Plai Oil For Inflammation And Muscle Pain
A New Oil to Holistic Health Leicester:
Plai essential oil has a fresh, herbaceous, spicy aroma. It is steam distilled from the fresh rhizome (roots) of the Plai plant (Zingiber cassumunar), which is native to Thailand, Indonesia and India. Plai essential oil has long been used by Thai massage therapists for its powerful pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating and relaxing properties.
Although it is derived from the same plant family as Ginger, Plai possesses many different properties and has a more intense action. Rather than the classic warming effect of Ginger, Plai has a cooling effect on pain and inflammation, making it an excellent choice for treating injuries, muscular and joint pain and conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism.
Species: Zingiber cassumunar
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Extraction method: Steam distilled
Plai essential oil is considered non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating. Always best to spot test first though on sensitive skin.
Plai is a excellent ‘health supporting’ oil that is used in many aromatherapy and spa products particularly for massage. It is normally diluted but can be applied directly to the skin if treating areas of pain or inflammation that are close to the surface of the skin. It can also be used as an insect repellent and to treat acne.
Plai can help to soothe the nerves, reduce anxiety and cool anger.
Plai is one of the best essential oils for treating, aches, pains and inflammation. It has powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for injuries and muscular aches and pains. It is also useful for post-operative pain and inflammation and its powerful analgesic properties are reported to ease pain for up to 16-20 hours. Plai can help to settle digestive problems such as nausea, stomach cramps, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Its anti-spasmodic action is also beneficial for period pains. Plai essential oil can help to stimulate the immune system and boost vitality. Its antimicrobial properties are effective in fighting infection and it can also be helpful for respiratory problems such as asthma, catarrh, chronic colds and flu.
Blends well with:
Black Pepper, Lavender, Neroli, Orange, Rosemary, Sandalwood
Reflexology And Aromatherapy Equally Effective For Symptom Relief In Cancer Patients
It is estimated that around two million people in the UK are living with or beyond cancer, and this figure is set to rise to four million by the year 2031.
Many of these people choose to access complementary therapies, to help them cope with various physical and emotional issues surrounding their condition, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
A study recently published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice looked at whether reflexology was as effective as aromatherapy massage for symptom relief in patients attending a specialist cancer centre in the UK.
The centre had been offering an aromatherapy massage service for nearly 25 years, and before introducing reflexology, the complementary therapy department wanted to investigate whether the therapy would offer the same benefits to its patients.
The study involved 115 NHS outpatients who were allocated to receive four, one-hour sessions of either reflexology or aromatherapy. Randomisation by minimisation was used to balance the two groups in terms of gender, whether they had received chemotherapy in the previous two months, and if their first concern/problem identified using a MYCaW* questionnaire was pain or ‘other’.
One hundred and four patients completed all four treatments, with the median length of time between the first and last appointments being 10 weeks. MYCaW questionnaires were completed before and after the intervention, to measure the effect of the therapy on patients’ symptoms, and VAS (visual analogue scale) after each session, to measure relaxation.
The results indicate that reflexology is as effective as aromatherapy massage for the treatment of cancer patients’ self-selected problems and concerns, and that both therapies provide ‘clinical benefit’. However, the authors commented that ‘future research might focus more specifically on which particular concerns are best managed by which therapy, or whether giving patients their own choice of therapy would make a difference to outcomes’.
No patients dropped out of the study due to adverse events, and the only negative comments provided in the questionnaires related to patients wanting more, or more frequent, therapy.
As a result of the study’s findings, reflexology will now be introduced to the cancer centre.
1 Macmillan (www.macmillan.org.uk)
2 Dyer J, Thomas K, Sandsund C, Shaw S. Is reflexology as effective as aromatherapy massage for symptom relief in an adult outpatient oncology population? Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2013;19(3):153-157.
* MYCaW (Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing) is an individualised questionnaire, adapted from MYMOP, which has been designed for evaluating complementary therapies in cancer support care. It collects both quantitative and qualitative data.
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