Aromatherapy for Mitigating Pain and Anxiety in Cases of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
New publication alert!
International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapists
According to the National Institutes of Health, “pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined”. Uncontrolled pain is debilitating, and can lead to secondary conditions such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disruption. The connective tissue disease Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) causes joint dislocations, can affect internal organs, and leads to significant pain. The current (inadequate) methods for relieving EDS-related pain are limited to opioid medications and management of dislocations. Many EDS sufferers are unable to function in normal life, leading to full medical disability status. EDS sufferers are likely to experience anxiety and depression, and management of these secondary conditions is important for quality of life.
Aromatherapy may be an effective and safe method of controlling the pain and inflammation experienced by EDS sufferers. Studies showing the ability of essential oil and aromatic extracts to interact with pain-related cell receptors and nociceptors suggest that essential oils can directly reduce pain. In addition, inhalation of specific essential oils has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety. This study examines specific aromatic formulations and their efficacy in controlling EDS-related pain and anxiety symptoms. Preliminary results indicate aromatherapy is an effective complementary modality for EDS-related pain, and may be effective as a complementary modality for EDS-related anxiety.