Aromatherapy has a wide range of known healing uses. But did you know you can make it work for you in the gym or on the track? If you are among those of us who are running, cycling, dancing and panting your way to a better state of well being then you are aware that often we can push ourselves a little too far, resulting in strained muscles or fatigue. Many active people are aware of the ability of essential oils to ease the pain of muscle injury and speed up recovery, but they can also help to enhance you fitness regime by boosting your circulation and preparing your body for a healthy workout. Here's how;
Better Circulation Will Improve Your PerformanceEssential oils can improve your overall performance by increasing blood circulation. You depend on the circulation of blood to transfer energy in the form of oxygen from your lungs, to each individual cell in your body. The blood is also responsible for transporting nutrients from the digestive system to the other organs. Healthy muscles need a good supply of blood to keep them active when working out or playing sports. There are several aromatherapy oils, which can stimulate blood circulation and keep that energy flowing; these include: cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, juniper, rosemary and lemongrass. Though not as powerful, bergamot, cedar, chamomile and grapefruit oils can help to improve the integrity of your blood vessels.
A massage oil to boost circulation can be easily made by adding 20 drops of essential oil (either a single oil or combination), to 2 ounces of a carrier oils such as sunflower, grape seed or almond oil. A massage oil can take up to an hour to pass through the skin so should be applied with plenty of time to take effect before your workout begins.
Using Essential Oils To Increase StaminaStamina is the force that keeps you going, enabling you to complete that last round of tennis or set of bench presses. When playing sports or working out it is essential to keep focused and to maintain your physical endurance. The properties of some essential oils enable them to affect your focus and stamina by inhalation alone. Aromas you can use to increase your stamina are: angelica, basil, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, peppermint, pine and sage. If you haven't time to keep stopping to sniff your bottle of essential oil, then dab a few drops on your shirt or vest to keep you going.
Relieving Strain and InflammationInflammation is cause when fluid from surrounding tissue seeps into a damaged area. This can be caused by a sprain, torn ligament, tendon or muscle. Often the injury may also have blood from broken blood vessels seeping in, which will cause bruising. Swelling causes constriction, which will restrict proper blood flow. Without a good flow of blood to the injured area healing time is increased, and pressure on the nerves from the swelling will cause pain. Oils that will reduce swelling are; arnica, German chamomile, geranium, juniper, lavender, marjoram, and rose.
A great way to get your circulation flowing is a combination of ginger and rosemary. It will really get your blood flowing. You will be able to tell the difference after a warm up if you haven't remembered to rub on your oil before you work out. Without it you will feel more sluggish. With it on you will feel energetic, motivated and raring to go. You will also feel confident that with better circulation your muscles are more supple and you are at less risk of injury.
Here's a recipe for a simple and ready to hand sprain oil, just in case. You can make it by adding 2 ounces of almond oil (this is the carrier oil) to 12 drops of lavender, 6 drops of marjoram and 4drops chamomile.