Creating a self-care ritual will be different for everyone, and it may also be different each day. For me, a big mug of warm golden milk and using an essential oil blend over my pulse points – always makes me feel more at ease and well, I feel like I’m looking after myself. So just giving yourself those few minutes each day can make a real impact on the rest of your day. And by the way, if you too like a golden milk – you HAVE to try it with a grind of black pepper, and a drop of Wild Orange essential oil. It.is.divine.
What is an essential oil?
First things first, let's get this straight. Essential oils are not just pretty smells, they come from plants (leaf, stem, root, petal etc. it differs depending on the plant), they are the plants immune system and we can extract them carefully using cold pressing, or a gentle steam distillation (and some companies will chemically extract them, or use harsh high temperatures). Essential oils are not all created equally, most are produced with the purpose of fragrance - with little to no therapeutic benefit, and it’s fast becoming apparent that anything fragranced is actually damaging to our health. Having oils like this also means we would never ingest them, but when we use oils that are therapeutic grade and we can be completely sure of their purity (I use doTERRA, you would never start drinking your dior perfume would you?) it is totally safe to ingest them, although not necessary always. Unfortunately the essential oil industry is unregulated, so even if it says 100% pure (neat, natural etc), it's very unlikely that it is.
Ok, so how can we use them for self-care?
The science of emotional aromatherapy is a huge topic, and one that's really difficult to condense into this blog post, but I'll do my best.
When we inhale a smell, it can instantly take us back to a memory. Think about when you get the sun lotion out for the first time in the summer, it immediately reminds you of the holiday from last year, or maybe the smell of Sambuca instantly makes you want to vomit, because of that night out when you had one too many...
Well we can use this to our advantage, especially if we are prone to feelings of anxiety, depression or stress. We can use an essential oil daily in our homes, when we are feeling happy and at peace - perhaps in the mornings, during your yoga or meditation practise, perhaps it's in the evenings when you're getting into bed and want to relax. But create yourself a ritual, maybe with some herbal tea as Lucy mentioned in her guest blog on Tuesday, this is my preferred way. Once we've built up a familiarisation with this smell and the sense of peace that it gives, when anxiety strikes or work is just getting too much, we can get this same oil back out and by simply inhaling it from the bottle for a few minutes, we can go back to those feelings of being calm and at peace.
Essential oils are volatile compounds which basically means they can't decide if they're a liquid or a gas, which is why when you take the cap off eventually the scent can be smelt from across the room. When we inhale these volatile compounds they go through the olfactory nerve, and into the limbic system in our brains. The limbic system is responsible for our emotions, so when the compounds reach this place they have chemical reaction which cause our emotions and mood to change. It's amazing to be able to almost pick how we want to feel, just by choosing an oil and smelling it.
Whether we want to feel grounded, calm, uplifted, passionate, reassured etc. there are different types of oils which can help with the different feelings as represented below:
What else can essential oils do?
When we use therapeutic grade essential oils, we can use them for so many things in our lives – not just to manage our moods. Whether it’s supporting the digestive system, giving our immune system a boost or helping our minds to focus –the important thing to remember is that they do not do anything that our bodies do not already do naturally. As humans our organs and our cells are designed to constantly be healing and repairing, always trying to come back into balance. Essential oils work in synergy with our body, and they remind us of what it should be doing when sometimes it has forgotten.
Special WRB Blend!
I love the community that Jenny has created through Women Rocking Business, and as a thank you I would like to offer all readers a special focus, uplift and in-tune blend. If you would like to take advantage of this, just contact me through insta – and I can pop it in the post for you.
And as another thank you – I’d like to invite you all to a workshop I’m running (don’t worry, it’s super chilled and not like being back at school, I promise!), it’s this Sunday 22nd April at Woodlands Natural Health Centre. If you would like to come you can buy one ticket and bring a friend for free, tickets are £6 and it really just ensures bums on seats. I bring raw cacao chocolates infused with essential oils too, I hope to see you there. Link is in my Instagram bio.
Disclaimer – doTERRA essential oils CAN be bought on Ebay, Amazon etc. But please do not buy them, they are not authorized by doTERRA and are easily tampered with, so their quality is compromised and they are often more expensive too. doTERRA will not support you with any customer service (and it is amazing if you ever need it!), please get in touch with me directly if you would like any more info.
About the Author:
Lucinda Allseybrook previously was a Womenswear Fashion Designer, but 2 years ago found doTERRA oils and they changed her life. Having always been interested in taking care of her health and wellbeing, the oils have been an amazing tool to address other areas of her life, like diet, toxic load and stress management etc. She is mad passionate about encouraging others to do the same through online and face-to-face workshops, while sharing her journey along the way and building a community of like-minded women all on the same path, whatever stage they are at. She now works arm in arm with women across the world; GP's, pharmacists, reiki practitioners, mothers, teachers, to name a few. She is your local Crazy Oil Lady.
Get in touch with Lucinda via her Facebook page or Instagram page
Jenny Ryan is the Award Winning photographer behind Women Rocking Business and Indigo + Violet Photography.