About five weeks ago, I started playing indoor soccer (or Futsal). Good fun game, and after a few years off it was really good to get into a team sport again. It also reminded me fairly quickly however as to why I stopped in the first place… After my first game, I struggled to walk the next day. So, in true Man versus Oils tradition, it was time for another Mansperiment: Essential oils and sore feet.
The issue is that I was born with club feet which resulted in a number of operations in my infant years. As I have aged, this has caused me to feel a lot of discomfort in my ankles and feet if I spend too long standing, walking or running. It is not a case of fixing anything now, rather just management. In the past, I have used various heat gels etc. on them with varying results. Now, it is time to try essential oils.
What am I using?
After some research, I chose Panaway, a blend of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, Peppermint Essential Oils due to its recommendations for sports massage and as a chemical free alternative to sports gels etc.
I set up a simple little concoction this time around… 5 drops of Panaway Essential oils and 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil. I simply rub it into my ankle joints about 20 minutes prior to kickoff. Then I go and play as usual, shower and reapply.
Note: More drops can be added if required and the addition of Peppermint Essential Oil will increase the burn/warmth feeling.
What am I trying to achieve?
As usual, I am not looking for any medical miracles here. My ankles are like they are and I have it on good medical authority that it is simply a management process from now on. What I want to be able to do however is get up in the mornings after a game and walk out for my morning coffee without feeling like I have run 40 marathons.
In all seriousness, I am sometimes not even able to walk without having to hold onto walls or furniture as I literally hobble out of the bedroom. I want to keep playing for my fitness and enjoyment levels. So anything I can find that can assist me in my endeavors is all I am really after.
What am I comparing it to?
Well firstly, there is doing nothing… And I think I was fairly clear on the outcomes of simply lacing on some soccer shoes and hitting the court!
Secondly there is a Deep Heat, a well-known sports cream here in Australia. It is classified as a medicine and whilst it does contain some natural substances such as Tea Tree and Wintergreen oils, it also has a number of other chemicals such as turpentine. Generally it is not too bad for you, however, we are all about the chemical free here where effective.
How did it go?
Over four weeks, I tried both the Deep Heat and Panaway options on alternate weeks. For ease of measurement, I have separated the results into some criteria which I have tabled below:
Look, if I am being honest, there really is a struck match between the two of them. I could have added some peppermint to the solution to provide some more of that warmth and burn that Deep Heat has. But at the end of the day, both gave me noticeable relief and made it actually possible to walk the next day. This is great for me as I had forgotten how much I loved playing team sports.
However, as a mansperiment, my objective was to see if I could use the essential oils/chemical free option to provide a solution to my problem. The answer to that, is absolutely it does. The mixture of PanAway and coconut oil is a winner. It will hopefully let the old fella here play at least another season or two.
Until next time
Read more: Essential Oils for Muscle Soreness. What men need after sport!
p.s. The deep heat did stain our bed sheets which made Nic a very unhappy camper indeed… So chalk up another tick to the panaway 😉
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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page