I was thrilled to recieve an interview concerning aromatherapy from "Women's World Magazine" this spring. I was given many questions to answer and the result is the following article. I hope you enjoy it!
GENERAL CONCEPT: The secret to feeling amazing this Mother’s Day? Harnessing the power of aromatherapy! With the right blend of scents, you can rev your energy, melt away stress and lift your spirits while you pamper yourself!
The sense of smell is a primal and important sense, it gives us warnings and awakens memories. Inhaling or "smelling" is actually a very effective way to experience many of the benefits of essential oils because 'when we inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the odor molecules travel up the nose where they’re registered by the nerves of the olfactory membranes in the nose lining. The odor molecules stimulate this lining of nerve cells and trigger electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb in the brain. The olfactory bulb then transmits the impulses to the amygdala - where emotional memories are stored - and to other parts of the limbic system of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects… Olfactory responses to odors induce the brain to stimulate the release of hormones and neurochemicals that in turn alter the body’s physiology and behavior.' ~ Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition
Let's explore some ways you can use essential oils and the concept of aromatherpay in your self-care routines.
CITRUS BODY MIST CONCEPT: Get an instant energy boost with a citrus body mist! Qs: What effects does citrus have on the spirits? Why is a body mist a great way to keep the energizing effects with you all day long?
I do not recommend citrus oils as a body mist. They are photo sensitizing to all skin tones and can cause severe burning to sun sensitive skins. Instead I would recommend a room spray.
Citrus oils are very mood elevating. They bring about a playful attitude, transmute irritability and anger and ease frustration. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, tangerine, mandarin, and bergamot are all easy to find citrus oils. Mandarin, tangerine and blood orange bring warmth that is heady and rich that is similar in effect to jasmine oil. Mood and energy levels fluctuate throughout the day and a little burst of refreshing citrus can motivate you to stick to your diet, maintain your focus and face the challenges of work and raising a family. Rosemary and Peppermint add to the happy stimulating synergy of these oils. You can spray your room in the morning, your kitchen after you cook, your living room just before company arrives and after they leave, when the kids get home from school and even in the car.
A Simple recipe for a Citrus Mood Booster is as follows:
4oz Spray bottle (Rinse the jar and lid with rubbing alcohol to remove any by production of production and dust. These grow bacteria that age your product quickly. Allow them to dry.)
4oz Distilled Water (remove 2 TBSP)
2 TBSP Vodka
For a single scented spray 40-50 of your favorite citrus oil
For a blended oil scent, combine drops of your chosen oils together and do not to exceed 60 drops
To get your oils to disperse better in the distilled water, blend them with the vodka before adding them to the water.
Combine all ingredients in the bottle, shake and enjoy your "Happy Spray" as often as you like!
BERGAMOT-ROSE BATH SALTS CONCEPT: Melt away stress with bergamot-rose bath salts! Qs: What about both bergamot and rose might help with stress relief? And how does bathing in a salted bath (perhaps an Epsom salt bath?) make bath time even more relaxing?
Bergamot essential oil is a very useful oil for combating the effects of stress because it alleviates depression, low libido, and helps to curb weight gain due to emotional eating. Bergamot oil stimulates hormone production so it is helpful with PMS, thyroid function, digestion and insulin production. It also helps to manage blood pressure. Yeast infections and herpes out breaks really appreciate a soak in bergamot oil. The fruity, fresh scent lifts the mind and inspire a feeling of renewal and joy. I would like to suggest that you use Bergamot oil that is bergaptene free, to eliminate photosensitivity and potential sun damage to your skin. You can find this oil as Bergamot FCF. If you cannot locate this oil, be sure to use sunscreen when you go out within 8 hours of soaking.
Rose oil has been shown to cause beneficial responses in 'blood pressure, breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, and skin temperature. Rose oil causes significant decreases in the breath rate, blood oxygen saturation and systolic blood pressure, which indicates an effective level restful relaxation. At the emotional level, subjects in the rose oil group rated themselves as more calm, more relaxed and less alert than subjects in the control group.' The scent of rose oil brings a feeling of wellbeing, beauty and acceptance of oneself and others. It relieves depression with its grounding and nurturing scent.
