Natural Ways To Manage Rheumatism
Rheumatism is a general term used to describe inflammation of the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue, causing severe pain and discomfort. It is a common condition and can sometimes manifest as rheumatoid arthritis.
Those with rheumatism suffer from limited movement too, meaning quality of life can be seriously impeded if the condition isn’t properly managed.
Natural therapies can be used to support and supplement all forms of conventional treatment plans, helping to lessen both the symptoms and the devastating effects of rheumatism.
Physiotherapy is described as a holistic approach that involves people in their own health care. It is designed to help restore movement and function, and in doing so draws on a range of methods. These include movement and exercise, manual therapy (using the hands to relieve pain and stiffness), aquatic therapy, applying heat or cold treatments, and acupuncture.
Massage and aromatherapy
Massage is an effective way to relieve the pain associated with rheumatism and improve function. When combined with the correct essential oils it can dramatically reduce inflammation, combat fluid retention, and improve movement. Some of the best essential oils for all forms of rheumatism include black pepper, German chamomile, Roman chamomile, clove bud, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper berry, marjoram sweet, plai, and rosemary. Plai essential oil is particularly good for easing the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis.
Add four to five drops of the essential oil of your choice to 10ml of carrier oil or lotion and mix together well. Pour about a half a teaspoonful of the mixture into your hand and apply to the affected area, massaging it gently until it has been fully absorbed. Don’t apply any undue pressure, just use gentle circular movements around the painful area and this will help the blend to absorb into the skin, whilst improving blood circulation to the area.
While rheumatism limits the amount and types of exercise someone can do, partaking in gentle exercise can help increase mobility and ease the pain. Swimming is a great form of exercise as water takes the weight off joints and inflamed areas, thereby placing the body under much less strain.
The reason that rheumatism (and arthritis) can be so devastating is that due to the pain, sufferers are understandably reluctant to make unnecessary movements to avoid painful flare-ups.
But as we all know, the universal law of ‘use it, or lose it’ operates under these circumstances, and a lack of movement soon causes joints to stiffen and muscles to become weak. This means that when you do try to flex these joints the movement is even more painful and difficult, and this increases the resistance to further attempts at exercise. And so the vicious circle continues . . .
It cannot be over-stated that gentle exercise done on a regular basis can slow down the progression of the condition and contribute towards increasing joint mobility.
The more weight joints and muscles have to support, the more stress they are placed under. This obviously makes rheumatism worse and increases the pain. Therefore, to control the condition and lessen pain effectively it’s important to keep weight under control.
This means eating healthily and ensuring the body has all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to fight back against rheumatism. Research suggests that rheumatism sufferers may benefit from fish oil supplements, which contain inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.
Some experts also recommend adopting a Mediterranean style diet which includes more fruits and vegetables. Weight control and diet can both contribute successfully towards controlling rheumatism naturally when combined with other treatment methods.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2015. Written by Geoff Lyth