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Muscle pain
Submitted by Richard

Torn or strained muscles caused by over exercise or accident are very common and can result in mild discomfort or disabling agony. Such injuries often take several weeks to heal and can leave muscles weakened. Conventional treatments include painkilling drugs, muscle relaxants, anti- inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy and electrical stimulation. Natural therapies such as aromatherapy massage, acupressure, homeopathy, acupuncture and naturopathy, can help to ease pain.

Aromatherapy
Massaging the affected muscle with essential oils can be very soothing. Add 4 drops of marjoram oil, 6 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5 drops of rosemary oil to 50 ml of a base oil. Warm the oil in your hands before applying it to the skin. If the painful muscle is inaccessible, ask someone to massage it for you. Make sure you are comfortable before you begin a massage in order to benefit fully from the therapy.

Soaking your entire body in an aromatherapy bath can also help to ease discomfort. Add two drops each of rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender oils to warm bath water.

Homeopathy
Arnica For painful, overworked muscles or for the prevention of pain after taking strenuous exercise.

Acupuncture
Muscle pain may be helped by acupuncture in two ways - doctors of Chinese medicine believe that it increases vital energy to the affected area and encourages healing and, according to some scientists, it may increase endorphin levels (the body's natural pain- killers) in the bloodstream.

Naturopathy
Chronic muscle fatigue may result from a deficiency of vitamins B, C and E, and may also be 'a symptom of iron deficiency anemia. Make sure that your diet contains plenty- of wholegrain cereals, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Alternatively, take a vitamin and mineral supplement, but remember that supplements do not contain all the nutrients that a healthy diet provides.