Which essential oils should you use for sport?
Although the benefits of sports are widespread, there are nonetheless problems that arise from vigorous exercise such as cramps, pains, muscle contracture etc. This is why the gym is one of the places where essential oils are most useful. You can breathe in the scent of wintergreen, a magic potion for exercisers of all disciplines. An anti-inflammatory and analgesic, the essential oils of roman chamomile, clove and mint work miracles on overheated muscles (Achilles or patellar tendon) and dissipate contractures.
Athletes and their trainers know the importance of warming up, which, if done properly, allows the muscles to give their full power.
The physio’s advice (warm-up)
Lie down on your back and place something (cushion, etc.) under your knees to relieve the lumbar region. Do some very quick friction and sliding pressure, with the muscle being tossed around, which you support to "wake it up". Always start with the legs and work your way up to the heart, in order to stimulate circulation.
Note: the aim of the warm-up massage is to prepare the muscle for the effort, notably by increasing the skin temperature. Very superficial, with very rapid movements, it lasts barely 5 to 10 minutes and has nothing to do with a recovery massage. It does not in any way replace a muscle warm-up! For top athletes, this massage is an "airlock" to concentrate, a way to feel "at the centre" of attention: athletes being very attentive to their body, signal the smallest discomfort to the masseur so that they insists on the area. Again, this muscular awakening doesn’t last long.
Amateurs very rarely practice it - and it's a pity because it could avoid a lot of muscular discomfort - but it all depends on the sport. In boxing, for example, the trainer often gives it to the boxer themselves.
If the muscle has been stretched beyond its possibilities, the elongation is a warning before the tear, usually not very painful but requiring care.
2 drops of wintergreen essential oil, 2 drops of helichrysum essential oil, 2 drops of ylang-ylang essential oil, 5 drops of calophylla oil. Apply the natural remedie three times a day by gently massaging the affected area.
A muscle tear - or muscle strain - is a partial or total rupture of a muscle due to excessive stress or trauma.
- How to relief muscle tear pain?
Many relaxing oils are welcome after exercising. Among them, Scots pine guarantees total relaxation.
Add 10 drops of Scots pine essential oil to a tablespoon of neutral bath base. Stay in the water for a good twenty minutes (not suitable for children under 6). Dry yourself without rinsing.
2 drops of wintergreen essential oil, 1 drop of lavender essential oil, 1 drop of peppermint essential oil, 2 drops of rosemary essential oil, 5 drops of Arnica oil. Massage the painful areas with this mixture after training to relieve the muscles and prevent tendonitis.
The physio’s advice (recovery)
Use gliding pressure to prepare the muscle for a deeper massage, always grabbing the whole muscle. The rhythm, much slower than in a warm-up, allows all the toxins to be drained and the lactic acid, which clogs the muscles and causes soreness, to be evacuated. It's a bit like a "muscle drainage", but it's called a recovery massage.
Start at the foot and work your way up the legs. Finish with a foot massage for extra relaxation.
As the venous return happens from the arch of the foot, focusing on this area is essential to facilitate the elimination of toxins and to allow further relaxation, even in the trapezius (upper back).
A foot massage relaxes the whole body! And remember to drink plenty of water...
Note: immediately after sport, stretch well. These are exclusively passive stretches: you put tension on the muscle and hold it for 20 seconds. Afterwards, each sport has its own aromatic massage. Walkers and runners will insist on the calves, skiers on the legs and back, tennis players on the arms and hands, horse riders on the lower back, etc.
Use plants and essential oils with care. Read the information and precautions carefully before use.
THE PURESSENTIEL JOINTS & MUSCLES
Extracts from the book "Aromatherapia, tout sur les huiles essentielles", by Isabelle Pacchioni, published by Editions Aroma Thera and the book "Automassages aux huiles essentielles, guide visuel" by Isabelle Pacchioni, published by Editions Leduc.s.