I'd like to welcome Elizabeth from Finding Life's Silver Sun for this awesome blog post and giveaway! Elizabeth is part of my amazing oil family, and I've loved seeing her learn some simple ways to feel better naturally!
It’s the age of computers!
That also means, unfortunately, that it’s the age of chronic back pain and chronic neck/shoulder tension. Even those that are not stuck to a computer for eight or more hours a day have a lot more neck and shoulder tension than people used to. This chronic tension is due to how much time we spend looking forward and down. Are you reading this on your phone? Even if you’re not, I bet you’ve spent a decent amount of time on your phone in the past two hours. Are you working on homework at a desk (if you’re in school)? Do you get home from work and flop onto the couch to unwind with dinner and movie? Do you have to commute in traffic? All of these things contribute to the epidemic of chronic neck and shoulder tension, tension headaches, chronic back pain, and general muscle stiffness.
Thankfully, there are things that can help! You do not have to be stuck with the chronic tension and pain.
A few months back, I started using essential oils as a part of daily life with the hopes that I could begin to treat my multiple chronic illnesses (and the daily symptoms) in a more natural way. I am not against pharmaceuticals, I have just reached a point where I have been on them for so long that I’m wondering if they’re honestly helping or if they’re causing more problems than they are worth. Some of the first essential oils that I got were wintergreen and lemon; wintergreen was recommended to me for physical (topical) use, and lemon has a lot of uses around the house, is inexpensive, and has great aromatic benefits as well.
One of the main components of my chronic pain and chronic headaches is muscular tension. My muscles get extremely tight, pull joints out of alignment, and pinch nerves. Muscular tension is not a fun thing to battle on a regular basis. If you could relate to the beginning of this article (like the majority of the population), then you know exactly what I’m talking about!
When the wintergreen and fractionated coconut oil first arrived, I wasn’t quite sure what to use it on. Then, I got hit with massive and horrible headaches that had a major tension component. I actually ended up in the ER for them, where they told me they were tension migraines (as it turns out, they’re actually ice pick headaches complicated by tension). All of the tension in my neck and shoulders was definitely making them much worse. I diluted the wintergreen oil in the coconut oil, and rubbed it all over my shoulders and neck (and some on my temples because I always find myself rubbing my temples when I have a headache). I repeated this about every hour for a day, and it definitely helped lessen my headache.
Since my initial use, I have used it repeatedly as a soothing and warming massage to help relieve muscle tension around my body! I mixed up a roller bottle with diluted wintergreen oil to make use easier, and I use it quite frequently! The roller goes with me literally everywhere. Plain massage (without any oils) provides me with minimal benefits and usually just makes my hands sore, but the very slight warming sensation from the wintergreen really amplifies a massage and its effects (and it smells amazing).
Dan also has benefited greatly from wintergreen oil massages. He works a desk job, and is at his desk for 80 hours every two weeks (sometimes more based on deadlines and such). When he was still in school, he was actually very active and didn’t experience any chronic physical pain. Now that he works a desk job, he has chronic pain in his lower back, and tension through his neck and shoulders – all of it after only five years! The wintergreen has given him enough benefit that he actually will go get the roller all on his own now! (This is a big deal because he usually just pushes through discomfort and will resist taking medications or using any aids to get past it.) The massages have really helped with his back pain, neck pain, and a pain he has developed in his hand that is similar in nature to carpal tunnel pain (it’s not carpal tunnel – we’re not sure exactly what it is).
Wintergreen has a sweet and uplifting scent. I have an essential oil diffuser, and use wintergreen oil when I need an extra burst of cheerfulness. Wintergreen is a strong scent, so I only use one drop in the diffuser. One of my favorite diffuser blends with wintergreen is one drop of wintergreen, three drops of wild orange essential oil, and two drops of lemon – it makes the whole house smell like candy! (Not like sickly sweet candy, but more like a really delicious candy that you want to eat all of.) Because wintergreen is such a strong scent, it is extremely useful for helping to mask odors (like, putting it on a cotton ball in a gym bag). When I diffuse my citrus candy blend, I cannot smell the litter boxes or any of the other scents a house can take on (full trashcan, cat food, smelly shoes, etc).
Wintergreen has very quickly become one of my absolute favorite oils! It is quite strong, so you don’t need very many drops for it to be effective, meaning the bottle lasts for quite some time! (I have had my bottle since April, and have used less than 1/3 of it even though I use it almost every day.)
Do NOT use wintergreen essential oil internally! The main chemical component of wintergreen essential oil is methyl salicylate (which is an ingredient you can find in some topical pain creams). Methyl salicylate is toxic in relatively small doses, and can be fatal if consumed. From Medscape: “One teaspoon of 98% methyl salicylate contains 7000 mg of salicylate, the equivalent of nearly 90 baby aspirins and more than 4 times the potentially toxic dose for a child who weighs 10 kg.” (10 kg is roughly 22 pounds; one teaspoon of wintergreen essential oil is about 100 drops.) The risk of salicylate toxicity is why it comes with a childproof cap. DO NOT USE INTERNALLY!
Are you interested in trying wintergreen essential oil for yourself?
Starting on July 15, 2017 and running through July 22, 2017 you can enter to win a bottle of wintergreen essential oil, a roller bottle, and a some fractionated coconut oil! The roller bottle and fractionated coconut oil will allow you to begin using the wintergreen essential oil topically as soon as it arrives. Enter our rafflecopter giveaway below or follow this LINK!
"Hi! My name is Elizabeth Bulfer. I'm 27 years old and live in the Denver, Colorado area with my husband, Dan, and our two kitties. I'm a chronic illness warrior, and have several different chronic illnesses, including: dysautonomia, eosinophilia, fibromyalgia, and joint hypermobility syndrome. While the illnesses can be limiting at times, I strive to live life to the fullest and make the most out of everyday!"