(1) Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Feb;4(2):291-6. Relaxing effect of rose oil on humans. Hongratanaworakit T.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University, Rangsit-Ongkharak Road, Nakhonnayok 26120, Thailand. firstname.lastname@example.org
Epsom salts, Sea Salt and Dead Sea Salts are detoxifying to the system, and an easy way to relieve the aches and pains of the day. Used alone or in combination, salts are said to relieve inflammation and the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. To get your "goddess" on, enjoy a nice soak at the end of a long day, stir 1/2 cup to 1 full cup of salts together with 10 drops of Bergamot oil and 5 drops of rose oil. Add one TBSP of Apricot kernel oil and stir well. Pour the salts under the running water of your bath.
GRAPEFRUIT HAND MASSAGE CONCEPT: Boost your joy with a grapefruit hand massage! Qs: What makes grapefruit a mood-boosting ingredient for a hand massage? What’s another pampering benefit of including it in a DIY lotion or oil?
Your hands are constantly under stress. They are exposed to chemicals, hard work, and carry some of our emotions for us. Give them a break and a treat with a rich hand treatment and massage. Grapefruit essential oil is a blues buster, mood and skin brightener that offers mental stimulation as well as a nice boost to your physical energy. Grapefruit oil is antibacterial so it will promote the health of your cuticles and nail beds as well as heal up and micro cuts or injuries without incident. It is a highly anti-oxidant and toning oil which slows the aging process of the skin on your hands, helping them stay youthful and minimizes sun and age spotting. The hands are covered in reflexology points that stimulate the body to function in its best energy. A weekly hand treatment will dramatically improve your overall wellbeing and help you to maintain it. 'Reflexology of hands is one form of effective natural therapy which is most popular for being a simple, pure, effective and easy form of massage therapy that can be done easily by self for eradicating various health issues like constipation, muscle pain, shoulder aches etc. In this current article, we will talk about hand reflexology, look at the hand chart to know about various key elements including the reflex zones, dermatomes and meridians, know about the benefits of hand reflexology, know the process to do hand reflexology at home.' (1)
To make a rich, healing hand rub you will need:
2TBSP each of shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba kernel oil
15 drops of Grapefruit oil
(Jojoba oil is used in this recipe to help protect the skin form the photo sensitizing effects of the grapefruit oil.)
Soak hands in warm water to begin relaxing them. Dry the hands and then apply a good dollop of the blended oils. Wring the hands together to apply the oils then massage the palms and the backs of the hands. The palms usually like a heavier pressure while the back of the hands is more delicate so a light fingertip pressure is sufficient. Grasping each finger wring it with as much pressure as feels enjoyable. Pulling the fingers gently feels marvelous. Don't forget your thumbs. Before patting the excess oils off your hands, you might give your hands some spa time in a warm damp towel to allow the hands which will allow them to absorb the healing, protective benefits of the oils in your blend.
LAVENDER-CHAMOMILE PILLOW MIST CONCEPT: Sleep soundly with a lavender-chamomile pillow mist! Qs: What kind of feelings does lavender induce? How about chamomile? Can simply sniffing them create these effects, if so how?
Lavender oil brings a familiar scent to the pillow in this combination that promotes deep relaxation by 'lowering the blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature’. (1) Peace, mental rest and uninterrupted sleep are promoted by the inhalation of lavender oil. Sedating to the central nervous system, lavender is a wonderful choice for inviting drowsiness and sleep as well as easing moodiness. The camphor in Lavender oil deepens the lungs capacity which triggers a restful response from the brain.
(1) Sayorwan W, Siripornpanich V, Piriyapunaporn T, Hongratanaworakit T, Kotchabhakdi N, Ruangrunsi N. (2012) The effects of lavenderoil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. J Med Association Thai. 95(4):598-606
Mojay, G. (1997). Aromatherapy for Healin the Spirit. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Chamomile is a gentle, soothing oil that promotes a feeling of wellbeing as it stimulates the part of the brain that releases serotonin. It also is a sedating, calming oil that brings relieves anxiety and insomnia. Chamomile oil helps to quell mental agitation and headaches. As an inhalation therapy, chamomile oil also be to reduces inflammation in the upper respiratory tract allowing for deeper more expanded breathing which activates the parasympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation and slows down body functions which may be preventing an individual from resting properly. While clearing the air, chamomile oil also smooths the flow of the body's energy fields which brings the body into a feeling balance and ease.
Utilizing a pillow mist can become a delightful bedtime ritual. The cool mist on the pillow that touches the face will become a new indicator to breathe deeply and expect to relax. Lavender and chamomile combined offer the tired mom a reminder that all is well as she closes her eyes,
A Simple recipe for a Lavender & Chamomile Pillow mist is as follows:
4oz Spray bottle (Rinse the jar and lid with rubbing alcohol to remove any byproduct of production and dust. These grow bacteria that age your product quickly. Allow them to dry.)
