If you’ve been following our recent blog posts on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and other types of chronic fatigue, you probably already know that lavender and peppermint oils can promote relaxation and stimulate energy. We recommend using them as part of a daily acupressure massage, which has been shown to relieve CRF symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life.
In our last blog post, we explored the calming and healing properties of lavender oil. Today, let’s focus on peppermint oil to discover how it can be used to combat both persistent fatigue and other cancer-related symptoms.
Peppermint: Refreshing, Stimulating, and Mood-Lifting
The pleasant, minty taste and smell of peppermint is instantly recognizable. You may associate it with toothpaste, chewing gum, herbal tea, or perhaps with candy canes and other holiday confectionary.
This familiarity may contribute in part to peppermint’s ability to lift the spirits. The cooling and refreshing plant is known for aiding alertness and invigorating the body and mind, giving you a boost in energy and allowing you a breather from your troubles.
Research backs this up. One study examined the effects of peppermint extract on exercise performance in healthy young men. The 10 students who took part experienced significant improvement in their performance, blood pressure, and respiratory rate. They had more energy, and the researchers speculated that the peppermint had helped increase oxygen flow to the brain.
You can incorporate peppermint oil into your daily acupressure massage by rubbing it onto the acupoints that we recommended for stimulation. Not only will you smell good, but your energy and mood may receive an invigorating boost. You can also try diffusing peppermint oil or inhaling it directly, drinking peppermint tea, or using peppermint extract as a flavoring while cooking for extra pep.
Treating Cancer Symptom Clusters with Peppermint
Peppermint has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks were all aware of its healing properties. For patients being treated for cancer, peppermint can help combat a variety of “symptom clusters” (groups of related, simultaneous symptoms), particularly those related to digestive health.
Peppermint stimulates the flow of vital energy (Qi) in the stomach and intestines. This means it can be effective for treating many digestive problems related to cancer and its treatment, including constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. If you are attending regular acupuncture sessions to help manage your symptoms, using peppermint oil as part of your self-care routine can improve the treatment’s effectiveness and prolong your relief between sessions. Incorporating these pleasant smelling essential oils into your daily routine can also make them more enjoyable and uplifting.
Here at 5 Point Acupuncture, we want to ensure you feel your best when you visit us and when you’re at home, at work, at the movies, or anywhere else! If you’d like to learn more about peppermint oil, acupressure massage, or any of the other self-care methods we recommend for CRF and chronic fatigue, talk to your acupuncturist at your next session.