How to Use Essential Oils
Healing the Body, One Drop at a Time
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. The term Aromatherapy was coined around 1937 by a man named Renee Maurice Gatefosse, after suffering a burn and treating it with lavender essential oil. So impressed was he that he went on to write the first book on Aromatherapy, ‘Gatefosse’s Aromatherapy’. But, as Barbara Griggs in her book, ‘The Green Pharmacy’ tells us, there has never been a time since the very origins of humankind in which we did not see people doctoring with plants.
Today, aromatherapy is the fastest growing alternative healthcare modality in the world, being used in areas like labor and delivery, hospice care, in schools, therapist’s offices, and more, but also being utilized by people the world over on a daily basis as a way to embrace a much more holistic lifestyle, without an over-reliance on over the counter medications, antibiotics, and unnecessary trips to the doctor.
As we learn more about the ways in which we can take our health and wellness into our own hands, by utilizing the wisdom of the plants and getting back in touch with nature and our connection to the natural world, we empower ourselves and others, and shift from a model of ‘healthcare’ to that of ‘self-care’—a buzzword these days for sure, but a word that suggests that we are proactive about our health, and that we must look at the whole picture—from diet to environment to stress levels to exercise; from our emotions and mindset affecting our physical health, to our relationships and quality of life.
For me, essential oils have opened up a door—a door that was already open no doubt—but it has provided a portal and an entry point into a more enlightened way of looking at my own health and the health of my family, my students, and everyone around me.
Three Ways to Use Essential Oils
Because of the Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) standard of doTERRA Essential Oils, many of doTERRA’s oils can be used internally for various reasons. Add a drop of any citrus oil (lemon, lime, grapfruit, wild orange) to your water in the morning, take digestzen internally for any digestive issues, and the famous ‘environmental threat bomb’ recipe (lemon, on guard, oregano, frankincense, melaleuca) in a veggie camp at the first sign of feeling unwell or under the weather. You can also cook with your oils! As with any usage of essential oils, be conservative in your approach, do your research, and reach out to me with any questions.
Essential Oils can be applied topically to your skin. In many cases, a carrier oil is used to dilute the potency of the oil, increase the absorption, cover a larger surface area, and minimize any skin sensitivity. In general, start with single oils and only one oil at a time when first beginning topical application. Using essential oils is amazing for massage, and can also be used for any physical pain (peppermint oil has been proven to relieve discomfort, aches, and soreness), to calm irritated skin (lavender is amazing for sunburn or other burns), to ward off insects, to alleviate skin issues such as bemishes and imperfections, mild acne, germs, ragged or irritated toenails, and even for skin care (many face and body products on the market use essential oils.)
Essential Oils are used aromatically in a variety of ways. A diffuser is the most popular way to use oils, and can be used in your bedroom for a restful sleep, in your work space to boost alertness, concentration, and even creativity, in your child’s room (or classroom!) to cleanse and purify the air, basically anywhere. Other ways of using oils aromatically is simply one drop in the palm of your hands and take a few deep breaths, steam inhalation for respiratory issues, sinus discomfort, head tension, seasonal threats and unwanted pathogens, and even on the walls of your shower to create a ‘spa-like’ effect.