4oz Distilled Water (remove 2 TBSP)
2 TBSP Vodka
40 drops each of Lavender and Chamomile.
To get your oils to disperse better in the distilled water, blend them with the vodka before adding them to the water.
Combine all ingredients in the bottle, shake and enjoy a blissful night’s rest.
PEPPERMINT SNIFF BOX CONCEPT: Clear your mind with a peppermint “sniff box”! Qs: What about peppermint awakens senses and clears minds?
Replace your mid-day coffee with a peppermint "sniff box". This is handy and portable option for carrying a little pick me up in your purse, at your desk or in the car. Peppermint oil is very high in menthol which is very cooling, clearing and stimulating. The energizing effect of peppermint oil can last for several hours without any added calories or come down. Herbaceouse and sweet, peppermint oil clears the sinuses and cools them, creating a feeling of headspace and instantly relieves tension in the face and head and stimulates circulation. Several deep breaths will invigorate the mind, cool the torso, re-establish focus on the tasks at hand and ease those snacky cravings that come with exhaustion and boredom. (Please note that peppermint oil is contra indicated for children under 2.5 years of age, those with epilepsy, pregnant/nursing mothers.)
A "sniff-box" is an easy self-care item to make and take with you. You will need:
2 oz. jar
1.5 Tablespoons of beeswax beads
10-12 drops of peppermint oil.
Rinse the jar and lid with rubbing alcohol to remove any byproduct of production and dust. These grow bacteria that age your product quickly. Allow them to dry.
Pour the beeswax beads into the jar and add your oil. VOILA!
FLORAL FACE STEAM CONCEPT: Erase tension with a floral face steam! Qs: What flower essential oils do you recommend erasing tension and why?
At home care of your face and complexion is easy and relaxing. These seven essential oils provide your face and complexion with incredible benefits.
Lemon oil erases sun spots and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It is detoxifying for the skin and is recommended for treating pimples and oily skin. The astringent properties of lemon oil also give the face a tightening and lifting.
Use care to wear a PABA free sunscreen if you use this oil on your skin before you go outside because it causes photosensitivity. Lemon oil is mentally relaxing and awakens positivity.
Immortelle oil stimulates new cell growth and heals scars from wounds and skin disorders such as acne and chickenpox. This honey scented oil is cooling and is very lovely on the skin after a bit too much sun.
This oil is antidepressant and improves your outlook and mood. Immortelle relieves asthma, bronchitis and migraines. Utilizing Immortelle during a facial steam regenerates your skin as well as your outlook.
Rose oil is the queen of oils. The divine scent of rose oil inspires the expression of divine feminine. It is a tonifying oil that improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promotes a more youthful appearance by supporting firmness in the muscle tissue beneath the skin. Rose oil constricts small vessels so it’s very useful in color correcting the fine skin of the face because it reduces small capillaries and calms rosacea.
The fresh, sweetly floral aroma of Ylang Ylang make it a fantastic oil choice for balancing combination skin. Ylang Ylang clears up acne without burning or further irritating damaged broken skin or leaving behind a medicinal odor. This oil is very useful in clearing up the inflammation and redness of seborrheic eczema. Palpitations and the discomfort of anxiety brought on by a sudden shock ease and fade with the inhalation of Ylang Ylang.
Carrot seed oil is a magnificent skin rejuvenator. Carrot seed oil contains Beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant as well as vitamin E and vitamin C. Antioxidants help our tissue to fight the damage done by environmental stressors and UV damage. Dull and lifeless skin appreciate the effects of this oil. Carrot seed oil also balances both oily and dry skin without leaving the face feeling over moisturized and is a great choice for sensitive skins.
Frankincense oil loves your face by tightening loose skin, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin color. Frankincense is soothing to burned skin and is a kind way to help promote beautiful skin healing after a chemical peel. Frankincense is restorative and can help to reduce old scars. Although Frankincense promotes a comfortable balance in the skins natural oil levels it does not leave behind a heavy greasy feeling. Frankincense inspires a feeling of tranquility and grounding.
