The body’s skeletal system comprises the framework upon which all other organs and tissues depend for proper placement and coordination. Bones are not inert material; they are alive, and they need blood and oxygen to metabolize nutrients and produce waste. They respond to external stresses by changing shape to accommodate new mechanical demands. The skeleton is often referred to in terms analogous to a tree: the trunk, or torso, supports the limbs, and so on. This system accounts for about 20% of the body’s overall weight.
The backbone, also called the spine or vertebral column, is made up of 24 moveable bone segments call vertebrae and is divided into three section. The top seven are cervical vertebrae, which support the cranium, or skull. The thoracic vertebrae, twelve in all, comprise the mid-back area and support the ribs. The lower back, or lumbar spine, consists of five vertebrae that connect to the pelvis at the sacrum. Each vertebrae is stacked upon another and is separated and cushioned by intervertebral discs held in place by tendons and cartilage. Through a channel formed by a hole in each of the stacked vertebrae runs the spinal cord, off of which branch root nerves. This nerve network enables the communication between the brain, the muscles and the organs of the body
Protection & Red Blood Cell Production
In addition to providing a structure to keep other body systems from lying in a heap on the floor, the skeleton protects the softer body parts. The cranium fuses around the brain, forming helmet-like protection. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord from injury. And the rib cage creates a barrier around the heart and lungs. Similarly, the majority of hematopoiesis, or the formation of blood cells, occurs in the soft, red marrow inside bones themselves.
Ligaments connect bones to each other and help to stabilize and move joints. They are composed essentially of long, elastic collagen fibers, which can be torn or injured if overworked. Gentle stretching before any strenuous activity protects the ligaments and prevents injury to joints and muscles. If ligaments are injured, healing can take 90 days up to 9 months for the fibers to regain their maximum strength.
The skeleton’s dynamic functions are facilitated by simple yet sophisticated network of levers, cables, pulleys, and winches actuated by muscles and tendons. When muscles contract, they shorten their length, thus drawing in an adjacent bone that pivots around a connecting joint, much like the boom, stick, and hydraulic level system of a backhoe.
Since the skeletal system is in a constant state of use, it also undergoes perpetual repair and rejuvenation. It is therefore, vulnerable to imbalance. The joints, in particular, are susceptible to damage due to constant friction, impact, and leverage. As we grow older, we may also experience challenges stemming from calcium or other mineral deficiencies — calcium being the primary material of which bones are made.
Proper pH balance in the body support a strong skeletal structure. When pH balance is off and the body is too acidic, the blood is compelled to take minerals from the bones and organs, which can cause depletion in the skeletal system. Sugar, refined and processed foods, and over-consumption of meat and dairy make the body more acidic throwing off the pH balance.
How Essential Oils Work with the Skeletal System
Certain essential oils like dill, lemon, fennel or lemongrass can help reduce acidity by creating a more alkaline environment. Maintaining an alkaline environment helps promote health. Similarly, adequate nourishment with bio-available vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals helps to maintain a proper pH balance in the blood. Adequate, high-quality supplementation will manage inflammation and a topical use of essential oils will support joint health.
Essential oils can promote health and accelerate bone repair. They can also be useful to support joint comfort and function, as well as supporting connective tissue.
Essential Oils for Skeletal System Support
Birch — stimulates bone health.
Helichrysum — comforts and supports inflammatory response; stimulates bone health.
Lemongrass — supports connective tissue.
White Fir — Promotes soothing comfort for joints.
Wintergreen — Wintergreen contains the same active ingredient as Birch; soothing and warming sensation after exercise.
Deep Blue soothing blend — soothing, cooling & comforting for joints.
PastTense tension blend — Eases feelings of tension; soothing and cooling.
DDR Prime Cellular Complex blend — Protects the body and cells from oxidative stress.*
Bone Nutrient Lifetime Complex™ — Provides optimal levels of vitamins and minerals essential for developing and maintaining healthy bone mass and density.*
Alpha CRS® + cellular Vitality Complex — Supports healthy cellular immune function.*
doTERRA A2Z Chewables™ — Contains a superfood blend that helps support overall health and wellness.*
xEO Mega® Essential Oil Omega Complex — Promotes healthy cardiovascular, nervous, and immune system function.*
TerraZyme® Digestive Enzymes — Supports healthy production of metabolic enzymes.*
Microplex MVp™ Whole Food Nutrient — Supports healthy immune function.*
For most effective use of essential oils for skeletal and connective tissue benefits:
Topical — Apply oils directly to target area for structural support and in the case of overuse, massage in thoroughly whenever possible. Drive oils in with heat, cold, or moisture. Use carrier oil as needed or desired. Layering multiple oils over target area, placing them on tissue one at a time, is every effective. Any kind of cream or carrier oil will slow absorption if placed on first and improve it if placed on last.
- Acute: Apply often, every 20-30 minutes, until symptoms subside, then reduce to every two to six hours.
- Ongoing: Apply two to three times daily.
Internal — Take oils in capsule, place a drop(s) under or on tongue near back of throat or sip from glass of water.
Do no use essential oils internally unless they are labeled for dietary use. Look for the Supplement Facts box on the label. Avoid oils labeled “for external use only”, “for aromatic use only”, “not for internal use,” or “do not ingest.”