Fibromyalgia (also known as fibrositis or myofascial pain syndrome) is an inflammation caused by overgrowth of cells of the fibrous white tissue of the musculoskeletal system. Fibromyalgia most often occurs as a result of chronic inflammation or hormone dysfunction. Sometime it occurs as as result of other bodily damage or disease.
Those suffering from fibromyalgia often experience the following symptoms:
- Unbearable pain
- Chronic tiredness
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Concentration problems
- Generalized aches or stiffness at many sites for more than three months.
- Generalized fatigue
- Chronic headache including migraines
- Sleep disorder, particularly timings of cycles
- Neuronal and psychological complaints
- Numbness/ tingling sensations
Fibromyalgia affects a lot of people for a disease which we have only little understanding of. The disease affects over 5 million individuals in the U.S. alone. The condition also disproportionately affects women over men.
9 Essential oils for Fibromyalgia (Fibrositis)
Basically, Fibromyalgia is a major pain to deal with. But luckily we have essential oils. And while they won’t help with everything, for this condition they do a lot of good.
Read below for the most recommended oils, followed by some recipes and additional tips.
Rosemary oil is another fantastic all around oil. In addition to it’s brain tonic qualities it contains high levels of analgesic properties which support the inflammatory aches, and pains of fibromyalgia.
2.) Black pepper
Black pepper is one of the best oils for muscular aches and pains.
It is highly warming and circulation improving. It also contains pain relieving properties. For this reason it is great not only for relief fibromyalgia, arthritis or sore muscles, but for pre-exercise pain prevention and stiffness reduction.
If you’re feeling stiff, tight and in pain, black pepper could be your saving grace.
Lavender is a wonderful therapeutic oil, as you likely know.
This plant has some of the best anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in the plant kingdom, which works out perfectly for those of us who are suffering with fibromyalgia.
Lavender’s wealth of therapeutic actions mean it’s a great fit for anti-inflammatory, calming, and parasympathetic inducing purposes. Lavender will also ease swelling and improve blood circulation.
Thyme is a perennial herb with culinary, medicinal and cosmetic uses. It has long been associated with strength and well being.
Thyme oil is reviving. It has stimulant action on the immune system and strengthening, tonic action on the circulatory system and the mind. helps treat joint and muscle pain with it’s warming action on the body.
For this reason it is also beneficial for fibromyalgia, arthritis and rheumatism. It also lowers blood pressure while also increasing blood circulation!
Ginger is a natural pain reliever. The essential oil provides relief from aching muscles and eases spasms in the muscles. Ginger supports muscles in this way with it’s warming action together with its analgesic properties.
These properties help it to soothe painful joints, muscles and symptoms of arthritis. It is also a powerful digestive aid as well as a circulation enhancer.
Some of the most common symptoms of Fibromyalgia, including chronic muscle aches, soreness and stiffness have been associated with poor blood circulation. This poor circulations increases toxin buildup in the soft tissue of the body, which greatly enhances the likelihood of fibromyalgia flare ups. Eucalyptus is one of the best essential oils to improve circulation.
Eucalyptus is also a potent anti-inflammatory, which is further enhanced by it’s ability to stimulate circulation and improve the blood supply. All of this action greatly enhances the bodies ability to flush out toxins from the system while helping to deliver fresh oxygen and nutrients to your aching, tired cells and tissues.
This oil will alleviate both soreness and, with it’s invigorating qualities, fatigue as well.
With excellent warming, soothing and antispasmodic properties marjoram oil helps to ease the joint pain and muscle spasms associated with fibromyalgia.
Marjoram is also a highly supporting herb in other facets of life including being beneficial for fatigue, brain health, grief, high blood pressure, arthritis, indigestion, circulation – among many others!
A refreshing and uplifting oil, peppermint helps to reduce mental and physical fatigue while also improving concentration. It’s benefits for fibromyalgia continue, as it’s use is highly supportive of aching joints and muscular aches and pains when applied in massage or bath.
Cypress is a great oil for jumpstarting poor circulation and reducing fatigue, stress and tension. The ways this oil can be used vary greatly, including limiting emotional upset, reducing cough and edema. It’s also widely used for women’s issues around menstration, cramps and hot flashes.
Juniper berries are well known for their detoxifying and cleansing properties. It helps to stimulate the mind as well as ease muscle spasms and joint/muscle pain. Juniper has a natural muscle relaxing quality and a ‘hyper-tensive’ nerve calming quality when applied topically. It’s great in the bath!
3 Essential Oil Based Recipes & Application Tips for Fibromyalgia
1.) Fibromyalgia Massage Blend
- In a small non-reactive bowl combine ingredients of your fibromyalgia blend for massage
- Mix well and massage over your body
2.) Fibromyalgia Blend for Baths
- Fill your tub with warm water
- While the tub is filling combine your bath oil blend together in a non-reactive bowl
- Massage blend into skin for getting into bath
- Soak in the tub for 30 minutes
TIP: Do not add essential oils to the tub while the water is running. You might lose some of the power of the oils due to evaporation.
3.) Fibromyalgia Blend for Compresses
- In a 1/2 oz (10 mL) glass dropper bottle combine rosemary, lavender and marjoram
- Shake to blend
- In a non-reactive bowl combine 1 cup hot water and 10 drops of your fibromyalgia blend for compresses
- Stir well to disperse oils
- Soak a cloth and wring out enough water so the cloth doesn’t drip
- Lay cloth on the affected area and secure firmly, but not too tightly, by wrapping plastic wrap around the area and over the damp cloth
Try the above as a cold compress treatment to see which gives you the most relief. Treat as often as needed.
Additional (non-essential oil) based recommendations for treating Fibromyalgia
Should you treat Fibromyalgia with conventional drugs?