Rose Geranium is another master oil for the feminine face. Fighting inflammation and age spots, rose geranium oil refines the skin tone by stimulating the circulation which promotes healing and regeneration and pampers clogged and congested skin. This oil is cooling and soothing to the skin and is especially beneficial at stimulating hormone balance and reducing the brain fog from PMS and menopause.
Sandalwood oil is another oil of true restoration and healing. Gently, sandalwood promotes healing of scars associated with surgery, acne and skin conditions such as sunburn, psoriasis and warts. Sandalwood has been shown to be highly anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Research on sandalwood oil showed that significantly reduce incidences of papilloma by '67% and multiplicity of cells by 97% Showing that it is a strong choice for skin cancer prevention' (1).
Eur J Cancer Prev. 1997 Aug;6(4):399-401. Chemopreventive effects of sandalwood oil on skin papillomas in mice. Dwivedi C1, Abu-Ghazaleh A. College of Pharmacy, South Dakota State University, Brookings 57007-0099, USA.
Things you wil need for this facial.
Large bowl of boiling water.
one bath towel, and 2 hand towels
3 drops essential oils of your choice. There is no need to limit your combination. You can chose one oil, 3 oils or all seven.
1 tsp jojoba oil
Blend the drops of essential oils into the jojoba oil. This will be your mask.
Have a hand towel soaked in distilled water and 2 TBSP of witch hazel warmed and ready.
Remove your makeup
Use a spot in the kitchen or bathroom where you can sit and relax while giving yourself your aromatic facial. Pull the bowl of boiled water underneath your face and cover your head with a towel to steam open your pores and get the circulation going in your skin. Gently massage your face with your jojoba oils blend of essential oils. Massage the face for approximately 5 minutes with gentle circular movements and uplifting strokes. This will create significant relaxation as well as be very stimulating to the circulation in your face.
Use the hand towel that you prepared earlier to wrap your face in and do a 5-minute contact steam. Sit back and close your eyes and enjoy the fragrant facial.
Gently wipe any remaining oils from your face and let it dry. You’re ready to face your day!
NEROLI-ROSEMARY OIL/TONIC CONCEPT: Spark creativity with a neroli-rosemary scalp massage! Qs: What about neroli and about rosemary increases creativity? What about massage?
Neroli oil comes from steam distilled orange blossoms. Its warm, sweet perfume inspires romance and feelings of restful wellbeing. As a hair oil, Neroli reduces inflammation in the scalp which allows circulations to increase at the root of the hair which improve the quality and speed of hair growth. Neroli oils disinfect, tone and soothe the scalp without drying it out.
Rosemary oil is a strong stimulant that encourages not only the speed of hair growth but can help create ideal scalp conditions for regrowth of new hair in thinning areas because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties that shampoo and conditioner do not address. Rosemary oil, stimulates blood flow, fights free radicals and microbes which can reduce the quantity and quality of hair growth. Rosemary oil slows the greying of the hair and improves the conditions in the skin that constrict the follicles. Rosemary oil brings in clarity of thought, new ideas and problem solving focus. Creativity happens when your mind feels centered, calm and awake. (Please note that Rosemary oil is not appropriate for those with epilepsy or those who are pregnant or nursing, the elderly and children under 2 years of age.)
Skinmed. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):15-21. Rosemary oil vs minoxidil 2% for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia: a randomized comparative trial. Panahi Y, Taghizadeh M, Marzony ET, Sahebkar A.
Combining 10 to 12 drops of each oil in 2 TBSP of coconut or jojoba oil and massaging them into your scalp and hair after washing is a decadent treatment that not only benefits the psyche but revives your crowning glory.
Soften the coconut oil by stirring it rapidly in a small dish as you add your essential oils. Start at the scalp and massage the blend deep into your roots. The scalp is covered in acupoints that benefit the endocrine, digestive and immune systems when they are stimulated. Dizziness, headache and neck pain are also relieved. Use the tips of your fingers to apply pressure to every inch of your scalp with as much or as little pressure is computable in small circular motions. Using your fingernails scratch your scalp in rapid, small zigzagging motions from the front of the hair line to the back in overlapping rows. Finally draw the rest of the blend thoroughly through your hair to the ends and allow to sit in your hair for about 5 minutes. You can do this while you finish your showering and then rinse it out, or for a deeper treatment that benefits both your mental state and your hair, wrap your hair in a warm towel and sit back and relax a while. Rinse with warm, not hot water. If you have the time, allow your hair to air dry and then style as usual. A weekly treatment wil keep your creative energy flowing your hair growing strong and healthy.