Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes is a guide book about essential oils written to “introduce you to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.”
The book was written primarily for beginners who have absolutely no prior knowledge about using essential oils and carrier oils.to show how to use them properly…
This book sparked my interest because so many of the natural body care and skincare products that I will be making and sharing in the near future contain them.
The title, Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes, is appropriate for the book because the book explains everything in simple, easy to understand steps..
The purpose of the book–showing how to use essential oils properly-is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book tells the reader how to store your essential oils and carrier oils, and the fact that It is important to know what you are doing when you are using essential oils because some essential oils can do things such as increase UV light/sunlight sensitivity and affect your hormones.
According to the introduction, this book promises to teach you a natural treatment that takes care of both your mental and physical health at the same time…how to cure your common cold without the use of drugand how to start the day exploding with motivation and energy, whilst finishing the day calm, content and stress-free.all through the proper application of essential oils.
The author of the book is Amy Joyson.
The main idea of the book is that both your health and vitality can be improved through the use of essential oils.
My favorite part of the book was definitely the over 100 recipes for natural body and skincare products, as well as home cleaning products because this is something that I am focusing on right now in both my life and my blog…recipes to enhance your calm or self-esteem and confidence, to uplift your mood, to support your detox and many, many more.
Other topics discussed include what aromatherapy is and how you can use aromatherapy at home for stress relief and weight loss, what carrier oils are and how to use them, and what exactly essential oils are and how they work in the body.
I highly recommend this book, and feel that you will also be happy that you bought it.
If you’re lucky, your weekends are designated “me time.” Those are the days you get to unwind from work and delve into hobbies, passions, or side projects that take us out of the daily grind and let us flex our interests and creativity.
But, you know, sometimes life gets in the way. You were supposed to practice with that fancy new camera lens you bought, but then a mountain of laundry beckoned. Or maybe you were going to finally start those Italian lessons, but then a friend asked if you could help them move.
There’s always going to be something that pops up during the weekends, but the trick is to make your side project time non-negotiable. Rather than giving away your hours because of guilt or necessity and then feeling bummed you had no “me time,” here are a few sure-fire ways that will make room for your hobbies on the weekends.
Announce It To Your Friends…If your friends (or partner) have a habit of springing plans up on you during the weekend, make a habit out of announcing that you need time for your hobby. So if they want to go to the beach or a flea market or get lunch, always respond with, “Well, I have my guitar lessons at two every Saturday,” or “maybe after my photo editing session at one.” By reinforcing that you have this weekly task that you make time for, they’ll begin to respect that time slot and not try to take it over. And even better—you’ll respect it more, too. By announcing it to others you’re making it a permanent part of your weekend, which will only make you take it more seriously.Sometimes responsibilities get in the way, and making room for personal hobbies or side-projects can get tricky. But follow some of these tips and your passions will have at least a fighting chance!
Block Out Recurring “Me Time” for the Future...Open up your planner right now, and every 1 PM on every Saturday for the next year, block off an hour with the words “me time.” That way, no matter who asks you to lunch, to volunteer, or to help you with moving, you’ll know that you’re already booked. It’ll help you manage your time, but it also establishes a routine for you and your hobby that will help you accept it as a permanent part of your life: Every Saturday at one o’clock, you do it. After a month or two, it’ll feel like a natural part of the weekend.
Do It In The Morning…If you find yourself easily bogged down by commitments or out-of-the-blue emergencies, try tackling your hobby during the mornings. While everyone is still waking up and moving slowly, you can get a jump start and sit down with your blog, your camera, or your book club selection, and tackle your me-time before noon hits. If you get it out of the way first thing in the morning, you won’t have any excuses for not doing it.
Have A “Short Version” Ready For Busy Weekends...Rather than just hitting pause on your interests when the weekend gets busy, have a “short version” ready of your hobby for when schedules get hectic. For example, if you enjoy doing yoga, swap your usual 45 minute session for a quick 15 minute one on YouTube. Or if you love to bake on the weekends, try a recipe that uses five ingredients and takes 30 minutes to bang out, rather than picking one out of the fancy French cookbook that’s meant to take half the afternoon. That way you can still enjoy your interests and tackle everything on your hectic to-do list.
