By. Yvonne Taylor
While shelter in place has caused shifts in our routines and activities it also gives us time and opportunity to focus on common self-care and new self-care options to provide simultaneous mental and physical self-care. To aid in self-care many are turning to exercise and mindfulness disciplines such as meditation and mind-body disciplines such as Yoga. Each discipline is helpful in providing physical and mental self-care with the use of essential oils optimal wellbeing can be achieved.
Essential oils have been used in exercise practices for decades promoting phenomenal, healing results. To learn more about essential ois I had the privilege of interviewing dynamic health and wellness healer, Kaileen (Kai) Cox. Kaileen’s integrative approach to self-care incorporates the use of essential oils in her massages and mindful meditation practices.
I had a chance to sit down with Kaileen to learn about essential oils and unpack jewels of information about these unique compounds and the health benefits they provide, here’s what we found out.
- Y: What are essential oils and what are they used for?
K: Essential oils are made from the pure essences of plants and based on the plant essence they can be used for a variety of things. From reliving anxiety, soothing an upset stomach, decreasing inflammation and more.
- 2. Y: There are many oils on the market and I have been told that not all oils are the same, what makes the oils different?
K:The efficacy of an oil can differentiate one oil from another. There are many oils on the market but some oils are made of synthetic materials which reduces the efficacy of the oil and can be dangerous to use.
- 3 .Y: What should a person be looking for when they shop for an oil?
K: It is best to look for an oil that is 100% certified pure grade oils plant essence extract. Compound testing is done on plants before they can be labeled a Certified pure oil.
- 4. Y: In our previous correspondence you indicated that you prefer Doterra oils, why is that?
K: Of the vast amounts of essential oils on the market this is one brand of oil that meets the standards and rigorous testing to be labeled 100% Certified Pure. Doterra offers a quality product that produces maximum results with the use of a small amount of the product. 1-2 drops of most oils is what you’d need to resolve any manner of conditions to have a favorable result. Ultimately I prefer Doterra because I can trust every drop in the bottle with pure.
- 5. Y: Essential oils have been touted to have many healing effects for various conditions, in this time of great uncertainty anxiety and depression are at an all time high, what oils are recommended for these conditions?
K: It is common to pair anxiety and depression in the same sentence, but the truth is that both of these conditions are caused by different thought processes that produce each result. Anxiety is usually caused when one focuses too much into the future. Depression is usually caused with the thought process is focused too much in the past. These are common thought processes that can cause these conditions and is not meant to minimize true physiological factors like neurological, hormonal or other imbalances that may require care by way of medication or licensed medical/mental practitioner. With that being said, lavender and wild orange essential oils can be helpful for anyone experiencing temporary bouts with Anxiety or depression. Lavender is the oil of choice to assist with anxiety and wild orange or a citrus oil is my choice for depression to serve as a pick me up. Lavender has calming properties while wild orange is a stimulant oil known to produce a joyful effect.
- 6. Y: What physical conditions can essential oils help with (i.e. arthritis, inflammation, allergies)?
K: Essential oils can help with many physical conditions two of which are some of the most common ailments in people, inflammation and muscular pain. Inflammation can sometimes be caused by some of the foods we eat, allergies and/or the environment. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference but I choose to turn to the Doterra massage blend, AromaTouch. It is very effective for inflammation. It is a combination of Cypress Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Marjoram Leaf, Basil Leaf, Grapefruit Peel, and Lavender Flower essential oils. For aches and pains, a combination of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang and more make up Doterra Deep Blue Soothing blend. You can use the Deep Blue rub directly on the area of pain. To provide soothing support to aching muscles and for other occasional discomfort, I would try dōTERRA’s Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex capsules which delivers polyphenol extracts of frankincense, turmeric, green tea, ginger, pomegranate, and grape seed.
7. Y: How would you recommend the oils be used (diffuser, ingested—if possible, placed in a bath, placed on strategic parts of the body)?
K: There are three ways that you can administer Essential oils to receive benefits these common methods are aromatic, topical, and internal. Through smell we call this aromatic use of essential oils and the delivery is normally made by way of diffuser or a drop in the Palm of your hands and inhaled. The second is on your skin or a topical application which is placed directly on the skin either neat or diluted allowing the oil to absorb into the skin. I recommend diluting with a Carrier oil like fractioned coconut oils. It helps the oil stay on your body longer and is the safest way for your skin. The third is ingesting or internal use of essential oils allowing the oil to be transported throughout the body. and you should only do this with oil that are proven safe for internal use. You can make capsules yourself or buy them premade.
- 8. Y: I have also been told that some oils are more potent than others ( for example You need to be careful when applying orange oil directly to the skin as it can produce serious burns to the skin) Is this true? What safety precautions, if any should one use when using essential oils?
K: There are some oils that require that you use with care and caution Citrus oils are photosensitive so be mindful when using lemon and orange. Be especially careful with bergamot this oil is very sun sensitive, if you use bergamot you will need to stay out of the sun for 24 hours. Be mindful of some of the oils that you use because sometimes you can become sensitized to an oil. Do research and seek the assistance of a professional if you are new to using oils.
- 9. Y: Can essential oils help with athletic performance and general fitness exercises (beyond Yoga)?
K: Essential oils are beneficial to all walks of life and performance in every part of life and are the gateway to intuitive development. Intuitive development is the foundation of mental focus, that leads into mindful movement and focused performance. Doterra offers an oil called Breathe that provides helps with focusa mixture of Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, Ravensara Leaf essential oils.