There is lots of essential oils information out there- there are many essential oil companies out there too.
I want to try and give you some information on what you should be looking for when choosing an essential oil to help balance your body. If you are looking to buy quality essential oils- please have a look here. Also read my Ask the Aromatherapist post.
Try to identify how your whole body is feeling. For example if you have a headache- how do you feel about the headache, what have the emotions been that have lead up to the headache, how is your whole body feeling physically- do you have pain anywhere else, are your tired, dehydrated, stressed, feel pressured and so on. Everyones presentation of symptoms and how they feel about certain symptoms will be different. There are some essential oils that may help people with headaches- however what you choose may be different from someone else.
Take a whole body approach rather than just trying to suppress a symptom and continue as normal. This does not address the core issue and so the problem will persist and get worse. Every symptom is a warning signal that the body is no longer in balance and needs assistance. By blocking signals the body will degenerate and chronic illness is present. Go back to the cause and the body can rebalance and move forward.
Every oil has a natural starting point. The efficiency of the oils in combatting your physical and emotional imbalances is directly related to the flower, herb, tree’s pharmacological herbal actions are. Each substance contains various oils and those oils are extracted. Each of these extracted volatile oils has an action on the body. This is also what herbal medicine is based on. These oils can either be absorbed through the skin with assistance of a carrier oil or through being diffused in the air.
This means that each substance will have its individual and collective uses. For example chamomile’s actions have been seen to be analgesic (pain relieving), anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, carlmative (calming), nerve sedative, vulenary (helps to heal wounds externally), sudorific (causes sweating) and an emmenagogue (assists in menstruation.
So if you have a headache from a bash, cut or inflamed area that is causing some anxiety or nerve irritation then chamomile may work very well- however if you have a headache because you are dehydrated, been in the sun all day and are tired and overworked- the same essential oil may not be ideal. The trick is to chose the right oil for the right situation especially for you. If you like the smell of something then you are also usually on the right track.
Each oil also has a vibrational energy which your body may be drawn too. Sometimes I choose my essential oils blindly. Especially single oils when I am making a blend.
ALWAYS check the safety information for yourself before using the oils. Personally I believe that essential oils are for the olfactory senses. They should be smelt and absorbed through the skin with carrier oils. I am not a huge fan of ingesting oils as I prefer to use foods for that.
I see essential oils as a very effective tool with in a tool box of remedies for each ailment. When dealing with acute situations oils can work fast and be very effective- however even as a Naturopath myself, I will seek advice from an aromatherapist for chronic issues. I then do some more research myself and change other areas in my life to get a more holistic lifestyle change to help my body to heal and return to balance.
Oils that are considered safe, if not used correctly or in the right circumstances and potentially can have negative effects as much as other natural remedy can. Ensure that if you use something it is because you have made the informed choice and decision to use it-not because someone told you too or you read something on the internet. I say this for all advice- even my own!
Think less is more- it is easier to work out which oils are good for your situation and then see if there is a blend which contains them all. The only way you can know how a blend works is to study the individual herbal actions of each of its ingredients. As a blend they can be very powerful so I tend to recommend to use the individual ones first- then start to recognize which individual oils you react positively to then find blends- or even start to make your own blends (I used to do this for clients and myself all the time to great effect- and great for gifts).
Try one blend at a time- blends will have a few oils in them- each one will have an action on the body and may be quiet stressful on the body when being combatted with several blends at the same time- leave some time after using the blended oil on your body or in a diffuser to take note of any effects before trying something out. Give your body space to decipher the messages it receives from using remedies, use some meditation or some visualisation when using the essential oils to guide your body towards what you want to achieve.
Most importantly- use the oils mindfully- connect with what you have chosen and take responsibility for your own healing. Yes they work with babies and animals who are not necessarily thinking about what they are using, are passive in their use of them. However think about how more powerful and full of potential they can become if you actively use them.
When you are choosing oils try and get a good encyclopedia of oils like these ones;
You can get a notebook and copy down for each oil you have the name, how it is used traditionally, its herbal actions, and safety data. Then each time you want to reach for your oils you have all the information to hand. Have some fun with them- get to know them, their smell and their effect on your body. Write it all down in your own notebook and keep it to teach others from your experiences. Nice thing to pass down too!
Always ask a professional aromatherapist if you are ever worried about using oils.
Consider the alternatives; homeopathy, nutrition, Bach Flowers, kinesiology, massage, reflexology, Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, EFT, herbal tinctures, exercise like yoga and hiking, stress management techniques like meditation, breathing techniques and other physical manipulation like cranial sacral therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy and many more.
All of these other methods of bringing the body’s physical, emotional and energetic factors back to balance and true health can be achieved. Nothing on its own is ever going to work 100%- different situations will require different combinations and strategies- start to look into and get to know other methods of giving the body space, strength and healing.
Thanks to the Young Living flickr roll for some inspiring shots!