Schedule It...It might sound rigid, but if you use a daily planner regularly or an app on your phone, then you probably know that if an appointment is made it’s basically set in stone. If the time is marked, you’ll show up to it. Following that logic then, if you see “yoga” or “beer brewing” on your Saturday afternoon schedule, you’ll be more likely to actually do it. Since it’s already blocked off in your calendar, you’ll have a smaller chance of giving that spot away to a brunch with friends or a quick nip to the laundromat.
Set Yourself Weekly Goals…It can be super easy to be diligent with your hobby one week, and then put it off for two more because things came up. What you need to do is find a way to make your me-time a priority. A great way to do that is to set yourself weekly goals so you have something to strive forFor example, say your hobby is writing. If you have a goal of writing one chapter per weekend (or one poem, or one pitch,) then you’ll be more likely to sit down at the computer and do it. You can make it more specific – maybe the first Sunday of the week you’ll write a chapter, and then the next weekend you’ll look up editors you want to pitch to, and the weekend after that you’ll read articles on how to properly write out a pitch. Having action steps mapped out for the month will help you motivated to continue on with your goals.
Think Of It As Play Time…Rather than making it another thing to check off your list, reframe your hobby as “play time.” See it as a break from the usual rotation of chores, errands, and obligatory hangouts, and use your hobby time almost like recess: This is the part of the weekend you’ve been waiting for. The part that puts your interests front and center, and has no other purpose than to let you enjoy something for an hour or two. If you reframe your hobby that way, then not only will you look forward to it all week, but you won’t feel guilty for indulging. It’s not time away from cleaning your house or hanging out with your partner- it’s self-care.
Lemon water…simply lemons with water, or water with lemons…big deal, right?!
Besides helping you drink your daily suggested amount of water, lemons actually add many health benefits to water…benefits that up until now, I didn’t realize…and many of us didn’t even recognize either. For this reason, lemons have been used in many forms of holistic medicine for centuries.
So let’s begin by taking a look at some of these “hidden” health benefits of lemon water…
Blood Pressure…Eating or drinking one lemon per day can reduce high blood pressure by ten percent.
Depression and Anxiety…Lemon water contains a high level of potassium, which is needed to prevent and cure depression and anxiety.
Digestion…Lemon water helps with digestion and keeps your stomach from health problems—such as constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and belching.
Energy Levels…Lemon water can help you have more energy when you wake up in the morning…without causing a “caffeine crash” later in the day.
Joint and Muscle Pain…Lemon water can help reduce both joint and muscle pain.
Kidneys…Lemon water can help prevent and dissolve kidney stones, gallstones, pancreatic stones and calcium deposits because of the amount of citric acid it contains.
Liver…Lemon water helps your liver produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary for moving food through gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
Oral Health…Lemon water helps relieve tooth pain, fight gingivitis, and get rid of bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.
Respiratory System…Lemon water helps relieve the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems.
Skin…Lemon water contains Vitamin C, which reduces your risk of having wrinkled and dry skin.
Urinary System…Lemon water is a mild diuretic that can help the urinary tract effectively clear out any unwanted elements.
Weight…Lemon water can help you lose weight by keeping your hydrated, fighting food cravings, and significantly decreasing your caloric intake.
Cedarwood essential oil is useful for many different concerns—including curing skin problems, preventing hair loss, preventing infections, managing stress, getting rid of any moths and pests from your home, discouraging the growth of mildew, helping to cure illnesses, relieving pain.
Cedarwood essential oils gets many A’s, if not A+’s, for its many different roles, including working as the following…
anxiety and stress
Alopecia…This is simply another way of saying that cedarwood oil is good for your hair.
Cedarwood essential oil can help you have shinier, healthier-looking hair, especially by working to control dandruff, prevent hair loss, and promote hair growth.
1. Damaged Hair…Cedarwood essential oil has moisturizing properties that can help make your hair stronger and repair any damage you cause to your hair from frequent washing, blowdrying, styling, and so forth.
2. Dandruff…Cedarwood essential oil can help reduce any itching or drying that you might be enduring because of dandruff and other scalp conditions such as seborrhoiec eczema.
Cedarwood essential oil can help prevent seborrhoeic eczema, an infection of the epidermal cells of the scalp that results in having dry, itchy and flaking rashes on your scalp. This infection is caused by the sebaceous glands found in the scalp producing too much sebum.
3. Hair Growth and Loss…Cedarwood oil stimulates and strengthens your hair follicles. Stronger hair follicles contribute to hair growth and help prevent alopecia—which simply means hair loss and thinning hair.
