Using Essential Oils for Relief of Chronic Back Pain: My Experience as Physician & Patient

iStock 000008894314XSmall Using Essential Oils for Relief of Chronic Back Pain: My Experience as Physician & Patient

I lived with disabling constant back pain that was not adequately relieved for several years, despite having and all the best medicine had to offer. It is a sad fact that many people still suffer from inadequately relieved chronic back pain. I helped start and was the first medical director of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center’s Chronic Pain Management Program, its acupuncture clinic, and taught qigong classes for pain patients. It’s ironic that I later ended up with relentless chronic pain.

Thanks in no small part to essential oils and a few other products from Young Living, I am better with significantly less pain, manageable and often not there at all. I now live a fairly normal life, and am able to help others, which is most important to me.  

It is not OK as far as I am concerned to allow people to suffer with unrelieved pain. We are supposed to relieve suffering. One of my specialties is addiction medicine. I took care of many recovering addicts, who had legitimate pain and were denied adequate pain relief because of their history. Some doctors try to be helpful but just don’t understand. Our options to treat chronic pain are limited.

What we have mostly are things that are not appropriate for long term use, meaning more than 2 weeks time, because of the potential serious side effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs all can cause GI bleeding and increased risk of heart disease. Acetaminophen causes most of the liver failure deaths and is the #1 reason for liver transplants in the US – Even when used in low doses. Aspirin is a good pain reliever but can cause GI bleeds especially in older patients and those on it for over 2 weeks.

Narcotics are helpful for some; but are potentially addicting and can cause brain fog, as can the tranquillizers, sedatives and antidepressants often prescribed. If pain is relieved and the patient is functioning well on narcotics, not continually needing higher doses or abusing them then it can work, and should be monitored.

Large studies have concluded that chronic pain patients on narcotics for pain do not function as well and have a poor quality of life compared to similar well matched patients who do not use narcotics. Steroids have a lot of side effects including diabetes, high blood pressure, ulcers, cataracts, osteoporosis, psychological problems and more especially with repeated or long term use.

There are epidurals and nerve blocks on a limited basis, stimulators which distract you from the pain, and then surgery. Surgery is not always the best answer, and can result in failed backs, worse pain. Patients have to be well selected. I would not do it unless it was absolutely necessary, and until I have tried other options. People who have to doctor shop until they can find a surgeon willing to do it generally do not fare well. There are other options.   

I shared my story in a previous blog post and on YouTube, so won’t repeat it, but want to share with you what and how I used these oils to get out of a literal hell and get my life back. Though I had embraced nutrition, acupuncture, herbal medicine, qigong, I did not “believe in” essential oils – I thought they just smelled nice. I had tried some before and they did not work. It was only when hope was gone and it was clear nothing else would help, that essential oils and prayer did help me. The oils gave me hope and welcome relief with a clear head.   

Today I’d like to share about first oils I used for pain, what I used, how and how they helped. In my next blog I will go into more detail about what oils are, how they work, and I’ll share more great oils for pain relief, how to use them and some other natural options for healing too. OK?

The first oils I used for pain gave me fairly quick relief when I used enough oils frequently enough. They were PanAway, Lavender and Peppermint. I started with 1-2 drops a couple times a day and did get some transient relief. I quickly went up to 4-6 drops of each as many times a day as I needed. They did no harm and they helped immensely. I would take the first oil, put the drops in my palm, apply it directly on the pain, rub it in, wait a couple minutes to see the effect, and then apply the next oil on top of it.

That’s called layering of the oils. Mixing them in the palm is not advised. The last oil was peppermint because it drives the other oils in and makes them work better. Now I use oils every day if only for the sheer pleasure of smelling their aromas, and I use oils for pain as needed. I am so much better. The oils I used here got me through very well. I still use them a lot but since have discovered a number of other oils that are now my favorites for back pain. I will let you know what they are in my next blog .  

Then I tried Valor on the bottom of my feet. It is supposed to make the other oils work even better. Peace and Calming at bedtime helped me sleep more soundly. Marjoram helped leg spasticity that would wake me up at night.  I ordered a new oil or 2 every month and found Relieve It is great for chronic pain too. I used it between the other oils. Regeneolone cream on top of the oils is a powerful help too for pain.

I got V-6 vegetable oil as suggested in case any oil caused redness or discomfort. They didn’t until once I used Lemongrass on my face. Don’t do that! At that point I invested in a book called the Essential Oils Pocket Reference from Life Science Publishing. I would not want to be without it. I recommend it highly if you are interested in exploring the use of oils. It tells about each oil, key ingredients, where it came from, its historical uses, what it’s used for, how to use it safely, any precautions, and the back of the book lists many different problems that oils have helped, what oils and how they are used.   

I started to use a couple other products that also worked great for me. The first was enzymes. I used and loved polyzyme. It also relieved pain, and I am sure it was a help in losing weight. I weighed 150-160 pounds and was size 12-14. With the oils and the polyzyme and being able to do minimal exercises for 15 minutes a day I lost 30 pounds in a couple months. I am now size 4-6 and 120 pounds.

Two other products that were so helpful that I have continued to use them are Sulfurzyme and Ningxia Red. Sulfurzyme clearly helped my pain, and my hair and nails grow faster too. Ningxia Red is a high nutrient antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral and more drink that when I first used it at 1 oz a day gave me a feeling of well being. It was not until I used 2 oz 2 times a day that I realized it gave me boundless energy. It enabled me to keep going until bedtime instead of crashing by noon because I was exhausted. The other benefit I noticed at 6-8 oz a day was it would take away any residual pain in 20 minutes and the effect lasted for 4 hours.

When I discovered Raindrop treatments, I had as many as I could. They are wonderful for pain relief. I had my doubts about Valor’s reputation for being able to adjust the spine. Then one day, my treatment was done and I was lying there with the hot towels, I felt and heard my back adjust itself – I knew the release of muscle spasm from the raindrop oils enabled that to happen.  Light and Love, Dr Joan

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Information shared here is not intended as medical advice, and cannot substitute for professional medical advice and information. Information provided is general in nature and may be helpful to some people but not others, depending on their personal medical needs. Always consult with your personal physician before changing or undertaking a new exercise program or following advice designed for general audiences only. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay getting care because of something you have read here.

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