I was struck by a news item today on BBC World Service which talked about medics having enabled someone to feel pain!
I know that many if not most of my clients’ instinctive reaction to this would be, “Why!?” Yet, not being able to feel pain puts the person in a lot of danger. They will not pull their hand away from heat be it a hot kettle or perhaps something even more dangerous. They are at danger of asphyxiating when sleeping at night and of getting pressure sores because they do not feel the discomfort that makes them turn over. Or at a very simplistic level if we break a leg, it stops us standing on it and damaging it furhter!
Paradoxically, those behind this research believe that it might also be useful in looking at ways to help those in Chronic pain which does not have a useful function. What they didn’t say was what the time scale for this was.
Until then, I will continue to use massage and aromatherapy to help those in Chronic pain. A question that therapists in pain clinics often ask is, “Is it better to feel the pain and still be able to get on with life or to feel the pain and not be able to do anything?”
I see part of my job working with chronic pain as to help people reach the stage where they can carry on with life as they wish to. For some this does mean a big reduction in the amount of pain they feel. For others it is more about helping with the depression that often comes with chronic conditions of all types.
Oils used for depression which almost always increases the level of pain felt include Bergamot, Lemon and Frankincense. Oils for the pain often include lavender, Marjoram and Ginger.
As always, I look to choose oils that have multiple functions. The culinary herb oils and the citrus ones are both useful in constipation, encouraging peristalsis. (Constipation is very common in depression.) As a general rule I try and ensure that every oil I choose for a treatment addresses at least two issues that a client has and also for each issue I wish to address, I use at least two oils. I take a similar approach in the massage I give to clients in my Cambridge practice.