Conventional medicine doesn’t understand the root cause of fibromyalgia, but does find ways to treat some of the side effects.
The leading symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle and body pain so conventional medicine doctors will often prescribe painkillers, antidepressants and NSAIDs. While these drugs can dull some of the pain associated with the condition, they are far from perfect and in many cases cause a new set of symptoms for the sufferer.
Part of this is due to the severity of the symptoms of the condition. Conventional meds just don’t offer enough effectiveness of alleviate the discomfort from the widespread pains and aches.
In addition it’s likely that you’d be prescribed multiple medications, especially over time, and this presents potentially serious issues of increased drug related side effects and even the risk of addiction.
What does work well then?
I obviously advocate using essential oils to help relieve the pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia, but I also don’t see essential oils as a cure all. While essential oils provide powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, they’re most likely only able to offer relief and not a whole cure.
Your best bet if you want significant, lasting relief from fibromyalgia is to address the root causes of the condition.
And to combat the root causes you are going to need to look into making some lifestyle changes.
The likely causes that contribute to the root of your condition are many.
Below is a short list of potential contributing factors:
- unresolved physical & emotional trauma
- chronic inflammation
- food intolerances (ex. gluten intolerance)
- digestive distress
- emotional and physical stress
- I believe there can be many contributing factors to fibromyalgia, including chronic inflammation, gluten intolerance, emotional and physical stress.
1.) Ayurvedic Approaches to Healing Fibromyalgia
Ayurveda is a time tested tradition based out of India. It’s dedication and success in helping people find spiritual, emotional and physical health is well documented, but only now gaining popularity in the West.
The Ayurvedic view of Fibromyalgia:
According to Ayurveda the condition of fibromyalgia is associated with an imbalance of the Vata dosha.
When the Vata dosha is aggravated the nervous system becomes destabilized – leading us to experience pain and tenderness. Vata imbalance will typically also lead a person to developing a weakened ability to digest foods (and experiences), which overtime enhances the accumulation of toxins (called Ama) in the soft tissue, further exacerbating the pains of fibromyalgia.
Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia focuses on addressing any aggravation of the Vata dosha and to removing any accumulation of Ama (toxins). These are the primary causes and should be treated holistically.
Additional Vata ailments you might be experiencing include weak digestion, constipation and chronic stress. These imbalances should be treated accordingly.
Specific Ayurvedic Herbal Remedies for Fibromyalgia:
This blend contains rejuvenating herbs that are focused on the vata system. It may be used year round.
This formula supports in the following ways:
- Removes excess vata from the system
- Restores and maintains balanced vata
- For vata constitutions and imbalances
- Supports overall health and well-being
Vata also naturally increases as we age, so Healthy Vata makes an excellent formula for seniors experiencing what Ayurveda calls “the vata stage of life”.*
Daily herbalized oil massage provides a deeply soothing and balancing effect to the entire nervous system. The motion of massage creates heat and friction which enhances circulation and helps cleanse the areas of chemical impurities that could be aggravating and hyper sensitizing nerve tissues.
Triphala is the most highly recommended ayurvedic formula – and for good reason. It’s a master cleanser and detoxifier of the body and also replenishes and nourishes the system. Triphala effectively removes excess vata from the body and can be taken daily for the rest of your life.
2.) Consume anti-inflammatory nutrients
Inflammation, which plays a big factor in fibromyalgia flare ups, is intimately tied to diet.
We as a society eat a large amount of inflammatory foods and a low amount of nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods. The inflammatory foods we eat cause a wide range of health problems including muscle and joint pain.
We also typically combine foods in ways that cause digestive distress. If you want to learn more about proper food combining check out this page.
Below are some recommended supplemental sources of highly anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatories are particularly beneficial for conditions like fibromyalgia.
- A high quality cod liver oil (also provides high quality nutrients to prevent nutritional deficiency)
- A high quality blend of anti-inflammatory, fatigue reducing medicinal mushrooms
- grass fed gelatin (like gold for digestive, joint, tissue and digestive support)
- Turmeric (curcumin)
3.) Find out if you have food allergies
The flip side of consuming anti-inflammatory foods is avoiding inflammatory ones.
Food allergies are a source of high inflammation in our gut and bodies as a whole. Many people have food allergies. And most of these allergies are to foods that we eat commonly in our culture, including wheat, dairy and vegetable oils.
The best way to find out if you are allergic to foods is to get a food allergies blood test done.
3.) Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Studies have shown significant associations between fibromyalgia and high levels of stress and anxiety that stemps from physical and sexual abuse, both in adults and children.
Cortisol and the sympathetic nervous system serve us in times of high stress, but when we get locked in chronic states of fear and anxiety our system loses it’s ability to self regulate itself and we fall into discord. This disharmony opens the doors to chronic inflammatory conditions and diseases like cancer, arthritis, auto-immunity and fibromyalgia.
Whether it is through meditation, massage, therapy, yoga, acupuncture, running, chiropractic adjustments – whatever – just find out what you can do to lower your levels of chronic stress, anxiety and irritation.
Successfully restoring harmony to your body and mind will have a cascade effect and you should experience considerably less problems around both your mental and physical problems – fibromyalgia included.
4.) Consult a Natural Healer
You’ve likely already visited a western doctors concerning your fibromyalgia – but have you considered checking out an alternative doctor as well?
Naturopaths, Chinese medicine practitioners, Ayurvedic practitioners, acupuncturists, chiropractors… Many of these practitioners are well acquainted with treating the symptoms – and most importantly – the causes of fibromyalgia. I highly recommend visiting a local practitioner!
Hopefully you’ve found the information you needed from this post. If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own let us know in the comment section!