Impact of aromatherapy massage using frankincense and myrrh essential oils

A recent study (Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT04494165) explored the impact of aromatherapy massage using frankincense and myrrh essential oils on chronic low back pain. In this three-arm randomized controlled trial, researchers aimed to investigate whether this type of massage could alleviate pain and reduce disability in individuals with chronic low back pain.

The study took place between August and December 2020 at a university hospital’s physical therapy clinic. It involved three groups: a control group, a massage group using jojoba oil, and an aromatherapy massage group using frankincense and myrrh essential oils. The aromatherapy group received two sessions of low back massage per week, while the placebo group received jojoba oil massages, and the control group received no massage.

The results of the study revealed that the aromatherapy group experienced a significant decrease in pain levels (measured using the Visual Analogue Scale), lower back pain severity (Aberdeen Low Back Pain Scale), and reduced disability (Roland-Morris Disability Scale) compared to the other two groups.

In conclusion, the study suggests that aromatherapy massage with frankincense and myrrh essential oils could be a valuable addition to medical treatments for chronic low back pain. It has the potential to provide pain relief and enhance daily life for individuals dealing with this condition. This research adds valuable evidence to the field and may offer a promising option for those suffering from chronic low back pain.

The Ancient Mystique of Frankincense and Myrrh

Frankincense and myrrh are aromatic resins that have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for their fragrance, medicinal properties, and religious significance.

Frankincense:

  • Origin: Frankincense is obtained from the resin of Boswellia trees, primarily found in the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Africa.
  • Ancient Use: It has been used for over 5,000 years in religious ceremonies, traditional medicine, and perfumery.
  • Religious Significance: Frankincense holds religious importance in Christianity, Islam, and other religions, often used as incense in worship.
  • Historical Trade: The Incense Route facilitated its trade from the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean and beyond.
  • Medicinal Uses: It was used in traditional medicine for treating various ailments.

Myrrh:

  • Origin: Myrrh is derived from the resin of Commiphora trees, found in the Arabian Peninsula and Northeast Africa.
  • Ancient Use: Myrrh has a history dating back over 3,000 years, used in religious rituals, as a medicinal remedy, and for embalming.
  • Religious Significance: It also has religious significance in Christianity, where it was one of the gifts brought to the infant Jesus by the Magi.
  • Embalming: Myrrh was used in ancient Egypt in the mummification process.
  • Medicinal Uses: Myrrh was employed as an antiseptic and for oral hygiene.

Both frankincense and myrrh played vital roles in ancient trade, culture, and religion, and their legacy continues today in various applications, from incense and perfumes to traditional medicine and religious ceremonies.

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