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Natural Remedies: Using essential oils as a senior

You may have heard by now about the popularity of natural remedies. Holistic and natural medicine has seen massive growth due to social media and evolving modern ways of thinking about care throughout life. While you'll certainly want to continue seeing your primary physician and any other specialists important to your health, using natural remedies is a way for seniors to retake some control over the quality of their lives.

This is especially important when living in an independent retirement community. Being proactive about your health by using natural remedies can help in a number of areas. Not only can your physical well-being be positively impacted, but you may also be able to improve your social life and spirits. Whether you want some tips to manage a sore knee or ways to get better sleep, there are a number of areas of your day-to-day life in which natural remedies can play a part.

Exercise and creams for joint pain

One of the most common problems we have to deal with as we age is joint pain, either due to diagnosed arthritis or years of working and running after kids. Although arthritis encompasses a number of conditions, in general, seniors are no strangers to achy knees, ankles, wrists and elbows. And when professional help or medications don't do enough to achieve relief, there are a couple of natural remedy options you may want to consider.

The first thing to do is establish a good foundation of staying active. Though this may be difficult considering joint pain is the issue to begin with, the less movement you get, the worse the pain may become. Exercise or physical therapy focusing on your achiest joint is a good place to start. Hydrotherapy (exercise performed in a pool) and tai chi are also regimens targeted at alleviating joint discomfort. Be sure to use ice and heat if your muscles start to feel tight — can't forget to maintain them too.

There are other alternative methods to managing joint pain. For instance, capsaicin creams can be used to fight inflammation. These over-the-counter topical creams, which contain substances that give chili peppers their distinctive heat and spice, work as an anti-inflammatory solution. Ginger is valued for the same properties and is available in capsules and supplements. It can also be added to food.

Melatonin and essential oils for sleep trouble

In retirement, you may find yourself lying awake at night or not being able to sustain a good sleep. When long-term routine schedules like work go away, it can be tougher to structure daily life, which may disrupt your sleeping patterns. This type of thing is only natural, and if anything is more of an adjustment to life in a community. However, if it's causing problems for you, there are natural remedies that can help you address insomnia and other symptoms.

One popular option for trouble falling asleep is melatonin, which is used broadly by people of many ages. The hormone is naturally produced by the human brain and regulates sleep, but available in pill or liquid form. You can use melatonin to help get some near-term relief and to steer your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle back on the right track. Be careful not to become dependent on the substance, however.

Essential oils can also help you reach a relaxed state more easily. Oils including lavender, cedar wood and chamomile (which can be diffused, inhaled or applied topically) create calming atmospheres and induce tiredness. The aromatics, while all distinct, all are rich and deep - which may connect to better sleep.

Aromatherapy and acupuncture for stress

Stress is a natural part of life. And as age, it may stem from transitions into retirement, among other personal factors. When feeling those butterflies in your stomach or other anxiousness, there isn't always a cure other than to find a way to cope. That doesn't mean, however, there are no treatments for stress and anxiety. Natural remedies are particularly useful in such applications.

Aromatherapy using essential oils can help fight depression. Scents including vetiver, bergamot and rose, as well as citrus aromas, have all been observed to have positive effects, whether by being uplifting or relaxing. Each person's reaction to an aroma is different, but for the most part oils can help seniors meditate or decompress. Acupuncture can be used to the same end: relaxation. This technique has been known to improve mood and release chemicals in your brain like dopamine and endorphins, which help you relax.

Natural remedies are increasingly being used to supplement medical care. You can also take advantage of them to lead more active and independent lives in retirement. Knowing this, Milestone Retirement offers an essential oils program throughout communities so residents can have ready and reliable access to natural remedies. Contact us today for more information about our services and communities, and how we can help seniors take an active stake in their well-being by using natural remedies.