling in pulled muscles, sprained ligaments and bruises. He suggests to 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.


Some of the rubefacient and analgesic oils require some precaution if used in massage or in bath. Make sure to read the safety information for each oil.


Before you leave:


I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.



Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 

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Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.











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