Two of the best ways to use cedarwood essential oil for healthier, shinier hair are…
1. Hot Oil Treatment:…Combine eight drops of cedarwood essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Massage the mixture it into your scalp for about five minutes. Wait twenty minutes before washing the mixture out of your hair.
2. Shampoo... Add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to your shampoo and conditioner.
Adults “should” supposedly get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Yeah, dream on…right?!
This amount of sleep is said to be important in order to promote optimal health and well-being.
Not getting this many hours of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke…as well as an impaired immune system, a decrease in cognitive performance, and an increased risk of accidents.
But some nights I find myself lucky if I can only get about two or three hours of such “quality” sleep.
The fact is that studies have shown that one in every three adults are not getting this “required” amount of sleep on a regular basis. These days nearly nine million Americans take some sort of medication to help them sleep each night.
But the answer that so many of us are looking for in our quest for better sleep could simply be right in our hand most of the day, if we knew what we were looking for.
Assuming that you are actually have your phone in your hand and are no longer looking for it, let’s take a look at some of the top-rated sleep apps that have been designed to help us each find these recommended seven hours of quality sleep each night that we all have been looking for.
How It Works…Choose one of several available 30-minute “audio treatment pill.” Each “pill” is formulated for a particular ailment—such as “Sleep Deeply,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Power Nap”—based on your current needs.
Purpose…to help you feel more rested and alert upon awakening with its built-in smart alarm
How It Works…wakes you up during your natural waking phase, provides essential statistics from the night before on a straightforward sleep graph and aggregates your statistics weekly to allow you to track sleep debt and sleep quality, plays relaxing sounds or a playlist featuring your favorite songs to help both lull you to sleep and wake up in the morning, will alert you if you are getting less sleep than you need.
Purpose…#1 top paid medical application—all-in-one sleep tracker, sleep cycle alarm, snore, apnea, heart rate monitor, weight loss and activity tracker
How It Works…measures and correlates resting heart rate, monitors advanced sleep cycles with smart alarms and power naps, allows you to set goals—such as 5,000 steps per day or 7 hours of sleep per night and monitor your progress.
Purpose…to help treat insomnia, reduce stress, relax while reading, and alleviate headaches and migraines by quietening distracting background noises…to achieve improved concentration and productivity while working, or to create a chilled audio environment for yoga, meditation, and sleep
How It Works…allows you to mix and save a personalized combination of sounds—rain, wind, thunderstorms, leaves, and water streams, coffee shop bustle, white noise—to create your perfect stress-free atmosphere.
How It Works…uses motion and sound pattern detection to plots the times you are awake and in the different phases of sleep…keeps track of sleep session statistics—such as weight, blood pressure, heart rate, dietary calories, and caffeine and alcohol consumption—to analyze how these measures are affecting your sleep quality.
How It Works…uses over a hundred billion slightly different sound effects—including psychoacoustics, sound sequences, dynamic dreamscapes, neurolinguistic programming, music, binaural beats—tailor-made for each portion of the sleep cycle
Purpose…to help you relax, re-energize and get better sleep
Purpose…to help you relax and to relieve stress by channeling this anxiety into making a satisfying and creative “work of art”
How It Works…select one of the images from an alphabetically-organized library of more than 1,000 images—animals, pictures of food, sports, pop art, scenery, and sea life—and then use the app’s bold and uplifting color palette with various shades and hues to complete your “work of art”
When I first started using essential oils, I felt overwhelmed by the selections and how little I knew. Which one should I choose, and why? Almost like being a kid in a candy store.
But as I have started reading and studying more about living a healthier lifestyle and beginning new habits, I have also learned more about which essential oils work best for what the problem is.
For example, these are the best essential oils for helping to cure insomnia that are out there…but instead of going into depth about each one of these in this post, I have decided to choose one oil per month, and detail more and more reasons and ways to use that particular essential oil that particular month…
For example, the Essential Oil of the Month is bergamot (see next post…oh wait, you can’t…because at this point I haven’t finished writing it)…
Anyway, here are the best options as far as essential oils to help you sleep…
1. Bergamot…Bergamot essential oil is a cold-pressed essential oil that is produced by cells inside the rind and peel of a bergamot orange, a citrus fruit that has been used as a fragrance ingredient since around the year 1714. It takes about one hundred bergamot oranges to yield three ounces of bergamot oil.
