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​How an osteopath uses emu oil

Posted by Mia Murphy on

How an osteopath uses emu oil

Emu oil is a great natural home remedy, but it’s also increasingly being used in professional practice. We spoke with Sarah Smith, director and osteopath at Beyond in Melbourne, about how she integrated Talyala Emu Oil into a recent patient’s wellness plan.

What do you like about emu oil?

Emu oil is incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of inflammatory conditions. Although the TGA recognises its application for arthritis, insect bites, muscular aches and pains, dry skin and minor burns, there is also emerging scientific research showing that emu oil can be beneficial in digestive health.

Approximately 70 per cent of the fatty acids in emu fat are unsaturated – omega 3, 6 and 9. This composition is consistent with current recommendations for a ‘heart healthy’ diet. Studies and testimonials have also shown these omega fatty acids to lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing good cholesterol; reduce inflammation in body tissue and joints; improve the immune system and assist the body with many functions.

The monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid (omega 9) is the main fatty acid in emu oil. It’s a known enhancer for the transport of bioactive compounds into the skin, which is why emu oil is absorbed quickly and penetrates deeply when applied topically.

Tell us about your patient…

Mary, a 65-year-old retired bookkeeper, presented to me with bilateral knee pain. Mary is an avid walker, often travelling overseas and interstate to do bush walks and pilgrimages. Over the years I have treated Mary for ongoing knee pain, which on X-ray findings has shown bilateral osteoarthritis (or degenerative arthritis) in her knees, as well as psoriatic arthritis.

Mary has used a combination of western drugs (NSAIDs and immunosuppressive drugs for pain and inflammation), and topical hydrocortisone creams for the psoriasis. Although these work, they aren’t a great long-term solution as they take a toll on gut health, and are better used for acute exacerbations of inflammation. For the osteoarthritis in her knees, Mary has tried manual therapy, massage, swimming and strength training. She finds the results are short-lived, apart from swimming, which she enjoys and keeps her mobile.

What was your approach?

I offered Mary osteopathic treatment, aiming to keep her joints mobile, muscles lengthened and relaxed, and to balance her musculoskeletal system, which can enhance her immune system and prevent flare-ups.

Mary joined our small group Pilates sessions, and this as well as gentle strengthening and mobility work, has improved her joint range of motion and pain levels significantly. Along with this I informed Mary about the inflammatory effect of different foods, as well as any supplements that could help her condition. This is where my recommendation of topical emu oil and/or capsules came in. I suggested topical emu oil for her skin, after she had spoken with her GP and pharmacist to check for any medication interactions. I did this as my daughter had a great response to emu oil for her dermatitis. I also advised taking emu oil capsules, as a previous patient had found them great for his osteoarthritis.

What were Mary’s results?

Mary reported a decrease in flare-ups of her psoriasis as well as less joint pain when walking and on waking in the morning. I would definitely continue recommending emu oil for similar issues, as I’ve seen the benefits in both my patients and my family.

What a fantastic result! If you’re keen to add emu oil to your wellness routine, explore our range of capsules and oils here.