With a focus still on the spine and all of its attachments
what can we do when our back is hurting? or
when we would just like to enjoy something soothing?

Here are some hints for caring for sore back muscles as well as some aromatherapy recipes for sore muscles and for soothing, relaxing back rubs.

The past few posts have been focussed on the spine, the muscles attached to it and maintaining healthy alignments. But what steps should you take after you’ve been a weekend warrior, lifted something too heavy or just slept in an awkward position and YOU are SORE!  Here’s a few tips…

Doing the work that I do, my first recommendation is “get thee in for a good massage”! Before you start walking funny or moving differently to protect the injured part get it cared for so that you aren’t creating more of a problem. (See the link to the “Fuzz Speech” at the bottom of the post….it tells you why.)

But it’s Sunday evening, all the clinics are closed, you’ve taken arnica and still need some relief…

RESTING the sore back is first on the list! If you’ve pulled or injured a muscle it needs a break…give it one.

ICE or HEAT…right after an injury Ice will reduce any swelling (keep a bag of frozen peas in the freezer for just such occasions!). If there is bruising as well then slice up some fresh lemons and place them under the icepack – it draws the bruise to the surface, which looks terrible, but it doesn’t settle in (yes, I was a hockey mom!).
Afterwards..HEAT…increases circulation of blood which nourishes the injured tissues. Hot moist heat is the best for sore muscles as it soaks into them. A soak in the tub with epsom or sea salts, putting some salts on a moist towel in the microwave to heat up and apply…
I tell my clients to use what feels best, heat or ice, in giving them pain relief from sore muscles.


There are some great oils for muscular pain…Eucalyptus, Black Pepper, Juniper, Peppermint. Following are some recipes to create massage blends for muscle pain and some for soothing, relaxing back rubs.
Be sure to test for allergies and read up on contraindications (especially for children, those who are pregnant and those with specific dis-eases) for any of the oils in the blends. There are some excellent websites and books with this information.

I use this for clients quite often!
2 oz of carrier oil, 10 drops Rosemary, 8 drops Eucalyptus, 6 drops Cypress, 6 drops Marjoram, 4 drops Peppermint and 3 drops Thyme

This is a great blend to soak deeply into muscles and joints, quite effective for relief from arthritic pain as well.
2 oz carrier oil or unscented lotion, 4 drops Chamomile, 4 drops Helichrysum, 4 drops Lemon, 3 drops Fennel, 3 drops Juniper, 3 drops Marjoram, 2 drops Ginger

A soothing blend for any back rub…a perfect combination of woodsy and sweet
50 mL of base oil, 4 drops Clary Sage, 4 drops Lavender, 6 drops Ylang Ylang, 6 drops Cedarwood

Into 4 oz of base oil add 4 drops Cinnamon, 2 drops Lavender and 3 drops Juniper

Creating your own Aromatherapy Massage blends can be a lot of fun! Work with what feels best for your muscles

OK, so here is the link to “THE FUZZ SPEECH”…a great explanation of why caring for, stretching and massage are essential for your muscles!

Yoga, Stretching, Strengthening muscles, Massage, Spinal Touch….all good things for your back! What are YOU doing for YOURS? Would love to hear….

Belly Oils

The last in the belly series, here are some recipes just for tummy rubs.

When massaging your abdomen be gentle with yourself, massage in the direction that your organs digest your food in and don’t overdo it. If you’re not sure, have a session with a massage therapist first so that they can show you the “how tos” for yourself and members of your  family.

Please be sure to read some of the warnings regarding essential oils at the bottom of the post and I highly recommend that you add some essential oil books to your library that provide the benefits of the oils, ways to use them, when not to use them, how to test for allergic reactions… I’ve listed some of my favourites below.

Essential Oil Recipes for Tummy upsets, scars and appetites

These recipes were created with pure therapeutic grade essential oils

To help your Digestion

1 oz of carrier oil blended with 4 drops Basil, 3 drops Rosemary, 3 drops Thyme, 1 drop Ginger and 1 drop Peppermint.
Gently massage over the abdominal area as needed but not to be used more than twice a day.

To Stimulate your Appetite

1/2 oz of carrier oil, 4 drops Basil, 4 drops Orange, 3 drops Coriander. Blend, breathe in and massage over your abdominal area.

To Suppress your Appetite

1/2 oz of carrier oil, 10 drops Fennel, 5 drops Bergamot. Blend and breathe in! You can also massage over your belly.


30ml of a lotion base, 1 drop Helichrysum, 3 drops Frankincense, 1 drop Neroli, 2 drops Chamomile. Blend and massage into visible scars and you’ll begin to notice they fade.

Momma’s Belly Oil Blend (helps to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy)

30 ml carrier oil, 15 ml Wheatgerm oil, 5 drops Carrotseed, 7 drops Rose, 6 drops Lavender, 5 drops Tangerine. You can also add a few drops of Vitamin E to this oil. Blend and massage into belly daily.


Carrier oils: my favourite is Sweet Almond Oil. Jojoba Oil is also very good for the skin. If you don’t like the oily residue find a vegetable based natural lotion at a health food store that carries body care products.

Light sensitive: Citrus oils such as Orange, Bergamot and Neroli are photosensitive and it is not recommended that you use them before going out into the sun.

Skin sensitive:  While they may be all natural you can still have allergies to them. Be sure to test blends on a small portion of the skin and watch for any redness or swelling in the area over 12 hours before applying all over.

Contra-indications: some oils are not safe for some conditions, especially pregnancy. Be sure to check your essential oil reference guide to ensure you’re using essential oils that are safe for you.

Suggested Reading – These are my Essential Oil favourites!

The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood – an excellent guide to essential oils and their safe use for all family members, including pets.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless – a guide to using the oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism
Complete Aromatherapy Handbook by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi – I love this book, the stories and histories of the oils as well as ways in which to use them.

Sometimes just a whiff of a calming scent can settle the emotions that upset our stomach…what are your favourites?