There seems to be the mindset out there that there will be a best blend that will work for everyone with a specific condition.  I am often asked “What is the best oil or blend for this or that condition”?  and I am expected to rattle off a blend for the person asking to use.

Well it doesn’t work that way.  Certainly one can purchase generic blends for many different conditions. They might work well for some people but they won’t work for everyone.  The first step in creating an effective blend is to understand the condition.  The next step is to understand the individual the blend is intended for as a whole person and not just as a condition.  Once you have that information, the blend that you create and the protocol of use that you suggest can be specifically tailored to the individual.   Doing this will allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your blend and tweak it if necessary.  Of course it does take a little more work than asking someone else for a recipe but the results are worth the effort.

Recently someone asked me about the best approach for dealing with Frozen Shoulder. defines Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.
Your risk of developing frozen shoulder increases if you’re recovering from a medical condition or procedure that prevents you from moving your arm — such as a stroke or a mastectomy.
Treatment for frozen shoulder involves range-of-motion exercises and, sometimes, corticosteroids and numbing medications injected into the joint capsule. In a small percentage of cases, arthroscopic surgery may be indicated to loosen the joint capsule so that it can move more freely.
It’s unusual for frozen shoulder to recur in the same shoulder, but some people can develop it in the opposite shoulder.
The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.
Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people, although it’s more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or those who recently had to immobilize their shoulder for a long period, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.
Certain factors may increase your risk of developing frozen shoulder.
Age and sex : People 40 and older, particularly women, are more likely to have frozen shoulder.
Immobility or reduced mobility: People who’ve had prolonged immobility or reduced mobility of the shoulder are at higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. Immobility may be the result of many factors, including: Rotator cuff injury; broken arm; Stroke; Recovery from surgery
Systemic diseases: People who have certain diseases appear more likely to develop frozen shoulder. Diseases that might increase risk include: Diabetes; Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism); Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism); Cardiovascular disease; Tuberculosis; Parkinson’s disease
Most frozen shoulder treatment involves controlling shoulder pain and preserving as much range of motion in the shoulder as possible.

Armed with this knowledge we look at the individual and ask a few questions:  How long has this been going on? What factors have contributed to the development of their frozen shoulder?  Was there an injury?  Was it developed through poor body dynamics?  (I have personally seen frozen shoulder develop from someone who sat in front of a computer for long periods of time and didn’t pay attention to proper body dynamics.  When these were addressed the shoulder problem resolved itself).  Is there any underlying systemic disease? What is the individual prepared to do?  Are they open to physical therapy or following an exercise plan? How bad is their pain?  What is their lifestyle?  Are there any emotional factors that could be addressed?

When creating the blend/synergy you want to include oils that will have good analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

I will also always include an oil that addresses the underlying emotional factor.  This does not have to be anything major, but we all know that having anything wrong physically will often bring with it some sort of stress, anxiety, frustration, worry, concern, and supporting that with a carefully chosen essential oil will only improve the effectiveness of the whole blend.  Of course when choosing the final oils for the blend you will take into consideration the individual oils safety precautions, as well as the person’s own aroma preferences as much as possible.  It has been my experience that people are more likely to use a blend if they are OK with its aroma.

Essential oils with analgesic properties include: bergamot; black pepper; Roman chamomile; cinnamon leaf; clove bud; elemi; eucalyptus radiate; fir; ginger; jasmine; lavandin; lavender; lemongrass; sweet marjoram; niaouli; nutmeg; peppermint; rose; rosemary; thyme ct. linalool; yarrow.
Essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties include: benzoin; Roman chamomile; eucalyptus radiata; frankincense; geranium; German chamomile; ginger; helichrysum; lemongrass; Litsea cubeba; sweet marjoram; Melissa; myrrh; niaouli; orange; patchouli; peppermint; petitgrain; rose; spikenard; tea tree; yarrow.
Essential oils with cooling properties include: peppermint.
Essential oils with warming properties include: Black pepper; Roman chamomile; ginger.
Essential oils with stress reducing properties (physically and emotionally) include: Basil; Benzoin; Bergamot; Cedarwood; Chamomile(both); Clary Sage; Cypress; Frankincense; Geranium; Grapefruit; Helichrysum; Juniper; Lavender; Lemongrass; Lime; Mandarin; Marjoram sweet; Melissa; Neroli; Patchouli; Palmarosa; Peppermint; Pine; Petitgrain; Rose; Sandalwood; Spikenard; Vetiver; Ylang Ylang.

Methods of Application I would consider would be adding the blend to a compress, or alternating hot and cold compresses; and applying the blend topically in an appropriate carrier.  Depending on the oils chosen and the individual for whom the blend is intended I would probably blend at around a 3 – 5% dilution.  My personal preference for pain management is to use a gel base for my blend as this absorbs through the skin at a faster rate than a lotion or carrier oil.

As you can see lots to choose from, which will enable you to tailor the blend to suit the individual.  I believe that you will find that if you tailor the blend to suit the individual your results will be much better than if you just used a generic pain blend.

The blog post on Muscle Aches and Pains might be helpful, as well as the article on Pain Relief.