You know how it goes – you just finished that killer workout – yoga, spin, Zumba, a great run, weightlifting, whatever it is. You feel great, but then, your muscles start to feel sore and tight.
Some welcome this pain. But, if you can’t lift your arms to brush your teeth or your thighs burn every time you sit down and stand up, you may be looking for ways to ease that post-workout pain.
And, you’re in luck - there are some natural, post-workout soothing treatments to combat this soreness, including using essential oils for muscle pain relief.
Natural Ways to Treat Post-Workout Muscle Soreness and Tightness Combined with Using Essential Oils for Muscle Pain
Use a Foam Roller
We know, we know. You have a love-hate relationship with the foam roller. It’s been likened to a torture device by some, but foam rolling can help ease your post-workout pain and help speed up your muscle recovery.
When you use a foam roller, it applies pressure to the muscles as a type of self-myofascial release or self-massage. The goal of foam rolling is to boost circulation to the muscles for healthy fascia, and it’s the removal of the adhesions in your muscles that takes foam rolling a step above stretching.
Daily Burn quotes Michael Conlon, PT, Founder and Owner of Finish Line Physical Therapy in New York City, “By rolling, you improve tissue mobility and in turn improve performance in whatever event you’re doing.”
Plus, increased mobility can also help you tackle your next workout.
The foam roller can also help clear out some of the lactic acid that builds up during exercise. It can improve flexibility, balance, decrease exercise fatigue and, with regular, use can help reduce your soreness from happening the first place (for your next workout, of course).
To enhance the overall experience of using a foam roller, you can turn this post-workout time into a full-on, relaxing experience. Take some time when you won’t be interrupted and find a relaxing space. Listen to your favorite relaxing music or audio meditation and diffuse essential oils throughout the room using a GuruNanda Aromatherapy Diffuser. You can also slow and control your breathing for even more relaxation.
Get a Massage
Another option for treating muscle soreness after a workout is getting a massage. Whether it’s from a professional – or a partner or friend – sports massages may combat post-workout soreness as well.
A massage can reduce muscle pain, help your muscles recover, detoxify your body, improve blood flow, reduce muscle tightness, and help ease inflammation, according to research.
Plus, it just feels good.
Using essential oils during massage is a great way to get the added therapeutic benefits. This can be done by simply diffusing them throughout the room during the massage or by using your favorite oil as a massage oil.
Some essential oils can be used directly on the skin, but we always recommend using a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil or almond oil, or lotion when coming into direct contact with your skin.
Visit the Sauna
We’ve all seen it on television and movies – some good old guys sitting in white towels with steam all around them while talking about business. But going to the sauna isn’t just a social activity. In fact, it can actually work wonders on your post-workout tightness.
Saunas are often a part of your health club or gym membership, and visiting the sauna after a tough workout can help relieve your sore muscles by helping to release toxins from your body. The heat also aids in releasing endorphins which are known to alleviate arthritis, asthma, and chronic fatigue, according to Men’s Fitness.
One way to incorporate the power of essential oils with the benefits of the sauna is to use your GuruNanda Misti Portable Diffuser after enjoying a post-workout sauna session. This helps you get the benefits of essential oils while your pores and nasal passages are already open.
One thing to note with the sauna if you’re new to the concept is that it can be very dehydrating. It gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat, so be sure to hydrate both before and after using the sauna to avoid losing too much water.
Take a Bath
Similar to the sauna (but not as dehydrating or hot), a warm bath can also have therapeutic effects on those achy muscles.
The heat alone can have therapeutic effects, but adding Epsom salts or sea salts can be an additional way to detoxify your body, reduce swelling and calm your central nervous system.
If you want to go one step further, you can even add essential oils to your bath salts or your bath water using a carrier oil. The steam from the water works to fill the room with the soothing aroma or you can also move your diffuser into the bathroom while you’re in the bathtub to get these added essential oil benefits.
Our favorite homemade bath recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of Epsom salt, 1 cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil and 20-25 drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend. When it’s time for your bath, scoop out a half cup, add to warm water and soak for at least 15 minutes or until you feel relaxed.
You can even bring a massage ball, or a tennis ball, into your bathtub and use it between your body and the walls of the tub. Since you are somewhat buoyant in the water and the heat has released some initial tightness, it does not require as much force as when you roll out your muscles on the floor in order to get some of the same massage benefits.
If you are bold, there are also some benefits to taking a cold or ice bath for sore muscles. The cold can numb sore muscles and constrict blood vessels to reduce pain, which is the opposite of what happens during a warm bath where your blood vessels are dilated.
Now that you have some ideas in mind for what you can do for your sore muscles and how to use essential oils for muscle pain relief let’s see some of the top oils for post-workout relief.
Top Essential Oils for Muscle Pain
Lavender Essential Oil
The first essential oil that has to be discussed for sore muscles is, of course, lavender essential oil. This sweet-smelling oil is calming and relaxing and can soothe muscle tension as well as ease tension headaches.
We suggest that you add lavender oil to your Epsom salt bath, which may help relax and soothe your sore muscles. Lavender can also be added to a carrier oil in a one to 10 ratio and be used as a massage oil. It can also be diffused into the room for further relaxation.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil
We also like to use juniper berry essential oil to relieve sore muscles. Juniper berry may contain healing, cleansing and detoxifying properties, and it has a spicy and clean aroma.
You can mix six drops of this essential oil with an ounce of bath salts for a relaxing bath. Juniper berry can also be mixed with a carrier oil for a massage as well.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil contains analgesic properties that have been shown to be useful in reducing pain in the joints and the muscles. The cooling and anti-inflammatory compounds of chamomile make it an excellent choice to possibly relieve pain and help heal injuries of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
For a great bath, add two to four drops to your bath to ease tension or add it to a carrier oil for a great massage treatment.
Himalayan Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils, and it may provide relief from health ailments. It can have a cooling sensation and a calming effect on the body. Peppermint essential oil has been shown to relieve sore muscles as well.
To use for sore muscles, we suggest adding two to three drops of Himalayan Peppermint Oil to your everyday lotion and massage onto muscles for a soothing and tingling sensation that can provide relief from aches, pains, or muscle spasms. You can also add two to three drops of peppermint and two tablespoons of Epsom salts to your bath to relax your muscles.
Wintergreen Essential Oil
Wintergreen essential oil has a divinely sweet and minty aroma and contains constituents that have been shown to work similarly to aspirin, and may provide relief for headaches, nerve pain, and many other health ailments.
To use this essential oil for muscle pain relief, add two to three drops of wintergreen essential oil with a carrier oil to be used in a massage of muscle pain areas. Again, two to three drops of this oil can be added to your bath to help ease muscle tension.
If you regularly have sore muscles and want to try essential oils for your muscle pain relief, check out our online shop for 100 percent pure and natural oils. All of our essential oils go through a rigorous quality-control process, and are Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) tested for authenticity and therapeutic properties.