It has been a long day in the truck. Out of habit, you reach for the ibuprofen to try and dull the pain before getting some much needed rest. What you don’t realize, is the negative effects ibuprofen may have to your stomach lining. Ibuprofen, if taken daily for a long length of time, is known to cause ulcers, heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. Pain relievers, in general, are known to have negative effects on your body when used long term. There must be another way to get some other much needed relief from your daily aches and pains!
Many truck drivers have found relief with essential oils. Various studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of aromatherapy. These studies suggest that the aroma of essential oils may stimulate brain pathways, including our limbic system, which is connected to our emotional response and memories. Studies using Electroencephalography (EEG), which measures brain waves, and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which displays brain imaging, indicate significant changes when experimenting with aromatherapy.
While there are different methods of applying essential oils, inhalation is most beneficial. Be sure to take deep breaths whether you are applying it to your wrists, palms or diffusing in your home or truck. There are countless aromatic essential oils that may help alleviate painful symptoms, as well as provide other benefits, such as boosting energy and decreasing fatigue. The following seem to be popular with many truck drivers:
Do you find yourself getting frustrated easily? Diffuse lemon to kick yourself into gear, boost your mood and increase focus.
Lemon is also great for seasonal stuffiness when combined with lavender and peppermint. Combine one drop of each oil with a carrier oil (coconut or jojoba oil) and apply to your chest and spine.
Another big benefit of lemon is that it is exceptional when it comes to removing harmful toxins from the body, making it a powerful essential oil for a healthy and strong body.
Stress seems to go hand-in-hand with the long hours truck drivers put behind the wheel. Painful symptoms such as a tight neck, sore muscles and head tension can sometimes be overwhelming. Fortunately, peppermint can be used topically, directly on achy areas, providing a cool, tingly sensation. You can also apply a few drops to the bottoms of sore feet.
Peppermint oil also helps decrease fatigue and provides a boost of energy. We all know how important that energy boost can be for professional drivers. Put a drop of peppermint oil in your hand, rub together and take some deep breaths with your hands cupped over your face. You will become energized and hopefully less drowsy using this method. Be careful, you do not want to get this oil near your eyes!
Black Pepper (not the pepper you cook with!)
Are you a tobacco user who has struggled with trying to quit or even reduce the amount of tobacco you use daily? Researchers have found that when smokers and tobacco chewers inhale directly from a bottle of black pepper essential oil, their nicotine cravings eased, and they were able to wait longer in between each urge. There is belief that black pepper essential oils may activate some of the same nerve pathways that nicotine acts on, triggering an endorphin release.
At the end of a long work day it’s time to let go of all the stress and uneasy feelings that have been building up all day. Lavender will help you wind down and relax. Put a drop in your hands, rub together and breathe. Use the same oil to massage into the bottoms of your feet for a restless sleep. This oil should be part of your evening routine, NOT during your working hours!
Cedar wood oil is essential for overall focus, erasing mental clutter and balancing emotions. This oil has a sweet, woodsy scent that is very soothing and calming. This is another good oil to use at night. Add one drop to a carrier oil and massage into the chest or diffuse for 15 minutes before bed.
Essential oils are beneficial, because just one small dose provides possible therapies for many of your ailments. If aromatherapy is intriguing to you, follow up with more research to see how essential oils can benefit you!
(These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Continental Express also does not endorse the use of essential oils.)