Bergamot essential oil smells like a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note and has a bright, yet calming and relaxing, effect. Bergamot essential oil is used to give Earl Grey tea its flavor, to calm anxious feelings, and to reduce both the heart rate and blood pressure.
2. Cedarwood…Cedarwood essential oil is an essential oil that is produced from the foliage of various types of pine and cypress trees. The oil has an earthy, woodsy smell and supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the body’s natural sleepy hormone.
3. Frankincense…Frankincense essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil obtained from the tree resin of four main species of trees from the Boswellia genus. Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, balsamic fragrance and is perfect for balancing emotions, supporting healthy sleep, calming your mind and supporting your body’s natural response to healing.
4. Juniper Berry…Juniper Berry essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that has a calming, grounding effect and an earthy, woodsy smell. The oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of about fifty different species of junipers plant, a member of the cypress family that can grow anywhere within the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from the Arctic down towards tropical Africa, Pakistan, and the mountains of Central America. Most of the juniper berry essential oil that we use here in America has been harvested from juniper plants found in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southern Kentucky.
5. Lavender…Lavender essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that is obtained from the flower spikes of certain species of the lavender plant, a member of the mint family. Lavender essential oil has a relaxing and calming effect…and is used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, help reduce feelings of tension, and calm emotions.
Most of us are already familiar with the lavender plant because the plant has been used as ornamental plants in garden and landscaping, as a culinary herb, and was one of the common colors in that magical 64-count box of Crayola crayons…the bo that had the sharpener on the back of the box…and that every kid in the classroom envied unless they had one themselves.
6. Marjoram…Marjoram essential oil is steam-distilled from from the flowering leaves and tops of the marjoram plant, a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub, that was referred to by the Romans as the “herb of happiness” and to the Greeks as the “joy of the mountains.”
The leaves have a unique mixture of sweet “pine” and citrus flavor. Most of us have had a marjoram spice container at least once in our spice cabinet of marjoram. If not an actual jar of marjoram by itself, perhaps a spice blend containing marjoram, such as herbes de Provence and za’atar…(I probably still have all three of these spices in the same container from back when I purchased thirty-one years ago when I first got married….let me go see)…
Anyway, marjoram essential oil is wonderful for muscles and joints, but it also excels in creating peaceful sleep and calming frazzled nerves.
7. Roman Chamomile…Roman Chamomile essential oil has a calming, soothing, and relaxing effect and is perfect for helping to get rid of restlessness and anxious feelings.
The Roman chamomile plant is a low perennial plant found in dry fields, gardens, and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and in Argentina…and is used for making foods, herbal teas, perfumes, and cosmetics.
8. Sandalwood...Sandalwood essential oil is a steam-distilled oil extracted from chips and billets cut from the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees. Sandalwoods belong to the same botanical family as European mistletoe and can befound in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, after African blackwood.
Sandalwood has a distinctive rich, woodsy smell that has been highly valued for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics.
9. Vetiver…Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of a type of grass that is widely cultivated in tropical regions such as Haiti, India, and Indonesia. Vetiver has a psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing effect and a rich and earthy smell.
10. Ylang Ylang…Ylang ylang essential oil is extracted from the flowers of a ylang-ylang tree that is native in the rainforest habitats of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ylang-ylang is also widely used in oriental- or floral-themed perfumes such as Chanel No. 5…and is also believed to relieve high blood pressure, to help with skin problems, and to be an aphrodisiac. In fact, in Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples.
Another option for using your essential oils is topically.
There are times when deciding whether to use your oils aromatically or topically seems like perfectly good common sense.Applying oils topically simply works better for certain circumstances, such as when using them for aches, pain, sore muscles, and injuries.
Then there are other times when how to best use your oils isn’t so obvious…such as when using essential oils for such issues as sleep, anxiety and lack of energy.
But how can I be sure that I am using my essential oils the “best” way possible?
The decision between using the diffuser to use the oils aromatically or applying the oil topically basically depends on whether or not you need the effects to benefit your entire body, or just one centralized area.
If you need the benefits throughout, it is best to use the diffuser because this delivers a quick dose of “good stuff” into the bloodstream. This usually works best when dealing with emotional, neurological, and respiratory issues.
If you need the benefits to focus on one particular area, it is best to apply topically. Substances that are applied topically to the skin slowly permeate and are absorbed through the skin, eventually entering into the bloodstream.
