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Effective essential oils for chronic shoulder tension

January 12th, 2017

Today I’ll be showing you how to create an aroma blend aimed at eliminating chronic shoulder stiffness, which is one of the most common problems that I see. Key to this is selecting essential oils that warm the body, remove unneeded pain and relieve tension.

Shoulder tension


The best treatment for chronically stiff shoulders is heating!


There are many products on the market for alleviating shoulder stiffness, but working on chronic stiffness is often a case of warming the affected area. For example, there are cold compresses available, often called ‘pain relief patches’ or something similar. The main ingredients of these poultices are menthol and methyl salicylate, which give you a cold sensation and help to eliminate muscular pain and aches. However, we cannot expect these to warm and relax the muscles. I would like to recommend a treatment that warms deeply and slowly even for chronically stiff shoulders, or the types of joint pain where the symptoms worsen in the cold. By the way, these cold patches are suitable for counteracting pain such as headaches, or that which you might experience the morning after over-vigorous exercise.


Which essential oils are best for warming the body?


The main constituent of clove and cinnamon leaf essential oils is eugenol. There are many experimental results that prove there is an analgesic pain relief effect to eugenol due to its promoting blood circulation in the muscles.







Ginger is recommended as the essential oil helps warm up the body, as well as having anti-inflammatory and analgesic propertiesThe main components of thyme are thymol and carvacrol, making it synonymous with Western ginger.


Essential oils that help to ease pain are also beneficial


When there is pain in addition to muscle stiffness, essential oils that have analgesic property can help with relief. The principal ingredients of the cold compresses mentioned above – peppermint with menthol or wintergreen, with methyl salicylate as the main ingredient – gives a cool and pleasant feel to the muscles. I would also recommend cloves, cinnamon leaf or thyme essential oil. 

In addition,  although it is an unusual essential oil, Copaiba Oil originating from the Amazon region contains about 40% β-caryophyllene. Studies have shown that β-caryophyllene can contribute to suppressing pain inflammation, as well as exerting an analgesic effect by activating the cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) that affects the inflammatory response in the body. Although it doesn’t have as much as copaiba, black pepper also contains β-caryophyllene, making it effective in relieving muscle and joint pain. From my own personal experience, copaiba oil works well to gradually relieve aches and pains.


Relax with a scent that unravels your tension knots!


Finally, chronic shoulder stiffness can be caused by mental stress causing tension in that area. By adding essential oils with an effect that gives psychological relaxation, we can make a blend that works on both the physical and mental aspects of the problem.

For this we recommend essential oils such as lavender and bergamot that contain linalool. Also, Roman chamomile is traditionally often used as an essential oil to help relieve muscle tension.

Also, Citrus essential oils such as orange and mandarin, which are based on limonene, can give you a more cheerful, upbeat feeling, so it’s good to use them when your mood is declining due to a cold or chronic shoulder stiffness.


Aromatic blend oil for shoulder stiffness

blend oil

Material and method of preparation (dilution rate 2%)

Vegetable oil

  • Black Seed Oil 15ml
  • Mustard oil 15 ml

Essential oils

  • 3 drops of Cinnamon leaf
  • 2 drops of Clove
  • 2 drops of Ginger
  • 3 drops of Black pepper
  • 5 drops of Mandarin
  • 3 drops of Coriander

Black seed oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Mustard oil is said to be effective in Ayurveda, warming the body, relieving chills and chronic stiffness. This is the base oil, which warms the body and relaxes muscle stiffness and pain.

Blend oil can be used not only for the shoulders and neck, but also for massaging cold feet. It will be more effective if you apply it after taking a bath to warm your body up.

  • Notes:

Cloves and cinnamon leaves are said to be irritating to the skin in some cases. There are usually no problems for most people, but if you are experiencing a lowering of immunity or skin sensitivity please adjust your dilution concentration. Use the essential oils you are familiar with so as to avoid any adverse effects.