Saturday, October 6, 2012

PMS Headaches

I wrote this research paper as a homework assignment for my Aromatherapy Certification. I think the paper pretty much explains why I chose this topic. 


Aromatherapy Formulation Assignment

            Most women seem to suffer PMS with bloating, cramps, mood swings etc. I have been fortunate to escape the pain of cramping. However, I get severe headaches a few days before my period and then again around ovulation. These headaches start out slow and increase in intensity until I want to curl into a ball and shut the world out.
I do not believe in taking drugs, but driven to the point of desperation have, on occasion, taken ibuprofen to try and soothe the pain. Even the drugs do not help. Nutritionally, I have upped my water intake, always have taken a high quality multi-vitamin plus extra magnesium. I have tried massage, chiropractic, and sub-occipital release all to no avail. That’s when I concluded that these were, 100% sure, headaches relating to my hormones. At that point I tried Progesterone cream thinking it would help to balance the hormones. It didn’t. Or at least the headaches didn’t stop. The most recent thing I have tried was the herb Feverfew. It helps to some extent but only occasionally. I have yet to figure out why it sometimes works and sometimes does not. They only other thing I’ve found completely helpful is sleeping it off. Up until recently. 

One of the reasons I wanted to take this aromatherapy course was to look at another possible solution to these excruciating headaches. And so, I have created what I call my “Hormonal Headache Formula”. It was created specifically to target headaches, but also (I believe) will help with cramping. That will have to be experimented with later, as I do not cramp. For now, as long as it gives relief to my headache pain, success will have been achieved. I formulated the oil to reduce the inflammation, relax the muscles, be uplifting, invigorating, help balance the female hormones and soothe the pain.

The oils in my formula include Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Fennel and Rosemary.

40% Peppermint oil is in there for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, uplifting, stimulating, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, and cooling properties.

20% Spearmint oil is included for its anti-inflammatory, stimulant, emmenagogue, analgesic, cooling, and antispasmodic properties.

10% Lavender oil is used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and emmenagogue properties. 


10% Fennel is added for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and emmenagogue properties. 

20% Rosemary is added for its antispasmodic, analgesic, emmenagogue and stimulating properties.

I relied heavily on oils that consistently contain anti-inflammatory properties to reduce inflammation, antispasmodic properties to release the muscle tension, analgesic properties to generally ease and soothe the pain, and emmenagogue properties to balance the female hormone system. Several of the oils also contain cooling and stimulating properties to uplift and assist with mild depression that tend to occur along with the headaches. 

Formula #1) Massage Oil

Ingredients: 2 Tbs. Apricot Kernal oil, 7 drops Vitamin E oil, 50 drops of the Hormonal Headache formula. Rub on shoulders, neck and temples during a headache attack. Repeat as needed.

Formula #2) Bath Salts

Ingredients: 1 C. Sea Salt, 30 drops of the Hormonal Headache formula

Pour 1/2 cup of the mixture into a warm bath during a headache attack. Relax and breathe deep.

Formula #3) Pre-Bath Oil (to be used instead of bath salts...not together)

Ingredients: 2 Tbs. Grapeseed oil, 20 drops of Jojoba oil, 10 drops of Evening Primrose oil, 5 drops of Carrot oil, 35 drops of the Hormonal Balance formula. Rub on abdomen, neck and shoulders before entering the bathtub. Relax and breathe deep.

My observations:

So excited to report that this synergistic blend has been helping to relieve my headaches! Used it nearly every day during my period and all headaches disappeared except for one. But even that one lessoned in its severity. The massage oil is my favorite way to apply the oils. I love the tingly and invigorating sensation it gives. I just rub it on to the neck, shoulders, forehead and temples. It completely relaxes the muscles, invigorates me, and just generally keeps the nasty headaches at bay! I’m excited to continue using this oil blend and letting my friends try it as well. I have high hopes for easing other areas of PMS for them in the same way that I have felt the healing power God has put in these oils.

End of research assignment.

I am proud to say that I still use my massage oil quite often. My husband has also used the oil with some success and so it is not just for PMS! :) Because of the properties in these particular essential oils, I believe this massage oil is best suited for headaches where the muscles are tight as in the case of tension headaches. Unfortunately, all headaches are unique and each person will respond to differently. 

Last note: I still have not tested this for the use of cramps. If you want to be my guinea pig let me know! :)


Bethany
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Disclaimer:
In order to protect myself from people who might take any information I have written out of context or use it in any way I do not intend...I must say the following: I am NOT a doctor. I take no responsibility for what you do or not do with any information I have written. My opinions and writings should not take the place of a  doctor...consult one of those if you need medical advice. Pretty much...please use common sense and I strongly suggest you do your own research as well. It's empowering!


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