For example, people suffering from problems sleeping benefit from using oils topically because studies have shown that the chemical components of lavender essential oil enter the bloodstream within five minutes of massaging the lavender essential oil onto the skin.
How do I use essential oils topically?
To use essential oils topically, start with only one or two drops of the essential oil. This should be all that you usually need because only a little bit of essential oil can go a very, very long way.
Sounds way too simple, right?!
Well, actually it is…and here’s why…
Before applying the essential oil to your skin, you will most likely need to dilute the essential oil with a “carrier oil.” (Examples of carrier oils that can be used to dilute essential oils include olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, and avocado oil.)
“Most likely”…gee, that tells me a whole lot, right?
There are several types of essential oils on the market today that may or may not require diluting the oil with a carrier oil first. But the instructions on the essential oil itself will be the best place to figure out if and how the oil needs to be diluted.
But a few classifications of essential oils that you might want to keep in mind are…
Neat Oils…This may depend on the essential oil itself as to whether or not you need to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil first. There is a category of oils classified as “neat” oils that do not require diluting with a carrier oil before each use. These include…
Hot Oils…Then there are other essential oils that are high in phenols and must ALWAYS be diluted with a carrier oil before being used topically. These include cassia, cinnamon, clove, oregano, lemongrass, bergamot, and thyme.
Sensitive Oils…“Sensitive” oils are those that do not require dilution before use topically, but should be diluted before use on young or sensitive skin. These include black pepper, eucalyptus, ginger, and peppermint.
Photosensitive Oils…“Photosensitive” oils contain furocoumarins, a type of extremely photosensitive compounds that may cause a rash or darkened skin if used before exposure to sunlight, sunlamps, or other sources of UV light. Such types of light should be avoided for up to twelve hours after using these oils topically. These “photosensitive” oils are typically citrus oils such as angelica, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, and tangerine.
Diluting your essential oils does not make the essential oil less effective, but actually offers many benefits that can make the essential oil work even better. These benefits include helping to “carry” the essential oil onto the skin, preventing particular oils from feeling too warm on the skin, keeping the essential oil from evaporating too quickly, increasing the surface area that your essential oil can cover at one time, enhancing absorption through dry skin, and preventing “sensitivity responses.”
Sensitivity Responses? Gee, made the skeptic in me wonder if essential oils are even worth the effort when I first read about “sensitivity responses”…
The truth is that just like almost anything else that you could possibly use on your skin, there is a chance—ever so slight—that a given essential oil could cause a reaction or “sensitivity response” for some individuals.
You can avoid such reactions by applying a small amount of essential oil to an ” inconspicuous” area and checking regularly to make sure that no reaction takes place before using it many more places also.
It is also a good idea to keep track of what oils you use, amounts used, where you apply, your thoughts and impressions on that particular oil, and any reactions that you do experience. Also try only one new essential oil at a time.
Another good idea would be to go ahead and mix your essential oil and your carrier oil together, and then store in a used or empty essential oil bottle or roller bottle so that you won’t have to dilute the oil every single time that you want to use it.
Finally, be aware of the importance of purchasing and using only quality essential oils from reputable sources. Do not assume anything about the purity, the efficacy, or the reliability of the essential oil.
Because many manufacturers have been reported as actually mixing essential oils with synthetic materials or other unknown ingredients to help stretch the oils and reduce costs, you need to be confident that you are actually getting the product that you are paying for. (no, this is not a plug for a future offer…just a fact…don’t worry)…
Essential oils should not have an expiration date. If there actually is a date on the bottle, this probably means that the oil contains additives and might not be from a good source.
Where do I apply the oil?
The soles of your feethave large pores that rapidly absorb essential oils and are not very sensitive, so this is a very good, safe place to start using essential oils topically. Simply and massage in two to four drops of your essential oil.
Other places where insomniacs and people who can’t sleep and people who are stressed out and so forth might want to try applying oils for help in dealing with stress and anxiety include across the forehead, behind the ears, the temples, the tops of your shoulders, and your wrists.
Good options of essential oils for this would be frankincense, lavender, peppermint, and cedarwood. (Just wait, my next post is about which essential oils are best for sleeplessness.)…
In order to enjoy the aromatic benefits of an essential oil, you could obviously take a few drops from the bottle into the palm of your hands, cup your hands around your mouth and nose, and inhale deeply for as long as needed…
…or simply hold the bottle of essential oil a few inches from your nose and breathe in the aroma…
or…add a drop or two of the essential oil to your pillowcase or pajama shirt, I guess…
But a much easier and smarter method would be through diffusion.
