We are living in unprecedented times.
There is powerful I-Ching proverb about change that I reflect upon when times are difficult:
“When change has run one course to its extreme, then it changes and by changing is able to continue and by continuing it achieves longevity”
Change is inevitable and before things get better, change is necessary in order for us to get to a better place. In the meantime, how do we cope?
Studies have shown Aromatherapy, the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefits can help manage some of the symptoms of our collective anxiety — including stress, insomnia, and sadness.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of the volatile constituents from aromatic plants to promote health and well-being. Oils may be distilled, extracted or expressed from the flower, leaves, wood, bark, roots, seeds, or peel. Each essential oil has its own unique chemical makeup, which determines what it is useful for.
The highly concentrated oils may be applied to the skin through massage, lotions or bath salts or inhaled directly or indirectly. The Inhalation of scent molecules in essential oils has shown to stimulate the olfactory system and limbic center of the brain. The latter is a complex system of nerves that control basic emotions such as fear, pleasure, anger, and sadness.
Recent studies in the benefits of this ancient remedy
With a growing body of research, there is evidence that aromatherapy can reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and increase a sense of well-being.
Marian Reven, a Ph.D. student of the West Virginia University of Nursing, conducted a research whereby nurses wore an aromatherapy patch infused with lemon, orange, mandarin, pink grapefruit, lemongrass, lime, and peppermint for four-to-eight hour stretches. After 8 weeks, the nurses reported feeling significantly less anxious and fatigued. Levels of anxiety and fatigue had fallen by 40 percent and stress levels and feelings of being overwhelmed, decreased by half.
Reven noted as a nurse who spends a lot of time at the bedside of very ill people, she is often very sad watching the suffering, and found aromatherapy helped with her resiliency.
A clinical study conducted on 72 patients before heart and abdominal surgery, showed significantly decreased levels of anxiety with the group exposed to Lavender Essential oil, over the group with placebo,
Robert Tisserand, renowned expert on essential oils research and author of Essential Oil Safety Guide, recently stated that while currently there is no research showing the effect essential oils may have on the coronavirus - he does go on to suggest the use of lavender and citrus essential oils, such as sweet orange or lemon for their effectiveness in reducing situational anxiety.
What are the best essential oils for reducing stress and anxiety?
The aroma from the oils of the lavender plant is believed to help promote calmness and wellness. It’s also said to help reduce stress, anxiety, promote sleep, and fight insomnia. Lavender has an overall balancing effect on the mind assisting with renewal. The calming and relaxing notes of lavender help reduce anxious feelings, calms strong emotions, and eases tension.
We use Lavender Essential Oil in most of our Face and body products.
The tangy notes of Lemon essential oil are known to be a natural stress reliever. Researchers have found that inhaling the aroma of lemon essential oil improves mood and promotes relaxation as it stimulates serotonin and dopamine production, contributing to decreased anxiety.
Lemon Essential Oil can be found in our Argan Treatment roll-on, Juniper Body Oil, Woman’s Tummy Tone, and Stress Relief roll-on.
Called the "happy oil", Sweet Orange essential oil has a cheerful and uplifting scent that simultaneously relaxes and has a soothing effect that helps lower your heart rate, reducing anxiety.
We use Sweet Orange in our Hydrating Coconut Oil.
For anyone that is under stress (all of us!), is going through a period of depression, loneliness, anxiety, or PTSD, chamomile essential oil can help bring a sense of calm. Chamomile can also bring immediate relief to angry or irritable flare-ups, both of which are inevitable while living in lockdown with so much uncertainty.
Chamomile can be found in our Chi Mist, Eye Oil and our Pain Relief Oil.
Emotionally, peppermint oil is stimulating, clears the mind, and energizes the body. The crisp cool notes of peppermint stimulate and awakens the nerves and the brain, helping to enhance alertness and stamina. It is also helpful in enhancing concentration, quickly alleviates mental fatigue, and provides an energy boost.
Peppermint is present in Energy Chi Boost, Oral Detox, Woman’s Tummy Tone, Sugar Scrub and Bath & Shower infusion,
Rosemary essential oil is stimulating to the circulatory and nervous systems. The sharp herbaceous scent offers an immediate pick-me-up for those suffering from mental and physical fatigue!
Rosemary is present in Energy Chi Boost, Hair and Scalp Oil, Nail &Cuticle Oil, Bath & Shower Infusion, and Woman’s Breast oil.
Our personal favorite, ginger oil, is known as “the oil of empowerment,” bringing on feelings of courageousness and self-assurance. Believed to enhance energy levels by inspiring positive and hopeful feelings and promoting a balanced and grounded mindset, it improves a negative mood and low libido. It also can help facilitate the onset of sleep and improve sleep benefiting those suffering from insomnia.
Fresh Ginger Essential oil can be found in almost all our products.
How to use essential oils in Aromatherapy
Essential oils are usually dispersed into the air, with a diffuser. Popular types of essential oil diffusers can be ceramic, electric, candle, and lamp rings. You can place these in and around the home to enhance the mood of your space.
Portable Diffusers! A few drops of essential oils are dispensed into an attractive Aromatherapy pendant which holds an absorbent felt ball. The aromatherapy benefits of the Essential Oil blend immediately takes effect and will last 3- 4 days. We call it Chi on the go! - getting the benefits of Aromatherapy wherever and whenever you want while wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry. What's not to like?
The best places to apply essential oils are pulse points. This is the area where your blood is closest to your skin allowing for fast absorption and quick results! These areas are the inside of the wrists, behind the ears & temples, back of the neck, forehead, and temples.
The soles of your feet are also an excellent application point. With larger pores, your feet can more easily absorb essential oils through the skin and into your bloodstream.
Aromatherapy can be considered as an aid to wind down, relax and calm the nerves in preparation for a good night’s sleep.
Extensive studies have shown that a good's night sleep can help you stay healthy, reset the brain and body to tackle the day ahead with more clarity and energy. Try our "Sleep Well Set" which includes the GingerChi Stress Relief Roll On, a silk Pillow Case and Silk Sleep Mask.
Before sleeping, apply Stress Relief Roll On over temples, on the back of the neck; pulse points on the wrists, hands and the bottoms of feet.
Lay down on the silk pillow case and pull the light weight silk mask over your eyes. Empty your mind and take in a few long, deep breaths. Let the soothing aromas waft over you as you drift off into a calm deep sleep...
Be well. Stay safe, With love and good Chi,