The term arthritis means joint inflammation. Although there are many types of arthritis, two main forms we are likely to suffer from are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, the most common type in humans, occurs when the protective cartilage that lines the ends of bones in a joint is damaged. Over time, the cartilage breaks up and the surface of the bones rub against one another causing mild to severe pain. This pain leads to changes in how you use your other joints and muscles leading to stress and pain in other areas of your body over time. Masking the symptoms of pain and inflammation with medication does not address the cause of the problem.
Osteoarthritis, the "wear and tear" arthritis, usually occurs over time and gets progressively worse if the causes are not addressed. The damage may result from a one-time blunt trauma to the joint; from chronic poor alignment of the bones in the joint; from repeated stress put on the joint as in work related repetitive motions; or from excessive body weight putting increased pressure on the joint structure. While little can be done about the blunt trauma causes, you do have some control over the postural, overuse and weight bearing causes.
Self massage is an effective tool for relaxing tension in the muscles that affect the arthritic joint. Massaging the muscles that move the joint and the connective tissues that support the joint can result in better alignment of the bones. Proper alignment of the bones can mean that the damaged sites on the ends of the bone do not rub together as often and healing can take place. When the joint is in an inflamed state you can apply ice to reduce the accompanying swelling and pain. Massage techniques for all of the major joints are demonstrated in the videos available on this website.
Aromatherapy for osteoarthritis is centered on reduction of pain and inflammation without the side effects of artificial medications. An approach that has worked well for many is the application of an essential oil blend called PanAway™ applied to the affected joint topped with peppermint essential oil followed by a cool, moist compress over the area. PanAway is a blend of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove and peppermint essential oils which have a great healing synergy. You can also apply copaiba essential oil to the area due to the anti inflammatory nature of the oil. You can also add a few drops to the PanAway blend to enhance the action of that oil blend to combat inflammation.
It is important to provide the nutrients necessary for tissue repair. Massage of the tissues surrounding an arthritic joint can open circulation into the area and allow nutrients to reach the affected tissues.
Young Living produces two supplements that are beneficial to bones and joints. They are BLM and Sulfurzyme. They are blends of herbs, sulfur, and essential oils shown to support healthy bone formation and function.
Spiral Synergy techniques are painless, gentle movements that balance tension levels in the muscles that move a given joint and allow for freer movement.
Reflexology techniques to the corresponding joint reflex area can also be of great help. If the foot is affected with arthritis then you should work the foot reflexes found on the hand.