Diffusion is one of the simplest and most effective methods for using essential oils aromatically.
Simply putting two to eight drops of an essential oil that has been found especially beneficial for sleeping, (see next post), along with whatever water quantity is specified in the instructions for your particular diffuser, may be the perfect answer for your questionable sleep.
…and if you find using only one essential oil to become quite boring, you can also combine several essential oils in your diffuser. There are many such “sleep blend recipes” to be found on the internet or in books about essential oils. For example, try combining three drops of lavender, three drops of cedarwood, and two drops of frankincense.
So how does a diffuser work? All diffusers work by breaking the essential oil(s) down into tiny molecules and dispersing them throughout the air, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the oil as it circulates in the air for several hours while you sleep.
What should I look for when shopping for a diffuser?
Factors to consider when purchasing an essential oil diffuser include…
ease of use
estimated operating time
material that the diffuser is made from (cheap plastic or polypropylene?)
size of the actual diffuser
size of the room you want your diffuser to effectively cover
“special” features, such as a timer and ambient lighting
Some of the most popular diffusers on the market today include…
1. DoTerra AromaLite Diffuser
Estimated operating time…up to eight hours
Size area diffuser effectively covers…up to 1000 feet
“Special” features…optional night light
Type of diffuser…cool mist humidifier
2. Noor Litemist Aromatherapy Diffuser
Estimated operating time...four hours
Material diffuser is made from…plastic
Size of actual diffuser…5.9″x5″
Size area diffuser effectively covers…300 square feet
“Special” features…multicolor LED lights, automatic shut-off
3. Lagute Apple Shaped Diffuser
Estimated operating time…five hours
Material diffuser is made from…wood-grain BPA-free plastic
Noise…less than 36dB
4. Plant Therapy AromaFuse Diffuser
Estimated operating time…up to ten hours
Material diffuser is made from…BPA-free plastic
Noise level…very quiet
Size of the actual diffuser…8″x8″x5.2″
Size of area diffuser can effectively cover…at least 500 square feet
“Special” features...five different timer settings, LED light
In addition to Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique, there are several more such exercises out there that might be worth trying also. These include…
1. Kapalbhati Breathing…In Sanskrit, kapal means “forehead” and bhati means “shining.” In addition to helping relieve stress and anxiety, benefits of doing this technique include helping to rid the lungs of carbon dioxide and fill them with fresh oxygen, keeping the digestive system and heart healthy, and improving circulation in the abdominal area.
To do this: Kneel down with your back straight and your hands resting on your knees. Breathe in through your nose, focusing all of your attention on breathing. Then contract your abdominal muscles and exhale powerfully through your mouth, using short, measured bursts.
2. Nadi Shodhana…Nadi Shodhana is another breathing technique based in the practice of yoga. It is also one of the most common forms of pranayama, or breath control. In addition to helping relieve stress and anxiety, benefits of doing this technique include achieving a sense of balance and neutrality and send signals to the brain so that the body starts relaxing. Nose breathing also conditions your breath, filtering the air and adding moisture to your breath before it enters your lungs.
To do this: Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Keep your eyes shut while doing this exercise. Close off the left nostril with the right ring finger. Inhale. Next close off the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale.
3. Pranayamic Breathing Techniques…Pranayamic Breathing Techniques are a third breathing technique. This technique involves exhaling for a length of time that twice as long as you inhale. In addition to helping to relieve stress and anxiety, benefits of this technique include helping to reset the body’s autonomic nervous system and synchronizing neural elements in the heart, lungs and brain,
To do this: Lie down in bed on your back. Inhale for three seconds. Exhale for six seconds. Repeat. Focusing on counting as you do this.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)…PMR is another breathing technique. This technique involves contracting and relaxing different muscle groups, one at a time, starting with your feet and moving up to your head. In addition to helping to relieve stress and anxiety, benefits of this technique include being able to relieve tension one area at a time as each muscle group is relaxed.
To do this: Lie on your back. Deeply inhale once through your nose. Hold your breath for three seconds as you squeeze your toes. Release your toes, while exhaling through your mouth. Next inhale and exhald while you focus on your feet. Continue breathing, flexing and releasing as you move up your body next to your calves, all the way to your head.