Aromatherapy Case Study: Essential Oil Lotion to Ease Neck Tension and Related Vertigo
Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off balance or dizzy. It is often caused by inner ear problems. (1) This includes canaliths (calcium particle) buildup in the ear drum. An inner ear disorder called Meniere's disease may sometimes result in vertigo. Vestibular neuritis, which is usually related to viral infection that causes inflammation of the nerves of the ear may also lead to dizziness and balance issues.
Less often neck or head injury, stroke or tumor, certain medications, and migraine headaches may contribute to vertigo.
My client, a woman in her late 30s would experience vertigo that seemed to be related to neck tension. We decided to create an essential oil containing lotion to help soothe her neck tension in hopes that it would help her avoid feeling dizzy.
We used a base of unscented organic lotion along with sandalwood, lavender, Roman Chamomile, lemon, and vetiver at an overall dilution just under 4%. She would apply the lotion to her neck prior to bed or upon waking if her neck felt tense.
Sandwood is a fantastic anti-spasmodic and helpful in relaxing muscles. Likewise lavender, chamomile, and vetiver are relaxing, calming, and soothing. Lemon was used both for aroma and as a penetration enhancer (d-limonene help promote absorption of aromatic compounds).
The lotion worked fantastically. By addressing neck tension she reported that dizziness vanished. The lotion was also useful for sleep support, easing muscle aches, and reducing overall feelings of tension.
Further suggestions: Since vertigo can have different starting points addressing the causing factor may help support relief from vertigo. For build up of fluid or infection/ inner ear issues perhaps using oils that promote movement of lymph, fight germs, and reduce congestion could be helpful when used along with massage around the ear and along the side of the neck. For migrane related vertigo using an aroma inhaler at the first sign of a migraine may help ward off the headache and help the client retain the feeling of balance. In many instances helping the body relax, promote restful sleep, adequate hydration and nutrition, and exercise can go a long way towards helping the body.