The Ancient Egyptians are generally credited as being the pioneers of the use of aromatic plants. Not only did they use fragrant oils in incense, skincare, cosmetics, medicine, and massage, but also in the process of embalming their dead. Later on, around 2800BC, in China, the Yellow Emperor Haung Ti’s book, “Classic of Internal Medicine”, documented the causes and natural treatment of disease, including the healing properties of more than 300 plants. This suggests that, although Chinese use of aromatics is undocumented prior to this, they may well have been using these plants before the Ancient Egyptians. Amazingly, translations of this book are still in print today, and it is one of the oldest books is the world!
The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who used lavender essential oil to heal a burn wound, and soon after, French field doctors used essential oils in wound care during World War 2. Fortunately for us, aromatherapy hit the mainstream during the wellness boom in the USA over the last 20 years, and used during therapeutic sports massage, it gives sportsmen and woman a double whammy – the benefits of massage for recovery and prevention of injuries, with the age-old benefits of essential oils.
For our resident Sports Massage Therapist, Daliah Hurwitz, Wintergreen™ Arnica Oil is her go-to for keeping her rugby players and other elite sports men and woman in tip-top condition. She says, “I go through about a litre of Wintergreen™ Arnica Oil a week on my rugby players. If any of them are looking for me, they just follow the smell! And I benefit from inhaling the essential oils just as much as my players do from being massaged with them.”
Wintergreen™ Arnica Oil is the perfect partner for sports massage and treating inflammation, muscle stiffness and spasm, and bruising. Its active ingredients – wintergreen, arnica, lavender, rosemary and calendula oils – improve circulation, boost energy, reduce scarring, and facilitate the removal of lactic acid accumulated in the muscles after strenuous activity. The grapeseed carrier oil allows for very good slip for manual tissue work and massage.
Let’s take a closer look at the winning combination of active essential oils in Wintergreen™ Arnica Oil:
Says Daliah, “When I am working with a team on tour, each player will get a 30-45min session once a week, where I can massage away the stiffness or muscle spasms that need releasing, and help prevent muscle tears, sprains, and cramping from the games, as well as the discomfort that can come with travelling. Many of the neck and back spasms I work with are not caused on the field, but by sleeping on an uncomfortably high or low pillow, or too soft mattress in different hotel rooms.”
When players are not needing specific relief for stiffness, pain or injury, they will have a body maintenance session, where Daliah works on lymph drainage for detox, and maintaining overall health utilising the healing properties of these oils to stimulate the immune system, the heart rate and function of the digestive system.