This audiobook is a guide written for insomniacs, and other people who have trouble sleeping quite often, to show the life-changing health benefits that optimum sleep provides….and more importantly how to have this optimum sleep experience.
This book sparked my interest because as I get older, the more I’ve started to realize that how well and how much I sleep impacts your entire life…(yeah, Mom, I shoulda listened to you all those nights when I was little and you told me to turn the lights off and go to bed.)
The title of the audiobook,Healthy Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book explains how a healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune system, mood, sense of well-being—and even your weight.
This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the exercises and strategies that the book provides to help manage both stress and anxiety as well as common sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.
The authors of the audiobook are alternative medicine “guru” Andrew Weil, MD…and sleep expert Rubin R. Naiman, PhD.
—–Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, and director of Integrative Health & Healing at Miraval Life in Balance Resort in Tucson. Dr. Weil s bestselling books include Spontaneous Happiness, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing, and his popular audio programs with Sounds True include The Healthy Heart Kit and Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing.
—–Rubin Naiman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in integrative sleep and dream medicine. He is director of Circadian Health Associates, an organization that provides information, goods and services in support of sleep health. Dr. Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona s Center for Integrative Medicine, directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He also serves as Director of the Sleep and Dream Advisory Board for Sleep Studio. For more than a decade, Dr. Naiman served as the sleep and dream specialist at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, where he founded the first formal sleep center at a spa. Subsequently, he served as director of sleep programs for Miraval Resort. Dr. Naiman is the author of a number of groundbreaking works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep, and To Sleep ToNight, as well as a number of professional book chapters and articles. He also blogs about sleep and dreams for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.
This audiobook consists of two discs. The first disc is a discussion on why sleep is so important and why you may not be sleeping as you should. The second disc contains guided exercises, including three sessions to help you fall asleep.
Topics covered in the book include sleep stages, sleeping disorders, breathing techniques, good “sleep hygiene,” and safe supplements to overcome insomnia. The book uses a combination of creative visualization, self-compassion, and pranayama to explain insomnia and then lull you gently to sleep…
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has trouble sleeping…makes an excellent read about 2am when you should be sleeping instead of reading.
Lord knows, these months and the month or even months have been downright crazy…not to mention stressful.
So what is one way that you can worry less and chill out more?
If you actually read my blog on a regular basis, you will already know what I am about to say…
More specifically essential oils…
And even more specifically diffusing essential oils as a part of the complementary medicine called “aromatherapy.”
How Essential Oils Work
ls through the air, our olfactory nerve sends almost instantly sends messages to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala, which are both directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion.
If you remember watching the movie Forest Gump, you will remember the professor explaining that the amygdala is that part of the brain which controls our emotions, mood, and memory.
Interestimgly, these parts of the brain also do two what seems opposite reactions…either triggering a fight-or-flight respons where we get short of breath, our heart rate and blood pressure go overboard…or awakening the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax.
In fact, certain essential oils…(which we’ll talk about later)…interact with our nervous system and brain in the same way biochemically that many anti-prescribed anxiety medications do..making it a great complementary and alternative choice.
So let’s find out which specific essential oils, more specifically citrus essential oils, are actually the best oils for helping you feel less stressed out.
Citrus in General
Citrus essential oils can affect different people different ways…they can either be stimulating or relaxing…are totally have different effects from one person to the next.
These oils can help some people fall asleep more easily…other people to relax but not actually fall to sleep-more easily…feel more both refreshed and relaxed if you use them during the day,
Since this is the case, you must try the particular essential oil yourself to see how it affects you.
Below are some citrrus essential oils to consider.
What is it…Bergamot essential oil is derived from the peel of a bergamot fruit, a hybrid citrus fruit somewhere between a bitter orange and lemon or lime, and is widely used in aromatherapy. This is the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its signature fragrance,…(more on this later)…
What does it smell like…Bergamot has a clean, spicy citrus-like fragrance that is soothing…yet at the same time invigorating.
How long have people been using it…This essential oil has been used traditionally in Italian folk medicine because of its ability to relieve tension and anxiety….and in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the flow of energy, fight bacterial infections and support digestive health.
What other essential oils should I blend with bergamot…try floral oils like lavender, clary sage and jasmine.
How do I use it…Like all other essential oils, you have the option to use bergamot essential oil in your diffuser or apply it to your skin,..but be careful if you do apply bergamot essential oil topically because it can cause severe sunburn.
Also be sure to combine bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil—such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado—before using it on your skin or adding it to your bath.
Bergamot can often be irritating to the skin…and make you more likely to get sunburns and blisters when you’ve been out in the sun for too long.
Health benefits of bergamot essential oil are believed to include…
helping you to relax
improving blood circulation
keeping you from feeling so fatigued
lowering your blood pressure
lowering your heart rate
reducing chronic pain
relieving anxiety and stress
Source...leaves of the lemon plant
acts as a sedative
can help relieve the nausea associated with cancer treatments
eases symptoms of depression
promotes sleep and relaxation
reduces anxiety and stress
Melissa (Lemon Balm)
Source...lemons…(go figure, right?!)
History…has been used for hundreds of years. Known for its medicinal and uplifting qualities, it has also been given the name “elixir of life”.
calms the mind
strengthens the nervous system
can act as a antidepressant and release feelings of sadness and worry
Source…derived from the flowers of the neroli, a citrus fruit
Fragrance...sweet and spicy aromal..similar to an expensive, floral-based perfume…in fact, commonly used as an ingredient in French perfumes
History…has been around since ancient Egyptian times
acts as a sedative
helps you sleep
improves concentration, mood, and memory
regulates the metabolic system
relaxes both body and soul
releases feelings of anger, irritability, stress, anxiety, and worry
Source…derived from the yuzu fruit, a type of East Asian yellow citrus fruit often used in Asian cuisine
History…Japanese have had a custom of taking yuzu baths, which involves floating yuzus in hot baths during the winter to relieve stressas far back as the 1700s
decreases negative emotional stress
decreases salivary chromogranin A, an indicator of stress and sympathetic nervous system activity
lowers your heart rate in just ten minutes, with effects lasting for about thirty minuters
soothes stress and anxiety
suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity, also known as the fight-or-flight response
Aromatherapy has a claim to fame that runs a wide gamut of “cures what ails you,…medical, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes…
Essential oils are actually regulated as prescription drugs that can only be administered or prescribed by a doctor in France and certain parts of Western Europe…where aromatherapy and essential oils are appreciated for their value as an antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.
Even so, essential oils are to be thought of as “complementary therapy,” meaning that essential oils in themselves do not actually provide the cure for diseases, rashes or illnesses themselves…and should only be thought of as an “extra” to be used along with conventional means of treatment.
In this post, I’m gonna do a quick run-through of what into your daily lifestyle can make a difference in out mental, emotional and physical well-being.
In the following post, we will take a look at which essential oils to buy for each of these specific reasons…and then we will learn how to use essential oils safely, or where to look for information on doing so.
Essential oils can make you feel more relaxed, boost your mood, help you to be more “mindful” by invoking your sense of smell and reconnect with yourself, even if only for a moment.
Some of the emotional and mental issues that essential oils may benefit are…
On a physical level, people have claimed that essential oils can help cure almost anything and everything, including…
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.
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.)…